It’s been well documented by me over the last year or so how rubbish Little Mr is at sleeping. Last Christmas I made the mistake of thinking that Little Mr was ready to move from his cot to his toddler bed with the sides removed. It was awful. I misread the signs, we all suffered and no-one got any sleep.
The sides went back on.
After making the rookie Mama mistake, I imagined him sleeping in his cot until he was (at least) in nursery. He was happy in his little cot, all cosy and safe and the sides being off his bed meant the dynamics of his little haven had changed and suddenly he was able to roam free and nothing was restricting him to stay in bed.
We even tried moving him to the Worlds Apart Star Bright Toddler bed and although he slept in it a couple of times, he wasn’t settled and it just wasn’t for him (as much as he loved it).
During the Summer, we went on holiday to Weymouth and had hired a lovely caravan for the week. It has two bedrooms; one with two single beds in and one room with a double bed. We knew that taking our trusty travel cot wasn’t really an option because a) he’s so tall now he no longer fits in it and b) there was nowhere to put the travel cot in the caravan so we decided to pack the bed guard in the car to take with us.
On arrival at the caravan, we showed Little Mr his bedroom for the week, kitted it out with his bed friends Bing, Ewan the Dream Sheep and Little Ted and made it all cosy with his own pillow and duvet. We popped the bed guard on the side of the bed as we imagined the drop in between the two beds in the room would have been enough to startle any toddler into a screaming fit in the dead of night and didn’t make any more fuss about it.
When it came to bedtime, we carried out our usual routine of bath, book and bottle of milk and to our surprise, Little Mr slept like an angel. Out of the seven nights in the caravan, he only woke up through the night twice. We were delighted.
As soon as we got home, we knew we needed to carry on what we had started so converted his cot into the toddler bed and popped the bed guard on the side. He loved it.
He’s been sleeping in his toddler bed without the sides on for a couple of months now and although we still have some nights where we have a little visitor to our bedroom, on the whole he will happily sleep in his own bed for the whole night. I cannot tell you how happy this makes me!
My advice for anyone thinking about taking the sides off a cot is don’t do it! In all seriousness, only take the sides off the cot if it’s a safety issue and your little ones are climbing out of their cot and could cause themselves an injury. Little Mr was happy and settled in his cot until we went on holiday and the change of scene made it easy for us to take the sides off.
Sometimes as parents we do things that we think are right based on what we think are the signs our children give us. I hold my hands up and say I was wrong. I’m in no rush to make the next milestone with Little Mr, he can continue using his bottles each morning and evening and the potty training is on the slow burn. As long as Little Mr is happy, I’m happy.