Goodbye baby crib.
Oliver was very involved in the whole process, he “helped” us with his toy tools while we converted his crib. Like many toddler beds out there, the toddler bed version of his crib didn’t have a front rail but we figured he would probably be fine. If some toddler beds look like mini twin beds, one side missing should be no big deal right? I put a pillow on the floor just in case and a pool noodle (friend and mommy blogger recommended) tucked under the sheets to keep him in while he adjusted and we figured it would be fine.
Pardon the real world photo with bad lighting... it's the only one we have.
The first night was long because Oliver didn’t know what to do with all this newfound freedom, but it went surprisingly well overall. Over the next several days he figured out what the limits are and became more comfortable. Every night he got better and better… until he fell out!
Oliver has always been a violent sleeper (lots of rolling, twisting, kicking, flopping), and he rolled right over the pool noodle. So I added stuffed animals under the sheets to create a larger mound to hold him in and more pillows on the floor. But then hours later he rolled right over the mound. Then I dug out my maternity body pillow, figuring that would definitely keep him in… and he somehow rolled over that too - rolling so far out he missed the pillows and went right onto the floor. It was a long night.
The next morning we went to Babies R Us. Every kid is different, and our kid needs a bed with rails. Lots of rails. We chose this daybed style toddler bed because it had a similar feel to the crib and it was on sale.
Honestly I had a hard time taking apart the crib and sending it down to the basement for storage. Oliver was in the room helping and the fear of traumatizing him was the only thing that kept the waterworks away! The toddler bed felt like definitive proof that my baby wasn’t a baby anymore. The converted crib wasn’t as upsetting because it was still the crib, it was just the crib missing the front side. Putting the toddler bed together felt like a rite of passage. My baby is really truly a preschooler now.
Oliver LOVES his new bed. He asked me to put the crib bumper back on (specifically apple side out), I think he likes it because it’s comforting (it reminds him of the crib) and comfortable (he’s a violent sleeper and it cushions the bangs against the hard wood). I think it makes the bed look extra cozy.
The only downside to the much lower bed is now all the artwork is WAY too high on the walls. I’m hesitant to rehang any of it because I don’t want him knocking glass frames off the wall, but it does look a little odd. I’m thinking of maybe getting a couple of those removable wall clips so he can hang up his own artwork, though I wonder if he would just rip those off the wall the first chance he got.
Living in this room for 2.5 years now, from a newborn to a preschooler, what is still working well in such a tiny room? The built-in bookshelves have been a lifesaver. It’s so nice that we can store baskets of toys and rows of books within his reach. Oliver also loves to lounge in the pile of pillows between his bed and the shelving in his little “reading nook.” He flops down and "gets cozy." We still read stories at night in the compact rocking chair and the storage ottoman that I used to put my feet up on now works as a side table and storage container. The dresser with a changing pad on top still works for us, he’s very good about staying still on it - I know some kids rebel and fight their changing tables, but apparently Oliver only rolls out of bed.
At this point, only a few things have really had to move on. The cute striped crib skirt doesn't work with the toddler bed (though we're still using the coordinating bumper and comforter). The woodland rug is gone too - it was a tripping hazard more than once (for me and Oliver), the vacuum kept trying to suck it up, and then it was ruined during a bout of stomach flu. Oliver ripped down the changing table bird mobile long ago, but now I’m wondering if we should keep the larger bird branch one over the rocking chair or not. It’s cute but it’s hard to dust and keep clean. A few things are also a little worse for wear - a couple of walls have marker on them, there’s a chunk of plaster missing behind the door, the rocking chair rubbed a mark onto the fancy wallpaper. But so far most of the breakable decorations have just moved higher and higher on the bookshelf as Oliver grows.
Now that the toddler bed is in here, I know more big changes are coming. It's a whole new world now and this room needs to grow with him.