Yesterday marked yet another important milestone for Kah Yen. At two and a half year old, she has transited from her baby cot to a junior bed.
The time is just right. I am 5 months pregnant now. We need the baby cot for the second baby eventually. But we can't move her just before the baby arrives, she will feel rejected or being displaced. In fact when we prepare her for the transition, we are very careful not to use the "We need the cot for your baby sibling" excuse but always say she is moving to a junior bed because she is a big girl now.
We felt she is also developmentally ready. She has always been falling asleep on her own in her baby cot. She never co-slept with us. The first one and a half year she shares a room with us but she sleeps on her own at 830pm. When we moved to our new house at the beginning of the year, she sleeps alone in her own room without a fuss. In fact she is very proud she has her own room. Just one week back we were in Bali for a whole week holiday,we stayed in a villa with two bedrooms, and she sleeps on a single bed in one of the rooms. She never got up and wandered around at night.
Another reason is always because she is starting to wake up at night to ask to go potty. We are not doing any nighttime potty training with her, she is still on diaper at night. But she seems to be able to hold her urine for hours at night and wake herself up when her bladder is full. It is becoming increasingly challenging for me at 5-month pregnant to carry her up and down the cot at night to bring her to potty. With a junior bed, we don't expect her to wake up and go to potty herself of course (when all the lights are off), but at least I don't need to carry her up and down.
So with all these in mind, we planned to purchase her junior bed last weekend. We try to make this whole transition a fanfare. Days before our shopping day, we have been telling her we are going to buy her a junior bed because she is now a big girl, and make it sound as excited as possible, and we can see her face light up. Then on the actual day, the first thing I did when I woke her in the morning is to remind her we are going IKEA today to buy her new bed. She is all like "Yeah! Let's go!".
While in IKEA, we let her try all the junior beds. Of course we have already in mind what model to buy, and we are not going to ask stupid questions like "Do you like this one or that one?" We will be the one making the final choice and purchase, we just want to get her all excited through the whole experience. At home, when Daddy is assembling her new bed, we also allow her to sit near by as a "little helper" with close supervision. She gets to pass some screws and nuts to Daddy.
When the new bed is finally ready, we make sure she is around to witness the moment of shifting the cot out and the new bed into her room. (We haven't bought the new sheet and blanket yet, otherwise we will let her help to make her new bedding too.) She is then invited to try her new bed. She happily jumped onto her new bed. We also asked her to select the soft toys she would like to sleep with her on her new bed, and she picked up them, lined them on bed and we had a "grand" photo taking ceremony.
The pictures speak more than a thousand words.
OF course we know fully well the transition is not just as simple as that. Now that she is in a bed, the new problem will be how to keep her in bed and out of trouble. Yesterday was the first night, we kept the same bedtime routine and settled her to bed. She came out once before falling asleep to go potty. After that, she was back to bed and soon asleep. She didn't wake up the whole night.
We will monitor for the next few days how it goes. If she refuses to stay in bed and starts wander around, we will have to establish some new rules with her. Though I really miss the convenience a confining baby cot brings when it comes to sleep, I look forward to going through this new phrase with her and seeing her grow to be a more independent and self-disciplined big girl.