Switching to a Toddler Bed & Plans for What’s Next in Joey’s Room

A couple weeks ago Joey suddenly decided she didn’t want to get out of bed anymore. Our normally happy little girl would scream and cry when I’d get her up in the mornings and after naps, even though she was wide awake. I’d hear her awake in her crib, talking to herself, even jumping up in down, but when I’d go in to get her out of the crib, she would throw herself back down and pretend to be asleep. After a few days of this, we took her to the pediatrician because that’s WEIRD. We were honestly quite nervous, but since she didn’t have any other symptoms that we knew of, it turns out, maybe she’s not a morning person! And maybe she wanted some more independence.

We decided it was time for Joey to be in control of her own sleep schedule, so we made the switch to a toddler bed. EEK! It wasn’t even on our radar before that point. She’s not a climber, so I figured we’d wait until at least 2-1/2 before we’d even think about making the switch — which is in July!!

(I promised Joey a chocolate chip if she let me take her picture … that bribe didn’t include keeping her eyes open!)

Luckily our Ikea Sundvik crib is super easy to convert from a crib to a toddler bed in just a few minutes (love this crib!). We took the opportunity to also replace her mattress with the same Sealy crib mattress we have for Olly, since her old Ikea one had gotten pretty lumpy. (I don’t remember which Ikea crib mattress we bought but I never liked it.) We also got Joey a new bunny quilt, which she calls “big hoppy,” ha!

But that left us with a great added benefit of being able to use her old mattress as a sort of trundle bed in case she falls out! When Joey is going to sleep or taking a nap, we slide the extra mattress out from under the bed, and she can even slide it out herself. Sometimes she even sleeps on the lower mattress, but mostly it gives us peace of mind in case she falls. When she’s not sleeping, we just push the mattress back under the bed so it’s out of the way. It’s a perfect system.

So now we have a REAL toddler. In a toddler bed that she can get OUT of whenever she wants. Would naps EVER happen again??!!

Actually, so far the toddler bed has been going remarkably well. (KNOCK ON WOOD!) I don’t think Joey has fallen out at all (though with her extra mattress, I don’t know if we’d even know if she did). And she’s been sleeping through the night and napping. My trick for naps is to tell her that I’ll read her a story if she will sit in bed. I’ll sit on the extra mattress next to her and read a story of her choice — only if she stays in bed; if she gets up, I stop reading. When the story is done, I tell her to take a nap or just have some quiet time alone and I’ll come back to get her if she needs me. I leave the room immediately and close the door behind me. The only toys allowed in her room are stuffed animals and books, so usually she’ll play with those or read to herself for a bit before climbing in bed, covering herself up and going to sleep. It’s so cute. Getting her up also hasn’t been nearly as difficult as it was before the switch because we wait until she gets out of bed herself.

Now that we’re in this new toddler stage, we’re making plans for some other changes to Joey’s room.

We used to have a credenza on one side of her room with the changing pad on top and all her diaper supplies, books, etc. on the shelves (here’s pictures of Joey’s original nursery). But a few months ago, when Joey had outgrown her changing pad, we moved the credenza into the living room and have just had her books and things in baskets on the floor. It’s a mess… But this little nook area is just asking for some built-ins!

Here’s what we’re thinking:

Ikea Rast dressers are the perfect size to fit into the little nook. At less than 12″ deep and only 27″ tall, they’re super small, but they’re also just the right size for Joey to reach for even more independence, AND, even better, only $35 each. We have a couple of tricky spots to work around — the heat vent (I erased it, but it’s between the dressers) and an awkwardly placed outlet behind the laundry basket — as well as a pile of cords to hide. But I think with some strategically placed shelves, we can hopefully create a sense of balance even though everything will have to be a little off center. Shelves between and above the dressers will hold all her books, shoes and stuffed animals, and can easily grow with her.

But what do you think: should we paint the built-ins white or stain them? White is the most obvious choice, and what I originally thought. But we’ve added stained wood elements throughout our house that it might be cool to bring into this room as well for cohesion. I don’t want the room to feel too “little girl,” which white could? I don’t know, though… Let me know your opinions!

Sources:
Ceiling light: Sazerac Stitches
Wallpaper: Chasing Paper
Wall/trim color: Sherwin Williams “Snowbound”
Ceiling color: Valspar “Champagne Pink”
Chair: Target
Crib: Ikea
Mattress: Sealy Baby Firm (Amazon)
Toddler pillow: Dreamtown Kids (Amazon)
Rug: CB2
Curtains: Ikea
Quilt: Greenbuds (Amazon)
Blankets: handmade gifts
Paper mache rhinoceros: Anthropologie
Laundry basket: 3 Sprouts (Amazon)

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