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Making the transition from crib to bed - helping your babies make the big leap

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I'm pretty sure this picture was taken yesterday:

Newborn triplets: Kev, Dec and Mac snuggle up together



But, it wasn't.  As it turns out, this picture was taken over three and a half years ago, when Kevin, Declan and Cormac first came home from the hospital.  They were four days old.  They shared a crib.  For months.  And, in what feels like the blink of the eye, they now sleep here:

"Big Boy Beds" aka crib mattresses on floor!
They made the big move last weekend and I have to say, it was a long time coming.  Not in the literal sense -- it's not like I spent months prepping them for the big move, reading books about the transition or frankly, designing the ideal sleep space or investing in the perfect bedroom set (as the picture will clearly attest!). When I say it was "a long time coming", I mean that our little fellas have been climbing out of their beds for a long time.  They have been asking for beds. They told us they were ready and finally, we listened.

Don't get me wrong.  They weren't unhappy in their cribs. Quite to the contrary, they loved them.  They had all their stuffed animal "friends" in there -- many of whom they played catch with from crib to crib.  They would climb out in the morning, enjoying the independence and freedom to get their own Cheerios but, much to our surprise (and delight!), they never climbed out at night.  When they were in, they were in for the night.  And we all had sweet dreams.

Then, on Saturday night, everything changed.  We set them free.  We broke down those cribs, made their "beds" with new sheets and pillows, said a prayer, and hoped for the best.  This is what happened:

If you watched the video, I hope it gave you the laugh out loud it gives me every time I look at it.  And if you didn't, you may want to.  It is pure joy.  Three little fellas, 3 1/2 years old, pushing the limits as little fellas are prone to do. They are free and they are happy.  There is no doubt they have outgrown their cribs and are ready for beds.  Just as there is no doubt that for the next week or so (or possibly more!), the bedtime "routine" will be anything but.  On Sunday night, they were so tired that they were all sweetly snoozing by 8:00.  Last night, I had to shut down a rather rowdy game that was a cross between Hopscotch and Three Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed at 9:00.  So, I suppose if I have a few tips to share on the overall transition from cribs to beds, they would be:
  1. Listen to your children, they will tell you when they are ready. (Note: this same nugget of wisdom will work for potty training as well!)
  2. Don't stress out about it.  If you do, they will.  And if you don't, well, did the fellas in the video look stressed out?
  3. Anticipate - and embrace - a change in your bedtime routine.  Just as you did that night long long ago when your wee one first came home from the hospital and looked oh so small in that great big crib.

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