Finn: Transition From Crib to Big Boy Bed

So we moved Finn from his crib to a twin bed over winter break.  I know – he’s four and a half!  What was the delay, right?  Well, there were various reasons we put it off, among them: he’s small (30ish pounds at this point), so it’s not like he had outgrown the crib; things have been sort of in flux since Scarlett was born, as we weren’t sure where she was going to end up sleeping (we thought it might be with Finn in his room, but that hasn’t come to pass); and, not the least, to contain him.  I had a sneaking suspicion that as soon as we moved him to a regular bed, he’d be up wandering the house at all hours.  Winter break seemed like a good time to make the change – I really expected him to have difficulty giving up the familiar surroundings of his crib, and if we were going to be dealing with bedtime tantrums, I wanted it to at least be when we didn’t all have to get up at the crack of dawn for school.

So a few days after Christmas, Michael dismantled the crib.


It was bittersweet; I got this crib brand spankin’ new when I was pregnant with Kevin over 16 years ago, and all of my babies except Scarlett slept in it.  (Kevin also feels a very sentimental attachment to it and has made us promise to save it for his kids.)

And he put together Finn’s new twin bed.



I was pleasantly surprised when, on the first night, Finn made no protest about getting into his new bed.  “Wow, this is going to be easy!” I thought.

Not so easy, as it turns out.  While he still has not made a peep of protest almost two weeks later, that whole concern about keeping him contained has become reality.  The kid won’t stay in his bed.  He gets up at all hours and bangs around in his room.  If he can still hear us up and about, he’ll just repeatedly come out of his room – I finally put one of those childproof doorknob covers on the inside of his door just to prevent him from exiting his room, and I also make a point of unscrewing the lightbulb from his lamp because he likes to get up and turn the light on and off.  It’s gotten to the point where he won’t go to sleep until Michael or I lay down on his bed with him until he falls asleep – and I really don’t want that to become the routine.

Last night we heard a thud from our room and Michael went into Finn’s room and found him on the floor, his nose and mouth bloody.  By the time I extricated Scarlett from me and went in to Finn’s room, he was doing that hiccuping-sobbing thing.  As it turns out, he didn’t fall out of his bed, he did a face plant on the hardwood floor from the rocking chair in his room.  Because he had gotten out of bed.  Again.

I went to Babies R Us today and bought one of those safety rails for his bed.  I’m hoping that, although it won’t prevent him from getting out of bed if he really wants to, that it will mimic his crib in some way and at least discourage him from getting out of bed.

We shall see.



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11 Comments on “Finn: Transition From Crib to Big Boy Bed”

  1. Heidi Kestrel
    January 9, 2013 at 11:25 pm #

    Hi. My 4 year old has a hard time staying in his bed sometimes too. Our solution was to build him his very own bed. He got to “help” build it. It has rails on both sides. Still, sometimes he gets out of bed and plays or tears apart his room or ransacks the kitchen or . . .


  2. Sue
    January 10, 2013 at 12:02 am #

    Having the same problem with my 2.5yo. And, how the heck is your house so neat???

    • Lisa
      January 10, 2013 at 12:13 am #

      I’m kind of anal retentive 😉

  3. Jaida
    January 10, 2013 at 12:40 am #

    Oh, this story sounds familiar. We also did the knob cover on the inside of the door. That lasted until about a year ago when he conquered it; at that point we started putting a gate up in his doorway so he can’t leave his room. I don’t know what we’ll do when he decides to climb over that.

    We have to turn the light off at the ceiling fan as well, or P just hops out of bed to turn the light on. I basically cleared his room of hazards as best I could, left some quiet toys and books in there and I just leave him to it. I will say that when he stopped napping around age 4, he started falling asleep faster at night so a lot of the bedtime hijinks stopped. Does Finn still nap?

    It is actually something that really frustrates me. I believe P understands what I expect him to do/not do at bedtime but I haven’t been able to enforce it in a way that makes him compliant. None of it is exactly punishable behavior, and it is tricky to find what motivates him to repeat desirable behaviors.

    Mostly I care that he doesn’t have the opportunity to go in and wake up my she-beast before she’s had her beauty sleep in full 😉

    • Lisa
      January 10, 2013 at 1:07 am #

      Jaida, Finn stopped napping when he was 3! I actually just stopped putting him down for naps then because he’d wake up from them so cranky, and then he didn’t want to go down at night.

  4. bateminx
    January 10, 2013 at 12:41 am #

    We did the doorknob cover thing with Sammi too, for safety, since her room’s at the top of a set of wood stairs. She was cool about it and we kept a baby monitor on so we could hear when she woke. Lucily she’d wake at a normal time and just read until we came to get her. Good luck! That’s a big step!

  5. lclilienthal
    January 10, 2013 at 12:57 am #

    Can you read him to sleep? That worked with Cooper til we got over the getting out of the bed hump.

    • Lisa
      January 10, 2013 at 1:08 am #

      He doesn’t typically sit still for stories 😦

  6. Sue
    January 10, 2013 at 1:27 pm #

    We’re going to re-sleep train this weekend. As my two share a room, that means that older one has to ‘camp out’ in our office so that he’s not awaken by the ruckus.

  7. Meriah
    January 10, 2013 at 7:07 pm #

    We’ve got the same problem. Sort of. Moxie never did sleep in the crib – she was with us then I just put her on a mattress on the floor, with Micah in the bunk above her. I nursed her down, everything was fine.
    When I weaned her though, we found someone had to stay there till she fell asleep, else she’d be bouncing off the walls. First it was me, then after months of it, I said no more (it was HARD getting up from the floor being super pregnant). Mikey’s been doing it, but then he falls asleep. So basically ever night for the past 3-4 months, Mikey’s slept on the floor in their room… (I’m not messing with that though – he can find a solution himself, I have my hands full already with this breastfeeding/sleeping/ppd thing).
    She’s two and a half and can’t open the door. If she could though, she’d be all over the place, no doubt about it. As it is, we removed everything fun from their room and it’s just for sleeping so she can’t hurt herself or wreck havoc.

  8. Carolina
    January 12, 2013 at 12:18 am #

    That is a “small” change I am NOT looking forward to! My son LOVES his crib, he falls asleep on his own soon after I put him there. He’s 3 yo and as far as I’m concern I plan to leave him there until he no longer fits.. or until he climbs right out of it, which he hasn’t try yet.

    I can relate to you about the “He doesn’t typically sit still for stories” Manolo doesn’t either… I read to him every night and while I read he’s either playing with the books or jumping on the bed or throwing the books… or trying to take away the book I’m reading.. to throw it! is crazy! But I figure ONE SWEET DAY he will stay still and pay attention! I’m not giving up… just yet! LOL!

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