Moving your toddler into their own room causes anxiety for a lot of parents, so I thought I would write about our experience and share it with you. Transitioning our co-sleeping toddler into her own room, has been both easy and difficult and I’ll explain why a bit later.
Parents choose to move their toddler or babies into their own rooms, at different ages, for different reasons. I personally wasnt comfortable with doing it while she was still a baby, as you would know if you have read some of my other posts.
Over the festive break, I was thinking a lot about moving Khumo into her own room – as she turns 3 in two months time and we had a vacant room. It used to be her brothers room, but he “moved out” of it a few months ago to take over our guest room… I suspect that he was over the single-bed vibe!
We are moving to our new house in a few weeks, so all our savings are going towards that. This forced me to be creative about using what we already had, instead of tuning into my Instagram and Pinterest-dreams. Reality sucks, lol.
So what I started with was repairing her brothers old bed. He used to have a bunk bed, then after a while, we separated it to have two single beds. So I had to get someone in to put back the side rail we had removed. It was a 5 minute job so that was the easiest part. I wanted to get it painted white for a more feminine look and feel, then I thought about that saving part again 🙂
I then got a pretty rug, lamp and some linen, which I got from Mr Price home, then I added the fluffy pillows that she already had.
Things that could help when you move your toddler to their own room:
Prepare your child:
Talk to them about it in advance, way before you even start preparing the room, to get them used to and excited about the idea.
Make it exciting:
The new pink stuff I got was all in the name of excitement. As much as I didn’t want to spend money, I knew that I had to make sure that she had something to look forward to. I surprised her one day when she came back from my moms house and it was love at first sight. You may also want to add a few items that you know they love, like soft toys and blankets into their room.
Stick it out:
On the nights when she cried to sleep with me, I had to be a toughie and try other ways to convince her. I either jump into the bed and cuddle with her, sit on the couch in the room and sing to her or hubby sleeps on the floor next to the bed (this is not for sissies okay?! Be prepared) – but either way, the best option is to try your best to get them to fall asleep in their room.
Give lots of praise:
I’ve been making a really big deal of it when she wakes up, to show her how proud of her we are. I go on and on, and even call my mom and we tell her (again and again). I can see she’s impressed by that and she calls herself a big girl now.
Use your monitor:
Guys, I pulled out the monitor that I didn’t even use when she was a baby! Had to laugh at my ridiculousness, but it’s honestly given me peace of mind. I’m a light-sleeper, so it’s annoying that I hear every move, but we tested it out together and she was also assured that I would hear her if she needed me.
Most toddlers go through a stage of being afraid of the dark and I’ve seen that in her a few times. So having a small night light or lamp can help to ease their anxiety. I realized the globe I got was way too bright – she woke up on the first night – so I stopped using it from the second night and it has been a smooth transition since then. I’m currently using the tiny night light on her monitor only.
So what has it been like for us so far?
The easy part is that once she is actually asleep, it’s all-good! She’s asleep and that’s it.
The difficult parts have been:
1) getting her to fall asleep in her own bed – it took about 10 days for her to get into the rhythm of going straight into her own bedroom after going to the loo and our evening prayer time. Like I said, for now, I’m staying in the room with her until she falls asleep.
2) the emotions behind it. I don’t know if it’s just me being a softie, but at first, I felt really bad about moving my daughter to her own room. Especially because she was even more attached after spending three weeks with me in the holidays. But being in her own room has become something that she takes great pride in and she is happy.
3) because it took a few days for me not to worry and obsess over the monitor all-night, I didn’t get much sleep during the first week.
I know that it’s early days and there might be days when she regresses and wants to come back to our room, but I think we are on the right track for now and she has not asked yet. I’ll just see how it goes.
Sure, I could have done this when she was much younger, but I feel like this was the perfect time for us. When we move to the new house, she will be used to the idea and be excited all over again (or so I hope)!
Have you transitioned your baby or toddler? What was your experience? Would love to hear from you.
Modern Zulu Mom