Mom Life

Leaving the Crib: Making the Switch to a Big Kid Bed

Our son’s bed is one of those 3-in-1 transforming cribs that goes from traditional crib, to toddler bed to regular full size bed. We knew it was time to switch to a big kid bed the night we heard a loud THUNK followed by a screaming wail. We ran into his room to find him on the floor, unharmed, but a little frightened and most likely already plotting how to climb out without alerting us next time.


The next day we were all excited to change the crib to the toddler bed, which is pretty much the same set-up, but the front side has a low, partial railing. As we smiled and unveiled the new design, our son collapsed in a heap, crying and muttering about how we broke his bed. He refused to use it. It took him a couple weeks of sleeping in our bed to finally accept the “new” bed with its little half-railing. So when the time came to completely change the bed into a “big boy bed,” we knew we had to proceed cautiously or go through the same meltdown.

Easing the Transition to a Big Kid Bed

The first thing we did was explain to him that his bed was going to be changing, and that we were not going to “break” it. He seemed skeptical, but open to exploring this new option. We knew surprising him was a bad idea, and felt this time it would be better to involve him in the process of making the change so it wouldn’t be such a shock.

Ready to make the switch to a big kid bed

First we went to mattress store and let him try out beds. He got to see what the new bed would look like and jump on a few mattresses. Letting him pick out his bed made him feel in charge of the change and got him excited to pick out something new.

When we got home, we let him help take apart his old bed and change it into the new frame. After storing the rails in the attic for nearly five years, it was time to do the final transformation.

The last thing we did was let him pick out new sheets. I let him sit in my lap and scroll through Amazon’s sheet selection while silently hoping he wouldn’t get his heart set on something hideous. In my mind I was pleading “Please don’t pick the flaming basketballs, please don’t pick the flaming basketballs…”flaming-basketball-sheets



Scroll back up.

Please no. Please no. Please no.

I want that red one on fire.

Arrrrrghhhhhh… It took me a little while, but I did manage to convince him there’s just no good reason to have a basketball on fire for a bedspread. None.

He eventually settled on a full Spiderman sheet set and comforter. Then asked if maybe I could find one with Spiderman on fire? Should I be worried? lol.

the new big kid bed

He was very excited about the new bed and slept in it right away. He did fall out the first night and slept on the floor for a bit. That’s when I realized why my mom always tucked me in tight! So I started tucking his covers in on the sides and he hasn’t fallen out since.

I’m still getting used to looking in his room and seeing it look like a “kid” room instead of a baby nursery. My little boy is growing up! And to be honest, switching to a big kid bed was a big transition for both of us. I’m just happy it went smoothly, and I managed to avoid the flaming basketball decor.

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