Confessing Our Girls’ Sleeping Arrangements

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Categories Parenting

I didn’t plan it this way.  And I’m not particularly proud of where we are.  But at this point, “it is what it is,” as they say, and I’m hoping we’re none the worse for wear in the long run.

At just over 4 ½ years old, our girls are still in their cribs.  I’m not talking about toddler beds with the side rail, either.  Cribs.

I can explain.

I know a lot of moms transition their children to toddler beds when their kiddos start climbing over the sides of the crib.  To date, our girls have never tried to escape their beds, so I didn’t have that as an impetus to make a change.

Knowing our girls couldn’t stay in their cribs forever, I had said I would transition them to toddler beds when they stopped napping.  My thinking was that the girls would stay in their beds at nighttime, but I was worried that the lure of playing when they were supposed to be napping – having access to their bookshelf – would be too much.  Much to my great surprise, the girls napped until just a couple of weeks ago!

So…that’s how I wound up with my 4 ½-year olds still in the same beds they’ve had since infancy.

We’re moving to a new house in a few weeks, so we’ve decided to make the transition then.  I’m hopeful it won’t be too bad…but I’ll admit I’m really, really nervous.

Like many things I’ve dreaded (potty training, taking down the baby gates, dispensing with highchairs, just to name a few), I know the anticipation and worst case scenarios that play in my head can be the worst of the entire experience.

I’m trying not to drive myself crazy, and I’m certainly trying not to project any nervousness onto the girls.  They’ve always been great sleepers, and I should expect that will continue, right???  (Please tell me I’m right!!!)

We took the girls to the furniture store to pick out their new beds.  They seem very excited, so I hope that will be a big part of keeping them where they’re supposed to be.

Between that and our “OK to Wake” clock [a life-changing product that deserves its own post], I hope that the girls will go to bed after our nighttime routine, and get up when their clock turns green, as they’ve done for the past two years.

So…while my lower back is really looking forward to not lifting 35 pounds of baby in and out of their cribs twice a day, I can’t stop thinking about some awful scenarios, like a midnight raid on the art supplies, resulting in mural painting on the bedroom walls.

Am I overthinking this?  Does anyone else have experience moving older kids to big-kid beds?  Any tips and tricks for making this a smooth transition?

MandyE is mom to 4 ½-year old fraternal twin girls, Baby A and Baby B.  She overthinks virtually every parenting decision, and she blogs about it (and various other adventures) at Twin Trials and Triumphs.

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MandyE is the mother of 4 ½-year old fraternal twin girls, Baby A and Baby B. (And yes, their names actually start with the letters A and B!) She worked in the marketing field for nine years before her girls were born, but these days she’s relishing the opportunity to be a SAHM, which she plans to continue until the girls start kindergarten. MandyE has been blogging at Twin Trials and Triumphs since her girls were a year old. Between her blog and her local Mothers of Multiples group, she considers the multiples community a huge part of her support system.

11 thoughts on “Confessing Our Girls’ Sleeping Arrangements”

  1. No judgment here! What works for you, works for you. I’ve been sleeping in the kids’ beds more often than not since I got divorced; they keep asking me to, and I don’t feel like it’s damaging them… but three in a twin bed 5 feet off the ground is objectively ridiculous!

    Two pieces of advice:
    1. Take the girls shopping so they can pick out their own bedding. This helps give them a sense of ownership of their big girl bed.
    2. Put temptations out of view, if not altogether out of reach. When mine moved to toddler beds, the big issue was that they’d be up in the middle of the night trying on all their shoes!!! I moved their shoes first into a child-locked drawer, and finally out into the hallway.

    1. We don’t have any toys in the girls’ room, so I hope that helps. I’ve always read, of adult spaces, that the bedroom should be for sleeping. I’m hoping to maintain that for the girls, too.

      I could definitely see the girls trying on clothes from their closet, though! 😉

  2. We all do what we have to do to get some sleep! :o) I hear you on anticipation being the worst part. Good luck and let us know how it goes!

  3. I just took down the crib rail for Toddler as well, at 3 yrs almost 3 months. Like you, I was tired of lifting her in and out. It got to the point where I was encouraging her to climb in on her own! And I’ve known for months that she was ready. So I talked about changing it over for a couple weeks. She was excited about it right away, the wait was for me. And then the day I finally did it I had her “help” me. She loved it and went in to pretend sleep right away. The first couple mornings she would come running out a half hour earlier than we’d usually go get her, but we talked about it and I got her the clock too. So now it’s all good. She never gets out of bed when’s she’s supposed to be sleeping. I think after all that time in the crib she doesn’t know she can!

    Your girls will be just fine :)
    Congrats on your new house!

  4. I am operating the same way with my boy/girl twins who are 2 1/2 years old. My girl doesn’t sleep well so I can see her roaming the house in the middle of the night, no thank you. I will be keeping mine in cribs as long as possible.

  5. My twins are 3 years 3 months and I have NO intention of moving them out of their cribs any time soon. I’ll be perfectly happy if they stay in cribs until they literally don’t fit in them any more! If it were just one of them it would be fine, but the two of them together will be disaster, I just know it! They would be playing and leaving the room all the time. Right now they play/chat together, but at least they are each “locked” in their own beds and not getting into trouble even if they aren’t sleeping. Recently though, I had the great epiphany that I didn’t need to transfer them to beds at the same time. One is closer to being ready, but the other I know needs more time before he can handle the responsibility. Same goes for potty training. One is ready. The other isn’t just yet. Just because they are twins doesn’t mean I need to hold them to the same developmental time table.

    1. I agree with your epiphany in concept, but I don’t see my almost-two-year-olds standing for one kid sleeping in the bed while the other one sleeps in a crib. They’re all about equality at this age. (If one commits a misdeed and goes into time-out, the other one almost always commits the same misdeed so that s/he can go to time out, too.)

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