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How NOT to switch your child to a big-kid bed

We are about to embark on a maneuver so radical, so crazy, that it will shake the very foundation of our family. It will alter our entire way of doing things.

We’re about to move our three-year-old to a big-girl bed. She’s currently peacefully ensconced in a crib. Contained. Content.

Soon, though, that will change. And she’ll be free to roam the house at will.

We’ve been through this once before: with our son who is now five. And, having experienced this particular realm of parenting, I’ve jotted down a few tips for those of you planning a similar move in the near future.

  1. Do not withdraw the pacifier anywhere near the same time (preferably not even in the same YEAR) you move to a big kid bed.

  1. Do not go directly from a super safe crib to a hulking mattress, box spring and frame. A mattress on the floor with a guardrail or two will suffice.

  1. Do not switch your sweetie pie to a big bed until you are ready to wake to acrid toddler breath in your face, to small hands poking you, to the sounds of pounding footfalls at 3 a.m.

  1. Do not assume that once you promote your toddler to said big bed she will necessarily succumb to slumber in a reasonable fashion or at a reasonable hour.

  1. Do not assume that your toddler will use actual blankets for more than the first five minutes after you tuck her in. Continue to dress your toddler warmly at night.

  1. Do not scrimp on bedding. Your child’s big kid bedding will undergo thousands of hearty thrashings, both from bodily fluids and exuberant before-sleep antics.

  1. Do not approach your husband with the slightest flicker in your eye unless you have a fail-safe lock on your own bedroom door.

Heed my advice, and your transition from crib to big-kid bed should go smoothly. As smooth as gravel through a washing machine.

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