Crib-Free By Month Fourteen — How We Did It

Parenthood, Twins / Wednesday, July 11th, 2018

We transitioned our twins out of a crib and onto a mattress by the time they were fourteen months old. In a previous post, I discussed why we made the decision to switch their bed sooner than most people do, but I also want to share how we ensured the transition was successful.

We talked to them about what we were going to do.

I believe that children understand much more than we think they do at an early age. Once we knew we wanted to transition P and C out of their crib, we began talking to them about it. We would say things like, “You’re only going to sleep in this bed for a few more nights, and then you’ll sleep on a big bed!”

I think it is so important to talk to children about changes that affect them. Kids need structure and order in their lives, especially when they are little. Describing upcoming changes can help them mentally prepare, and prevent the adjustment from being too abrupt.  

We removed anything they could get into.

Once P and C started walking, they rarely wanted to sit still anymore. Because of this, we assumed they wouldn’t settle down right away when we put them to bed, and we wanted to make sure the room was even more baby-proofed than it already was.

We still wanted access to the changing table, so we moved it into our room. We were able to move a small side table, ottoman, and toy bin to their closet (we were blessed to have a walk-in closet for them in our last house). I’ve included before and after pictures of their room. Yes, the after photo looks extremely boring, but it was what worked best.

We hid wires and lifted curtains.

When P and C slept in their crib, it didn’t matter if there were any cords accessible because they couldn’t get to them. Once we moved them onto the mattress, we knew we couldn’t have anything in the room that used a cord unless it was absolutely necessary.

We decided to remove the lamp, but keep the nightlight, monitor, and Dohm (white-noise machine). In the after photo, you can see how we connected all these cords as best as we could, and then pinned them behind the chair. Our girls are too small to climb onto the chair, so we knew this solution would work.

We also had to tie up the blackout curtains because they were floor-length. We used some clothespins to do this, so it didn’t look great. No one would see it but us, so we didn’t mind.

We hung out as a family with the new bed.

When my husband brought the mattress home, we unpacked it and let P and C play on it and explore it. We didn’t want to let them play too long, because they might’ve begun to equate the mattress with playtime.

Once the girls were comfortable with it, we took the mattress up to their room to complete their new setup. We hung out as a family in their room for a while so that they could adjust to their surroundings. That way, they wouldn’t be confused at bedtime when their room looked different than before.

We kept expectations low.

I’ll admit, we’ve always been very confident in our girls’ abilities. What parent isn’t?

Still, we agreed that we should mentally prepare for a rough night. Even though the girls had been sleeping through the night since just before they were 2 months old, we didn’t want to assume that everything would go smoothly.

We were ready for them to roll off the mattress, cry at the door, and wake up multiple times during the night due to confusion.

The first night couldn’t have gone more smoothly—P and C didn’t wake up once! Everyone slept through the night and no one fell off the bed.

Fast-forward to present day.

P and C are now seventeen months old, and they LOVE their bed! They enjoy having the freedom to play and run around the room, but they understand where to go once they are ready to sleep. They don’t cry at the door unless something is wrong or they are ready to get up in the morning, and they don’t resist naps or bedtime.

We are so happy with our decision to transition them out of their crib early! When they get big enough to climb onto a bed that is on a frame, we will add one. For now, they are perfectly content on the floor and we don’t feel the need to make any changes.

Hello! I am a work-at-home mom to twin girls and a canine. I’m learning what life looks like when you surrender to God. Passionate about parenthood, marriage, and all things coffee!