Crazy Mommy Lady

A blog from a mom living on the edge of joy and insanity all at the same time.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Time for a Big girl Bed

My daughter recently turned 3, an occasion that gave her the official title of "big girl" and made it time for a big girl bed. She had always slept well in her crib, and we were very nervous about making this transition smoothly.

The first tool we used was propaganda. We pitched the wonders of life as a big girl for weeks (maybe even months) before the big day. The big girl bed would be the greatest birthday gift any big girl could ever want. We even looked at catalogs and stopped to ooh and aah at sheets and comforters that she might be able to pick.

The next trick of the trade we used was "buy-in." When the time finally came, there was much fanfare as we went to the store to shop for the bed. She picked the bed (after a short amount of time) and the bedding (after a long, long time). I let her hold each of the pillows, touch each comforter, and decide on her own what she would like her room to look like. Her final decision was based on a matching purple and blue rickrack trimmed pillow, and that was fine.

Third, we established expectations from the beginning. We made a huge, momentous occasion out of the completed bed, and had grandparents, aunts, uncles, and babysitters reinforcing the excitement. We said over and over, as did our accomplices, how she would have to be a big girl and stay in her bed all night, as long as it was dark. We also emphasized how much fun it would be to "surprise" Mommy in the morning, as long as the sun was up. (Perhaps a bit of a mistake, as my morning blood pressure has risen about 50 points.) It also helped that we didn't disassemble the crib right away (leverage).

Lastly, we continually praise her success. I make a point of telling her every morning how proud I am of her in her big girl bed. We also still marvel together at its vastness and how big she is to have such a gigantic bed. She still takes great pride in showing any new visitors her new bed. That doesn't mean that we don't have an occasional jail-break. I have checked on her at 10:30 at night, only to find her having a late night tea party under her covers. But, we move on and focus on the positive.


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