There are certain times in parenting when you have to throw caution to the wind and determine if your little one is ready for the next step.
We are in one of those phases right now.
This past week, we converted our 16-month-old's crib into a toddler bed. This comes with some trepidation because he now can escape from it if he needs to. The first couple of nights and day naps we had pillows on the floor just in case he took a header off the bed. He did fall out once and cried but was able to get back in, and I don't think it was much of a fall.
After a few days in the bed, he's now a little more adventurous in taking advantage of his newfound freedom.
He now feels that instead of napping he can go exploring around the house. He visited his big sister's room when she was napping and also found himself laughing at his parents when they caught him out of the bed as if to say.
"Look what I did!"
He had a nap over the weekend where he got out of the bed and he ended up sleeping underneath it. It was something his older sister did too once, and I'm sure many parents have gone through that. I guess it's like their own little tent underneath there, or they just like finding the darkest place possible to have a deep snooze. He has also started hiding things underneath the bed since it's one of his new favorite places.
When he woke from his nap under the bed, he merely crawled out of from underneath it like it came natural to him.
He had another nap where he got out of the bed and decided to doze off next to the bed. I know I would prefer sleeping on a bed rather than a floor, but I guess 1-year-olds can pretty much fall asleep anywhere.
My wife is usually best at knowing the stage our kids are ready for and the right time to advance to that stage. I think that is a motherly instinct because I lack this skill. And, for the most part, the toddler bed decision is working out. We expected a few kinks along the way.
I know this new setup is keeping us on high alert knowing he could sneak out at any time and get into something.
The transition is also making for some entertaining stories to tell family members.
Reporter Andrew Potter is a Tuesday columnist for the Times-Republican. The views expressed in this column are personal views of the writer and don't necessarily reflect the views of the T-R. Contact Andrew Potter at 641-753-6611 or firstname.lastname@example.org