Baby doesn't sleep through the night. Never has, and at the rate she's going, probably never will. I've resigned myself to this fact and adjusted accordingly.
I recently went on a play date over a friend's house. She has a daughter who is three months older than Baby. We played in the daughter's room and I couldn't help but notice that her crib had been converted into the toddler bed. I was amazed and grilled my friend on all the details.
Here's a synopsis of our game of twenty questions (give or take a few questions):
Q: When did this happen?
About three months ago.
S (her daughter) had been having a hard time sleeping through the night. She would go to bed, then wake up screaming and need to be calmed back to sleep. This was something new. Normally S would be perfectly fine through the night and had always been a great sleeper.
Q: How long had she been waking up at night?
About three months and Mommy was a walking nightmare. Something needed to be done.
Q: What made you decide to change into a toddler bed?
Another friend had been in a similar situation and found that changing the crib into a toddler bed solved the problem.
Q: Doesn't S get up from the bed in the middle of the night?
We have a video monitor, so we can see what she is doing. She has only gotten up a couple of times in the beginning. Then Mommy came in and gave her the evil eye and told her to stay in bed. Since then, we haven't had any problems.
Q: Wow, I would be afraid of Baby just getting up and running around.
We were afraid of that too, but it didn't happen. We let S pick out a few of her stuffed animals to take to bed with her, and after that she is happy to stay there.
Q: So did the toddler bed solve the problem of night wakings?
Yes, you should try it!
Well, I went home and told Husband about it. He wasn't too interested. Then I was talking with another friend at work who also has a February baby a year older than my Baby (she claims February babies are all the same and I'm starting to believe her. Her son has similar sleeping habits to Baby). My friend had actually done the toddler bed trick when her son was about the same age as Baby and highly recommended it.
Now I was starting to take things more seriously.
I went home and began to fiddle with Baby's crib. It really didn't seem too hard to convert. If I just unscrewed here and here.... before I knew it an entire side of Baby's crib had been disconnected. I probably couldn't reconnect it if my life depended on it, so I made an executive decision to just replace it with the toddler rail (I had to call in the help of family members to do this part), and voila I had a toddler bed.
Baby loved it. She figured out how to crawl in and out of it and squealed with delight. I, on the other hand, felt guilty because I had instituted a major life change on my child without consulting Husband (we really try to work as a team with Baby). After sulking for a little bit, he got over it.
Surprisingly, Baby does not get up and run around when she awakens from her toddler bed. Instead she will just sit there and cry. Or scream. I think there was only one night when she kept getting up from the bed after we had laid her down, and then we just kept bringing her back and telling her to go night night. I think she got the idea because she doesn't get out of the bed.
Does the new toddler bed solve the problem of her night wakings? Not in the least.