June 10, 2009

Transitioning to Toddler Beds

First a bit of housekeeping: I have family visiting from out of state this week. I am going to do my best to keep up with posting, but may not be as good at visiting my favorites. Please forgive me... I will resume visits by next week.
Perhaps the biggest challenge we've faced during the toddler years is the transition to toddler beds. This isn't just a "multiple" problem. I know parents with singletons who have been ready to pull their hair out during this phase. But put four little girls in the same room with no rails to keep them in bed and you might as well declare every night a slumber party.
At first, Hubby and I took turns staying in their room until every last girl was asleep. We had to do this or the "last girl standing" (usually Roo) would climb in the beds of her sleeping sisters and try to wake them up. I'm not making this up. On numerous occasions I found her in Tortilla's bed trying to shake her awake. This meant we were in their room until at least 9 p.m. most nights. We would take turns eating dinner. While I ate, Hubby would sit in their room and vice versa. It was no way to live.
This went on for at least a month. Finally I reached my breaking point. I would stay in their room for a half hour and then leave.... or so they thought. Really I would just sit outside their room and at the first sound go back in and startle whoever had climbed out of bed. Slowly, they started realizing bed time meant exactly that... time for bed.
I'm not sure what the turning point was. Exhaustion? (on both their part and ours). Somehow we managed to convince them to stay in bed. Now one of us stays in their room for about five minutes to make sure everyone settles down and then they're good for the night. Now if I can just figure out how to keep them from singing "wake up mommy" at 6:30 a.m. I'll feel like I have really mastered this whole sleeping thing.

13 comments:

LauraC said...

First rule of toddler sleep club: don't talk about toddler sleep club.

Every time I talk about how we finally have it down, we get thrown for a loop. This week, they have been reading books to each other for hours. At least they are in their own beds,but really, they have been up until 10 talking!

Stephanie B said...

My eldest was easy. Lay her down and she was out in minutes. My son was impossible. He puts himself to bed or it doesn't happen. He also won't sleep in beds. Ever. He makes a nest for himself on the floor, in his swing chair, in his closet, in the hammock. NEVER a bed.

And, we have learned, if we stay in there with him to make him lay down SOMEWHERE and go to bed, he can stay up indefinitely (i.e. 3-4 am).

Alex does NOTHING on command.

Quadmama said...

Laura, if I have jinxed myself by talking about their sleep habits I may never blog again!!!

Stephanie: ours usually crash by 10pm at the absolute latest. If we had one that stayed up indefinitely... ouch.

Mom-Mom Kristi said...

Sometimes I think that I have it rough with one almost 3 year old and one baby. I can't even imagine having Sam + 3 more!

MaryAnne said...

You are a supermom in my book, we are pleased to get our two in bed period, forget them sleeping in their own beds. My daughter sleeps in the guest bed (don't know why she finds her own bed unacceptable), and my son sleeps on a mattress on our floor most nights. NOBODY sleeps in the kids' room...

Quadmama said...

We have a gate at the door so their only option is to either sleep in their bed or sleep on the floor. So far they've decided the beds are more comfortable than the floor.

Stephanie Manner Wagner said...

I've been wondering how the whole toddler beds thing will go when we get there in a few years. My 3 singletons would mainly be sad because they were "all alone" in their rooms. I had hopes my twins would do better since "alone" would not be a factor. Sounds like it really isn't going to be easier just different. *snap*

Quadmama said...

It's definitely a challenge if they share the same room. But if you're willing to put up with the some of the slumber party antics it's not too bad....

jungletwins said...

Applause applause, and a big shiny medal for going through that for a month. Serious stamina there! I will use this post as inspiration when the time comes for my girls. Not looking forward to it, but determined to make it work :)

Quadmama said...

I was at my wit's end many a night, but it seems to have paid off. Now my daughters are reluctant to get out of bed at night for fear that I'm hiding right around the corner.

Henry said...
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Quadmama said...

Not sure I would consider those prices "reasonable" especially if you need to buy more than one.

jane said...
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