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Not Ready For a Bed

Little Girl has been tented since she launched herself out of the crib and broke her collar bone. Horrible, terrible experience, and one that makes me shudder to this day. A few months ago, she made a teeny, tiny hole in the mesh. Over time, the hole got larger, but it was never a danger to her. This weekend, however, she made a huge hole. Big enough for a head. I had to pull the tent out of the crib in fear of her strangling herself or getting hung up in the hole. Little Girl lost her mind crying. She didn’t want to sleep in her crib without the tent. Already late to bowling, I left her with Big Girl and my mother-in-law, who was babysitting for us.

When we got home I asked my mother-in-law how long she cried, figuring that it had probably gone on for some time. “Not long at all,” she said. “I told her we were getting her a bed tomorrow.” Oh, crap I thought, even when she offered, right then and there, to pay for the promised bed. Her explanation was simple. She felt bad for Little Girl being “caged up like an animal,” and wanted us to make sure she would never have to be cooped up like that again. (She also said that Little Girl acts crazy and like an animal because we keep her caged. I completely disagree, of course. That kid was nutty in my belly.)

I had plenty of arguments against the bed, which I offered up. She’s not even three, I said. She’ll never stay in a bed. She’s too crazy. But my mother-in-law was adamant. So was Little Girl when she woke up on Sunday. “We going to get my bed NOW?!?” was the first thing out of her mouth when I went in to take her out. That child’s euphoric excitement was why, later that day, we went to price beds even as I mentally raged against the idea.

I won’t bore you with the details of our shopping trip other than to say we are now the proud owners of an antique white toddler bed. Little Girl is ecstatic. I am miserable. I am, quite truthfully, not ready to give up my baby. I want to keep her little for just a little while longer. I am also really scared that she’ll give up her naps, which are precious to me, a working mom. The majority of her friends stopped napping the moment they got a bed. My kid still sleeps for two-plus hours every day, and those days she doesn’t nap she still gets downtime since she’s trapped in a crib.

Last night — her first night in the bed — she was up until way past midnight. She got out of the bed and came downstairs into the den around 11 p.m., proclaiming it was time for Sesame Street. We were not amused, especially since it meant she navigated a flight of stairs in feetie pajamas and in the dark. And that’s what this time feels like to me: that I am walking, for the first time, alone down a darkened corridor. I’m a little scared and a little excited. But unlike Little Girl, I’d gladly run back to my crib.

7 Responses to “Not Ready For a Bed”

  1. Michelle says:

    I feel your pain – My baby is now 9! on the positive, the one great thing about my DD moving into a bed (actually it was a mattress on the floor at first) was that I have great memories of us laying together on her bed, after the bedtime story – singing a few songs and chatting before the goodnight kiss – can’t do that in a crib. Hope you keep the day time naps.

  2. Darcy says:

    Just wanted to share that you are not alone with your little girl who launched herself out of crib. At age 2, I catapulted out of mine and broke my leg. Not good follow-up tho: I went on in my life to then break my collar bone, twice. And I also broke my front teeth a couple times. My brother and sister had no injuries, my mom said I just had a tendency for danger. But now i’m 32 and intact and thriving 🙂

  3. Rachel P. says:

    I just stumbled onto your blog and thought I would tell you I think you did the right thing getting your daughter a toddler bed. My second son (who sounds much like your daughter in temperament) did not sleep regularly through the night until he was two. At eighteen months we were desperate to get him to stay asleep and I converted his crib to the toddler bed set up. It actually helped. We went from screaming and crying for hours only to have him up at midnight to having him wake up only a few times a week and come straight to us without so much as a whimper. I know it’s hard to have your children grow up, especially when it is in a manner that does not match our expectations, but give the new bed some time. You may find it is what she needs.

  4. My kids have all kept their naps after moving into beds. A couple days of resistance as a general rule, but then they’re back to the routine. They’ve all gotten beds at age 2.

    However, they’ve all given up naps shortly after turning 3. Since I work at home, I know exactly how painful it is to give up those naps. More necessary to me than to them at that point.

    My youngest is 2 and just inherited her older sister’s old twin bed, up from the toddler bed. She’s ecstatic and naps pretty well in it. Now if I could just figure out what makes her want to stay up literally half the night one night every few months, we’d be good.

  5. Oh, it is so hard to navigate those milestones! I know many a kid who have landed head over heels in their attempts to thwart the crib. I know the idea of her navigating the stairs in the dark may be frightening, but she sounds adorable to come down knowing (in her mind!) it was time for Sesame Street.

  6. Rachel says:

    Where did you find an antique white toddler bed? I’ve been looking for one for months.

  7. That was the problem we were having with little sister, Maurene. We cut out the afternoon naps and now she goes straight to sleep. It is rough on me in the afternoons because I also work but it is better for her. This is an old post so I am sure you figured something out.

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