I Stay In My Big Boy Bed!!
Is the cheery little announcement I hear each morning when I open the door to Jonathan’s room. There he sits, looking very tiny in the midst of his “big boy bed”, waiting patiently for Mommy or Daddy to get him up.
Even though we welcomed a new baby in July, we felt it was a bit early to move Jonathan out of his crib and into a big boy bed. Besides his age, there were so many other essential changes due to the arrival of a baby brother and already it was a rather rough time for Jonathan, who was still very much a baby himself!
Some kind friends of ours graciously loaned their lovely crib for us to use upstairs, since Nicolas would need the nursery crib. Thank you, Omases!! For 12 months now Jonathan has slept happily in their crib. We set up a twin bed in his new room, in addition to the crib. Several visitors have been able to use it when they stayed over at the house, but for the most part it has been decorative in nature, as well as a comfy place to pile on together for book reading times.
Not anymore! A couple of weeks ago Jonathan made a comment about how he’d like to go sleep in the bed in his room. Jay and I said something about “soon” and we left it at that thinking it might be a passing wish. But when Jonathan persisted we relented and last week I put him in bed for his nap in the big boy bed. Which he promptly climbed out of within about 5 minutes. We had a “talk” and I put him back in his crib. Next day he again requested the bed. We talked again about how we cannot jump out of our bed whenever we wish*** and that we must wait till Mommy comes to get us out, etc.
And, to our surprise and delight, he stayed! And has done beautifully for over a week now. When he wakes up, he reads his books or plays with his animals until we open the door. How nice to have a smooth transition to a new stage of life!
I have learned something from this little experience: instead of us choosing when something new would happen, Jonathan clearly indicated a desire to make the change himself, and though it wasn’t his first inclination to actually stay put in the bed, he seemed to have the desire to follow through with our parameters (ie, having to stay in the bed to keep the privilege) in order to remain in the big boy bed. And he is quite proud of his accomplishment.
***Some of you may wonder at our insistence that Jonathan stay put in his bed till we give him the “all clear” to get up. It has been our experience that children don’t always know when it is time to get up and if we tell them they may get up and play whenever they wake, their day may well start around 5am or other such ridiculously early hour. In addition, it is helpful to know that in general, we need not fear the preschoolers are wandering the halls, potentially getting themselves into some sort of trouble or accident. This is perhaps of greater importance now that we have stairs since they could get hurt if trying to navigate them in the dark. But even before we lived in a two-story home, we asked Abigail to remain in her bed till we got her up. She still does this, but since she is a lot bigger, she knows to get up and use the bathroom, for instance, if she needs and then head back to bed to either rest or read for a few minutes more.