Moving from cot to bed - a father's story
Moving your toddler from cot to bed is a breeze for some parents, but can be a long and stressful process for others. How did blogger Scruffy Dad and his son deal with the transition?
Right, let’s get the awkward confession out of the way first: our pre-schooler, J-Boy, is a great sleeper. Never a popular way to begin a conversation with other parents but, if it helps, we’ve a new baby daughter who will almost certainly buck that trend. You can point and laugh at me with glee in a couple of months when I stumble about bleary-eyed on an amount of shut-eye best counted in minutes than hours.
However, all was not so simple when it was time for J-Snooze to graduate from his comfy travel cot (I can explain!) to a lovely new bed that we bought him for his second birthday. His indifference to the grown-up freedoms of not having to clamber over a small fence in the morning was palpable: he liked his cosy, familiar cot and wasn’t interested in change. He was an auld lag completely institutionalised within his four mesh walls.
At first, we employed a strategy of letting him spend nights in his book-strewn cocoon while setting him up in his bed for afternoon naps. This worked for a few days, but then he protested that he wanted his “little bed” and that his “big bed” was “scary”. As I’m a stay-at-home Dad, his naps were the only occasion I could get any work done in the day, so after a week or so of discussion I sagely allowed it.
For months, I would read him a bedtime story on his otherwise useless bed before he’d climb into his cot to sleep through the night. Hundreds of quid wasted on a giant reading couch. Great. We could have forced the issue and packed the cot away, but we lazily decided to wait and see what happened naturally.
The breakthrough came after a stay with my brother and his family, when J-Bomb observed his five-year-old cousin (and role model) snuggle into his bed each evening. Big kids slept in beds, he realised. A few nights spent on holiday in a bunk bed sealed the deal, and when we returned home we didn’t even bother to unpack the cot. Transition sorted, and with minimal stress for once. The old lesson of picking your battles.
Now, if it’s tales of stress you want, ask me how long it took to get him toilet-trained.