When we were looking at purchasing a crib for our fantastically wonderful son, Chaim Yosef, there were a number of options that presented themselves to us. The one we decided to choose was that of a crib that could be changed in a few steps to a toddler bed and then eventually a normal bed in which he will sleep for most of his childhood until he eventually outgrows it. The corresponding mattress has two sides — one for the infant period and the other for the toddler and young child period. The infant side is firm whereas the other side is softer. A firm side is needed for infants to prevent sudden infant death syndrome, which is often caused by suffocating on a too soft surface.
The transition to the toddler bed has been an interesting one. It started a few weeks ago when we entirely removed one of the walls from his crib and installed a conversion bedrail so that our little dude wouldn’t roll off the bed in the middle of the night.
The middle of the night was one thing that concerned us. In the nineteen months since Chaim Yosef was born, he has gone through a few phases as far as sleep goes starting with waking up a few times every night to nurse and leading to now, when he will occasionally get up at night for a number of reasons — most of them have been resolved by me rocking him while singing and playing a lullaby on his baby monitor.
The way that he had gotten our attention both at those times and when he is ready to get up for the day (in the time before we purchased blackout blinds, he did this repeatedly between six and nine in the morning, not realizing that he had not slept enough as the brightness of the summer sun confused him) was to stand at the edge of his crib and to cry out to us.
When we transitioned his crib to a toddler bed, we showed him that he was now free to climb out of bed if he wanted to do so. That night, we expected him to get out of bed. Instead, he stood in his same spot and hollered at us until I rocked him back to sleep. It took a full two weeks but one morning I got a text message from Elizabeth saying that he had worked up the courage to climb out of bed.
The following morning, which was a Saturday, I was woken up at a little after nine in the morning by Chaim who was not just happy to be awake but happy to be able to get my attention by climbing out of bed and giving me a friendly tap until I woke.
We look forward to the future steps of transforming Chaim’s bed until finally he will be ready for a so called big boy bed — and maybe by then he may even have his own room.