Well, the big kid beds seem to be going very well so far. Miles and Vivienne have their bedroom with two twin beds in it. At night, they both sleep in their room together. Our (formerly?) exercise room has another twin bed that Miles naps in, because it quickly became apparent that they would never actually nap in the same room without being contained by cribs. I guess having a playmate while you're trying to sleep during the day is just a little too tempting.
I knew that the kids needed to make this transition when I was on the treadmill one day. I had put the kids down for their naps and was sneaking in a workout. I started to feel like someone was watching me. Out of the corner of my eye, I thought I saw someone standing behind me, but I decided it was my mind playing tricks on me. When I turned my head, I saw Miles standing there with his thumb in his mouth and his lovey in his hand. He had climbed out of his crib and was just standing beside me on the treadmill. Of course, this completely took me by surprise and I nearly jumped out of my skin. Clearly Miles was done sleeping in his crib.
When we first switched them to big beds, nighttime went relatively well, but naps were a nightmare (no pun intended). Miles would get out of his bed again and again and again and run out of the room. I tried putting him back in bed over and over and over without showing him any signs of frustration or anger (so that I wouldn't encourage him to keep playing this game with me). After doing this around 20 times, I would usually reach my breaking point and spank him. I hate spanking, but after I spanked him, he usually stayed in his room.
One day I went in to check on him after he fell asleep. He was slumbering there with his thumb hanging out of his mouth, trusty Pooh Bear by his side, and I could still see the mark of my hand on the back of his leg from the swat. It made my heart sink. My goal is to not spank my kids (or at least to create a nap routine that doesn't rely on spanking for a successful nap), and I felt like I was failing him.
A couple weeks ago, my parents let us borrow a tall baby gate, and that has been a godsend. I'm certain that Miles could scale that gate if he wanted to, but it creates enough of a barrier that he just shuts the door and climbs back in bed. Every now and then, he will open the door a few times before finally going to sleep, but this seems to be the exception and not the rule. I am so relieved to have a nap time routine that doesn't end in a spanking each day.
Vivienne has pretty much been a dream (pun intended) in her big girl bed. She is the complete opposite of Miles. She will not get out of that bed on her own after naps. When she wakes up, she calls for me and I come sweep her out of her bed. I have tried explaining to her that she can just hop down, but I actually really enjoy greeting her with a smile and some warm arms to hold her tight after her nap. I know that these moments are numbered.