Sunday, December 20, 2015

Olivia's Big Girl Room - And Why We Broke All the Rules

It's been just over a week in her big girl room and she is doing GREAT!

We are still holding our breath, because apparently things can be wonderful for a few weeks, and then they realize they can get out of their bed. And then life sleep is over. But, for now, I'm proud of her.

We painted the room a light pink and started calling it the 'pink room.' We talked about how cool that room was, spent some time playing in there, jumped on the bed and let Olivia know that we loved the pink room. 

We have a book called "big bed for giraffe" about how he doesn't fit in his crib and gets a new big bed. When we would read that Olivia would tell us how she DOES fit in her crib, how she never wants a big bed, and how she was the baby. We were very worried this transition wouldn't go well for her.

We read books in the pink room, hung up her paintings in the pink room, and talked about how it was our favorite room in the house. 

I moved a picture of her from her nursery to the pink room and you would have thought I threw away all her lovies. She freaked. "Mine picture. Mine picture. Back mama." Clearly she wasn't ready for the change.

We didn't convert her crib to a toddler bed, do a little bed, etc. We started with a double bed with bed rails, high off the ground, so it would feel more like a crib. Broken rule #1 that really seemed to work.

Prettier, made-bed pictures to come once the room is finished. Just a needs some finishing touches!

We asked her if she wanted to sleep in the pink room just for fun one night. Broken rule #2. She said yes. We got all her lovies, books, water, etc. piled into the new bed and took a really long time with her bedtime routine. Broken rule #3. It took her awhile to fall asleep, but she eventually did. We slowly cut back on her bedtime routine over the next few days, as Olivia got more used to the room. She'd take awhile to fall asleep, and get up early, but after a few days, got back on schedule.

We didn't take her to pick out a new bed. We didn't make a huge deal about it. We didn't tell her it was her new room, like there was never going back. All her stuff stayed in the nursery. Broken rules #4-7.

For naps, we asked her where she would like to nap. She burst into tears, per usual, "no nite nite!!" We figured, if we were forcing her to sleep somewhere, it was not going to be the pink room. We didn't want any negative associations. So we put her down for nap the first few days in her crib. She slept fine. Broken rule #6.

After a few days she asked to nap in the pink room. No problem! No nap .. but we didn't make a big deal about it, and she stayed in her bed reading, playing with stuffed animals and looking out the window. 

We aren't telling her that she did a great job for staying in bed. Broken rule #7. If she hasn't thought of getting out - we sure aren't going to be the ones to give her that idea!

This weekend she took a good long nap for the first and second time in the pink room - so it just took some getting used to.

I just moved her paintings and her monogram to the pink room (after letting her know prior) and just told her its her room. She now calls it "mine pink room." I moved her clothes over as well - she sometimes forgets and tries to get pants out of the nursery, but seems to really like "her" pink room.

We've started calling the nursery the "grey room" - not alluding to anything about it not being Olivia's room, being baby sisters room, or baby sister staying there. Just the grey room, that also has some of Olivia's stuff - like the diapers. I don't want her to associate this move with the new baby. I'd rather her get very used to the new room and then have her agree to let baby sister have the grey room once she's here. 

We're not experts at this (lord knows potty training went swimmingly - we quit, by the way), but I thought I'd just share that reading all about how you make a huge deal about it, make sure the crib is gone for good (no turning back) and keeping your same bedtime routine - just wasn't the way to go for us. Not for our baby who really doesn't like change.

She needed a slow transition (one that we are not finished with), a little extra love and a bed that's much harder to climb out of. Do what works for your family, and we'll all pray you get some sleep again. 

And keep holding your breath that Olivia doesn't decide to start getting out of her bed for 2 am dance parties.


  1. Her room looks so great! Can't wait to see the rest of it. Our oldest was so excited for a big bed (with robots!!) but our younger guy was a mess when we changed him over - after a few months we put the crib mattress on the floor and he slept in the nursery on the mattress. It is all about knowing your kid (or realizing you made a mistake months later ;) ). I hope everything keeps going well! And potty training is over rated - it will come.

  2. I love her pink room. It's so cute, I'd wanna make that my new room. I should have never gotten Jack a toddler bed. It was a complete waste and I'd already gotten rid of the baby bed. Yay, for the new bed partner. Y'all did good!

  3. I enjoyed reading your advice. We've yet to move Olive to a big girl room, but I loved the idea of setting up her room and then letting her ease into it like you did with Olivia. Smart thinking!! I bet she'll be excited to give the gray room to baby sister when the time comes. Also, love her art work on the walls, her bedding and the pink, but not too pink walls. Great job :)