Oh, the toddler bedtime routine–if you are successful in creating one (here’s ours) that works well for you and your family, life is good–actually, it’s amazing! So why would anyone want to change this? Well, there may be a variety of reasons. Some revolve around a change in furniture (crib to toddler bed), siblings and shared rooms, and moving.
So what to do?
Let’s look at a few different situations.
-Siblings going from one room to two or a move to a new home.
If you have been following our journey on Instagram, you may remember when E moved from sharing a room with her sister to her own room. This was a huge transition, so how did we do this transition in such a way that was best for them both? (Thankfully this was short-lived and they are once again back to sharing a room.)
To increase the success of E’s transition, we recreated the room that E had known her whole life. We also helped create excitement, while still honouring the emotions she may be feeling. The excitement that they would have their very own rooms and items, so fun! While we visited both rooms, played in them both, talk about the new changes (remembering that this was going to impact them both)–they did their first trial run at nap time and not betime (more on this in just a moment).
When we moved homes, we looked at pictures of the new room, visited when we could, and talked about where their items would go. We dreamed and planned together. Even so, we kept their room the same as possible. I wanted to add changes, as their new room was so much larger than their previous one, but with it being such a huge adjustment, we waited. We waited until they stopped referring to their now home as ‘the new house’ and it was just home.
When I say we didn’t change anything, we didn’t change anything, even the materials on their shelves. Things that we know we weren’t going to have up for some time, like some of their photos, I took them down in their old room, months in advance of the move so that they wouldn’t be upset.
E and V have used a floor bed, for naps, since they were a few months old. But it was still a transition going from a bassinet they shared, at night, to their own bassinets (stand) and then on to their floor beds. These transitions all began at nap time.
What’s so important about transitions at naptime versus bedtime? It’s a shorter period of time and the environment can be more serene with soft lighting versus waking in the dark in a new place. Also, as a parent, I’m in a better state of mind to assist my child in this transition. If challenges arise I’m better prepared versus at night when I, too, am trying to rest and maybe groggy.
Have you had any sleep transitions in your home lately, or are some planned?
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