Some Boy is house trained! Hmmm. That makes him sound like a dog, doesn't it? We've finally got this kid mostly out of diapers. I've never wanted to be one of those moms who goes on and on about their kids' bathroom habits (ewww), but I wanted to share a few tips around the topic of toddler beds since it took us awhile to get it right.
For us, there was a steep learning curve involved in getting our son EXCITED about bedtime and actively participating in making it through the night without a sheet change or two.
Toddler Bed Components for an Easier Night
Kids this age are really sensitive to their environment. Getting them involved in setting the stage and buying new stuff for their toddler bed can go a long way. The first really helpful thing we did was buy nice, soft new sheets and make a big fuss over them so he'd feel really proud of the opportunity to make this transition. I've been working with Wayfair for awhile now and I've gotten totally sucked into their daily sales emails that offer steeply-discounted prices on curated items for 72 hours. I'm signed up for a lot of company's “flash sales,” but this is my favorite because Wayfair sells stuff I actually need for my house at competitive prices (I'm currently debating between this hammock and this folding chaise lounge I spied on sale a couple weeks back). The special deals are limited but unlike other company's daily sales, if you need more time to decide or want to return for matching items at a later date, most of the featured products are available year-round through the site and still at a very fair price.
We snagged two sets of 1000-count sheets for about $100 total. I learned the hard way that for a toddler bed, it's important to invest in high-quality solid sheets since they inevitably wind up getting washed so frequently!
Underneath our heavy sheet set, we have an extra-absorbent mattress pad from Super Undies (it can go above the sheets if you have a calm sleeper who will keep it in place, but our little dude thrashes in his sleep like a Tasmanian Devil). The company sent us some of their potty training supplies to try out and we found the mattress pad to be really handy along with their nighttime undies, which offer a buffer if he has an accident at night. Unlike diapers, they allow him to feel the moisture and give me a heads-up before leaking through to the bed.
But in case of leaks, we simply yank away the top sheet set and mattress pad to reveal our back-up set. Yes, we have yet another layer of sheets and mattress pads waiting in the wings just in case. I have him go potty right before bed and wake him up to go in the middle of the night when I head to sleep so we rarely have accidents, but I've found that the key to smooth parenting is preparation. I've had a few people ask why we opt for mattress pads – which don't cover the entire mattress – as opposed to mattress covers. Honestly, we've never found a full-sized mattress cover that doesn't leak, whereas our Super Undies pads absorb anything that comes their way, they're plenty big enough for a toddler and they're easier to yank off when the boy and I are bleary-eyed at 3am.
Finally, we have a trundle setup below with – you guessed it – two extra sheet sets and two extra pads. Just in case all hell breaks loose. Or we have a guest stay over in need of a toddler bed. I've been adamant about keeping the kids out of my bedroom at night (mama needs her rest, people) and these toddler bed tricks have helped all of us get a good night's sleep again and again. And for those wondering why we have a “big bed” instead of a conventional “toddler bed”…his crib does transition to a small, open sleeping space but he rapidly outgrew that. We felt that getting Twin XLs would be a better investment than another intermediate size, and these will hopefully last us a long time with proper care.
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How did you ease the transition to a toddler bed?