Tonight (Thurs night) we made the conversion from cribs to toddler beds. Not sure if it was the right decision. But there’s no turning back now! A few weeks ago, we woke to find this video below. Raw footage of twin monkeys escaping their cribs! Check out the room – this room was spotless when the twins were put to bed the night before. Notice the lamp disheveled, books everywhere – just a major hazard! And look who’s peaking out from under his crib! It was very cute but kind of scary at 20 months of age. So I asked them to show me how they climbed out and was shocked to watch them demonstrate their escape route. I immediately asked for everyone’s advice on toddler bed vs. crib tent. I had to act quickly or one of my boys was going to break a limb! I never had to deal with this with my girls because they had to get literally kicked out of their cribs due to birth order. They never climbed on much and the transition into a big-girl bed was pretty seamless. I was pretty sure it wouldn’t be so smooth when you have two identical little boys involved.
Most of my twin mom friends suggested that I do the tents. But I just don’t think this would be a good long-term fix for me. Here I go again doing the opposite of what everyone tells me to do! My first concern is that crib tents are expensive at $70 each. Toddler beds only cost $100 and they will last a lot longer in theory. So I read all the reviews online and it seems that people either love crib tents or hate them. Some of the cons include poor construction, doesn’t work with sleigh cribs (one of mine is a sleigh), fell apart, etc. When it worked, people raved about it. My thing is that this conversion, whatever it may be, would need to last a good year and a half or so. When we promote the twins to their official “big boy” room, we will need to have some renovations done upstairs due to bathrooms and offices, etc. So I’d like to delay that for as long as possible. I think the tents would buy me maybe a few months at best. And what do we do when we travel? I guess you can take them with you but I’m kind of the mindset that the older they get, the fewer things I need to take with me when I travel.
I had to order my toddler beds online because I need two and they have to be white to match my other baby furniture. Babies R Us and Wal-Mart only carry a natural finish, so I bought mine at http://www.toddlerbeds.com/. I would highly recommend this website. They offer free shipping and the price was $15 cheaper than BRU and Wal-Mart. And they arrived at my doorstep three days ahead of schedule. You can’t beat that!
So here we are tonight at 10:03 pm and these little monkeys are still roaming around! But I do think this conversion will work – or at least I’m crossing my fingers! What are your experiences with crib tents and toddler beds?
P.S. Does anyone want a FREE pre-owned crib? My crib is antique white by Ragazzi and was purchased 6 years ago at Bellini. The crib looks great, but the screws are a little lose, so your husband may need to work on it some. But hey, it’s free to the first person who emails me with her phone #! Thanks for reading!
My daughter climbed out of her crib the day after she turned 2! I was a nervous wreck thinking of putting her in a big girl bed (we already have one that was mine that we plan to use, skip the toddler bed) at 2, but yet I didn’t want her roaming the house in the middle of the night or early morning either. So, I talked to her pediatrician about it and she highly recommended the crib tent (which I had always thought to be a little harsh for some reason). Her pediatrician used one with her kids, so I knew it had to be okay. We really made the tent a big deal and she’s loved it from day one. I slept better because I knew she couldn’t get out. And I believe that she feels so safe and secure in her tent. It’s big, she can still stand up in it. I am rather anxious about moving her to a big girl bed, but know I have to do it soon – she’s almost 3! But I feel good having her in the tent b/c it came recommended from a pediatrician/mom who did the same for her child. (I even asked the dr. if I could buy hers from her – $80 IS a lot – but she said no b/c she planned on using it with her other children!) She loved it that much and now I do too! I am a big crib tent fan! Hope this helps… 🙂
Hello girls…Smarty Pants Jen B here. I wanted to share my experience as well. My daughter has happy as a clam in her crib, never tried to climb out til she was 2 years + 2 months and climbed out & fell on her head to the hardwood floor. Thankfully she was fine but that was her last day in the crib, I was unwilling to risk another fall. Luckily someone had handed down a toddler bed to me so all I had to do was pull it out of my attic. My daughter loved it, she did fall out the first day but we had pillows all around. Since then (for past 4 months) she has done fine and somehow she does not think she can get out without me coming to get her (wahoo!). We are about to buy a big girl bed for her big girl room, she has slept in twin beds at the grandparents houses and done fine. We just lay pillows on the ground just in case. Here’s my piece of advice for if you have a 1-2 year old in a crib. Plan way ahead for the transition because the day they climb out then it’s a whole new ballgame and you have zero days toi think about this. Think in advance if you want crib tent, toddler bed or big kid bed and be prepared for that day. If I did not have a toddler bed in my attic we probably would have just put a twin bed on the floor. Just have those thoughts in advance.
