I was definitely nervous about moving my kids out of their cribs and into big kid beds. I worried that the big move would disrupt their sleep. And yes, I was sad that they were leaving the baby stage behind. But, all three of my boys enjoyed plenty of big kid bed benefits, including these:
1. There’s more room to cuddle. My kids were never big cuddlers. They didn’t sleep in our bed and crawl in with us in the morning. But once they moved from a crib to a big kid bed, we definitely had more cuddle opportunities with them because, frankly, we could now fit in bed with them. From those “I’ll just lay down with you for a minute” co-naps to bedtime snuggle sessions, a bigger bed added many cuddling possibilities.
2. They don’t need your help to get up. When my kids were little, every morning would start with “Moooooooooooom. Mom! Mom! Mom!” as one of my boys would sound the morning alarm from his crib. I would trudge, blurry-eyed to retrieve my wide-awake 16-month-old and start the day — usually at 5:45. But, once we switched to a big kid bed when my kids turned two, in the morning, they would often get up on their own and grab a book to look at in bed or quietly play with toys on the floor. I think it helped my sons develop a sense of independence and hallelujah, it let me sleep until 6:15.
3. It’s easier to get your child in and out of bed. When my boys were between one-year-old and 18-months-old, we moved the crib mattress lower and lower to prevent them from crawling (or falling) out. Good for baby, but brutal for my back. It’s no easy task trying to ease a sleeping child over the side rail and down to the crib mattress. With a regular bed, it’s easy to slip a child in or out of bed without having to contort your body or worry you’re going to be paying another visit to your chiropractor.
4. They feel more in control. With my boys, the crib was something I put them in. But once we switched to a big kid bed, they were able to climb in their own beds (and okay, out of them — which was good, unless it was the middle of the night). They arranged their blankets and stuffed animals just so. And, they could snuggle under their blankets or push them all the bottom of the bed.
5. They can build forts! Enough said.
6. Kid bedding is adorable. I know, I know. This is shallow, but with all the safety concerns about putting anything in the crib except for the mattress and baby, cribs can start to look a little sterile. Once you switch to a big kid bed, you get to have some fun with cute kid bedding. Adorable owl sheets, pillow case, duvet, and the matching stuffed animal? Yes, please!
7. Your kid may actually like going to sleep. Okay, okay. I can’t actually promise this, but one can hope, right?