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Tuesday, 19 August 2014 20:31

No More Bars

August of 2012 - just over two years ago - we set up this toddler bed in what was then just Clara's bedroom.  I was seven months pregnant, and we knew that weaning Clara off her gummy (soother), potty training and becoming a big sister were all huge transitions that Clara would soon be making and so we decided to introduce her to her new 'big girl bed' as soon as possible so that she would have time to get used to it before we needed to move her into it. 

Clara, it turned out, didn't need to get used to it. She excitedly leaped onto her new 'big girl bed' and we realized that although we intended to have her continue sleeping in her crib while she became used to the idea of the toddler bed, she would have been greatly disappointed if we had asked her to get back in her crib. 

This is what her room looked like back then. Not completely changed, but we no longer have a rocking chair - I hardly used it for the girls anyway - and in its place is a dresser. 

 Up until a few days ago, everything on the crib side of the room looked almost just like this...

We realized, similarly to two years ago, we have a toddler facing a lot of transition soon. Audrey also has a soother dependency that we have kept to only nighttimes lately, but will have to be broken nonetheless. She is also showing signs of potty training readiness, and although there is no new baby on the way, we want to make these transitions as easy for her as possible - and allow each change some space to settle before throwing the next one at her. 

I realized sometime in July that as the school year begins in September, my time will be lessened. I will have piano lessons to teach, and I am still babysitting on the days I don't teach. If I intend to do the '3-Day-Method' of potty training, as we did with Clara, I would no longer have a 3-day stretch in which to do it.  I mentally calculated that Audrey would be 22 months old (as recommended by the 3-Day-Method) at the end of August, which is 2 weeks older than Clara was when we began the process with her. 

Last week, the girls and I went camping with a friend and borrowed my in-laws camper trailer, in which Audrey slept in a playpen. One morning as I was getting Clara ready for the day, Audrey demanded to get out of bed and when I didn't respond quickly enough, she climbed - albeit clumsily - out of the playpen by herself. I was stunned.  At each location where my daughters sleep over (Grandparents), Audrey sleeps in a playpen.  This marked the day when she would no longer be able to be confined by a playpen, and considering her clumsiness, it would from now on be safer for her to be in a bed. 

I knew that it would be awhile before Audrey would attempt - or succeed in - climbing out of her crib at home, but the 'stay in bed' battle was one that would have to be waged at home before she ever stayed the night at Grandma's, or Nana and Grandpa's again.  And we had plans the following week...

Then, as I continued to consider the rapid pace of Audrey's transitions I realized that Audrey really would need to be able to get out of her bed prior to potty training, because she would need to be able to come to the door and ask to go pee. It would be silly to trap her in her crib while we were stretching her independence with potty training - I think.  So, the very next day, we made the change...

 Of course the girls 'helped' Daddy take the front off the crib...

Audrey's response was definitely not as eager and excited as Clara's had been two years ago. Actually, Audrey's response was more guarded than Clara's was even now, although the bed change was Audrey's news. Clara could hardly keep herself off of Audrey's new bed.  I envision that there will be a phase in the girls lives where they choose to share a bed... Although you never know. 

We expected a week's worth of battling with Audrey over staying in bed at night.  That's what happened with Clara. Audrey seems more in control of her excitement, however, and although she did sneak out of bed a few times during the first twenty minutes of sleeping in her new bed, it hasn't been nearly the struggle we expected.  It has been one week now, and half of the days we haven't had to go in at all. The other half we have had to check in a few times over about 10-20 minutes. 

So far it's been a good thing. Next week is potty training...

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