We went straight to toddler bed and have had great success. We had the kind of crib that converted very easily by just taking off the front piece of the crib (and then some day it will convert to a full-sized bed). Anyway, I too was concerned that we would have a “roamer” through the night but we used a baby gate at his door. That way, the door was still open and we could still see him and visa versa but he could not get out of his room. We only had to do that a few weeks and now he stays put. It is funny how they know they just can’t get out of bed … my son even still (at 3-1/2) will call for us to ask if he can get up to go potty! Gotta love it!
We transitioned our kids directly to a regular twin bed at about age 2 from the crib and didn’t have any problems. I didn’t see much point in the toddler bed and this website was the first I had heard of the crib tent which is one of the reasons I love this website…I always learn something new! We also did the baby gate thing when about six months after the transition, our son finally figured out he could leave his room. After a couple of nights of the gates, he promised he wouldn’t leave his room if we took them down and he’s been good ever since (he’s now almost 6).
As a former teacher for gifted children, I would say that Moms need to realize that children are so far ahead of us…put your babies in regular beds with a rail up against the wall with a step stool and put a gate at their bedroom door. Take out all toys and lock the closet. We transitioned my daughter at 19 months, she wandered around her room until 9pm but realized there was nothing to play with so she climbed in her bed and went to sleep. We have a TV monitor and could watch all this transpire. Never had any problems. She’s now 2 1/2 and we’ve recently taken the gate off and taken down the rails. I also have nine month old twins so I will be doing the same thing when they are 18 months old or so but I will have them in different bedrooms. They get into much more trouble when together. So my advice is to skip the crib tent, just ONE more thing to have to transition your babies from and you will be surprised what your kids can handle. Just give them a chance, Mom! Kids are amazing!!!!
Hi-It’s Jen P. Just wanted to give you an update. The boys have been in their toddler beds for 3 nights/days and aside from being sleep-deprived, they are doing pretty well. They just don’t nap as long, but they do nap for 1 1/2 hours. They used to nap for a solid 2 1/2-3. They go to bed pretty easily and I did take away all the toys and hazards, secured the furniture, updated my outlet covers, etc. I agree – sometimes there is not necessarily a purpose for a toddler bed except the they are low to the ground, so they pretty much can’t get injured. I needed toddler beds this time due to major house renovations. Normally, I would just go ahead and purchase the big girl/big boy furniture and buy good bed rails. I also never got the chance to use my conversion crib to toddler bed b/c I always had another child waiting for the crib! I will say though, now most conversion cribs convert to a full-size bed – brilliant b/c this would be used forever and as a good big kid bed that matches your nursery furniture. So look for that in your conversion cribs. Also, I have never had a tv monitor and boy do I wish I had one! I still have my ole’ faithful Sony monitor that works well. But it would be so much fun to watch them doing their tricks on the monitor!
Glad there are so many positive experiences! My son, now 2, climbed out of his crib, got his leg stuck and was dangling about 4 months ago. Now he is basically in a prison cell! Door baby-proofed from the inside, no toys, twin bed with rail. Most nights are not too bad, but it took a LONG time, and some nights, like tonight, he played, climbed on his dresser, climbed on the changing table, shoved blankets and books under the door, pulled the sheets off of his bed etc, for about 2 hours. I say, keep ’em in the crib until they climb out or can drive!
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