Sunday, May 8, 2011

The saga of moving from a cot to a bed

It's high-time that I updated with our experience of moving J-cub from his cot into his new bedroom, and into a bed. As I've mentioned, he has been sleeping so much better recently, that we were starting to seriously doubt whether or not this was a good idea, before he'd even set foot in his new room.

The background: J-cub is a week shy of 26 months. He's a big boy, and when he stands up in his cot (it's a cot, not a cot bed), the rail is below the level of his nipples. He's been able to get his foot onto the rail for months, and I think it's only luck that he hasn't got out. Also, he rolls around a lot at night and wakes himself up smashing into the bars. Soooo, we decided that we should make the move to a bed, less far to fall than if he got over the cot side. As he's in the box room, and overflowing it, we thought we'd switch his bedroom for our second bedroom/spare room/study. We've spent the Easter holidays doing just that - making it all lovely and pretty and nice, taking him to Ikea to choose a bed, and hanging out with friends whose little ones are in beds, so that he could see them in action as it were. (Incidentally, while we were in Ikea I put him in one of the cots and he climbed straight out, which added fuel to my argument that it is Time).

He's been so so excited about his 'big boy bed'. I got the room finished while he napped last Monday, and when he woke up we went in to have a look at it. He totally loved it, he was so excited, he played in there for a good couple of hours, including lots of pretending to go to sleep in the bed.

Cut to bedtime - he was very keen to go to bed (asking to go to bed instead of having a bath etc), and when we got up there he was happily tucked into bed, and had a story. He then asked me to go downstairs (which is our usual routine), I kissed him and left. I came and sat quietly downstairs, then as I could hear him chattering excitedly to himself, I went up to settle him again. In retrospect ... big mistake. HUGE.

He wanted to get up and play, I kept trying to settle him. He got more and more upset. Lots of tears, and tantrums, and he got out of the bed and then refused to go back in. He was happy enough playing, but very, very tired, and very fearful when I mentioned the bed/sleep. I eventually got him settled down again, and I left. There was silence for 10 minutes, and I think he dropped off, then he started screaming again.

This went on for FOUR HOURS. I tried lying with him ("No Mummy No!"), stories, nightlight on and off, quiet, singing, our usual tape of lullabies - changed nappy ... everything I could think of. Thankfully Jamie was home and we could take it in turns.

I offered to bring the cot into his new room, he didn't want it. At 11pm we felt like we had to give up, popped him back in the cot in his old room, and he was asleep in seconds.

I was left feeling awful, all conflicted about what I should have/shouldn't have done, and how to move forwards from there. I thought he was ready, and I didn't think it was safe for him to stay in the cot. We couldn't take the side off the cot now because all the study furniture (computers, lots of guitars and junk) are in his old room with just his cot in the corner, so it wasn't safe. I could have taken the cot into the new room, with the side on or off. Or packed the cot away so it wasn't an option.

It was one of the hardest 4 hours of my parenting life.

And on Tuesday he went to nursery, so we didn't have any time during the day to spend time up there acclimatising. At bedtime on Tuesday, we went through exactly the same situation again. Completely exhausted from the night before, we gave up after just an hour, and put him back in the cot.

Jamie was home with him on Wednesday, and went through the same at naptime, and he slept in the cot. During all of this, J-cub was positive when we mentioned his new room, always answered "Big boy bed!" when we asked him if he wanted to sleep in the bed or the cot, and shook his head when we asked him if he wanted the cot.

We had just about decided that we would take the bed out of his new room, and replace it with the cot, when Wednesday bedtime came around. In a flash of inspiration, I had removed the duvet and spare pillows, leaving just a familiar blanket wrapped around the mattress as a sheet, a very thin cot pillow, and a Grobag.

J-cub has slept in Grobags since he was born, and we were of two minds as to whether we should change to a duvet or not. He really likes duvets, so we thought we'd give it a go. But I think they were just too hot, and he couldn't get comfy under one. He had been very resistant to having a Grobag, once he'd seen the duvet, but when I removed the duvet he seemed to forget all about it, and went into the Grobag without a fuss.

I had sent Jamie downstairs, and having got J-cub onto the bed, and into the Grobag without a fuss, I sat down and started reading. I read, and read, and read. J-cub alternated between cwtching up against me, switching the light on-and-off, and lying down. He didn't once try and get out of bed, and he didn't start shouting "No". And slowly, slowly, he drifted off to sleep.

We didn't hear a single peep out of him until 6.50am the following morning, when he called for us rather than getting out of bed and going for a wander.

And the following day he napped in his bed, after just 25 minutes of reading, and the time has got shorter and shorter ever since :D. He hasn't again asked for the cot, he's told everyone about his big boy bed, and everyone is happy. Ecstatic.

I really, really thought we'd done the wrong thing. I was of half a mind to move everything back into his old room, despite the two solid weeks of work we'd put in to swapping everything around. But it all came up rosy in the end, and J-cub loves his new room with a passion.

1 comment:

Glovecat said...

How exhausting! Making parenting decisions really is emotionally draining, isn't it? I have this kind of issue ahead, I guess. As it is, Megan is still in a single bed adjoining mine, but when she demands to sleep next to me, I put her in with me. Sometimes I feel like we're developing a difficult habit to break, especially when the 5:30am need for a cuddle creeps back to 2am, but what can I do? By then I'm too tired to argue! :D Glad you're back in the bloggosphere, I must make an effort to join you! x