Our daughter Kelly is fast approaching her two-year birthday and still wakes up every morning in our bed. This is not something we are proud of however, we certainly don’t take for grant it the mornings we are woken with that sweet little voice and a warm hug and kiss to follow. We were those first time parents that would go to put her to bed and had to rock, feed, or walk around with her until she was sleeping and then gently lay her in the crib, as to not disturb her or we’d be back to square one again. After three months of maternity leave, I went back to work full-time while my husband was also working full-time, so getting up for feedings throughout the night became painful. It was just easier, for the both of us, to bring her to bed and let her nurse in bed as opposed to sitting in the nursery during the wee hours of night. This went on for months. Then when we moved to Canada I was blessed with the privilege to become a stay-at-home mom. Once we were settled, we began trying different methods of getting her to sleep through the night and in HER crib. We tried everything, but it seemed like every time we would make some progress, she would get a bad cold that would wake her through the night or we had a vacation coming up where she was going to be co-sleeping for the duration of the trip. For a while there it also seemed like she was terrified of the crib. We even had family stay with us who also commented on the severity of her screams when she would wake at night. So around the age of 15 months we put the crib away and set up a toddler bed for her (I know some will say this is extremely young, but we felt it was the right thing to do at the time). She LOVED the bed and was super excited to sleep in it. But to this day, she still wakes in the night wanting to come to mommy and daddy’s bed. It’s a constant battle.
So our most recent attempt at accomplishing this transition from co-sleeping to her toddler bed consisted of converting her nursery into a “Big Girl Room.” It took me about a week to finish and only about $100 and most importantly, Kelly LOVES it. I made sure to include her in as many decisions as possible while putting the room together. And as you will see, there are butterflies and flowers all over the walls because she was a big part of that task. It’s been a couple of weeks and every time she goes to bed she comments on how ‘pretty’ the room is and points out all the butterflies and flowers to me. We even put a Dora nightlight at the head of her bed and every night, as part of her routine, after story time she says “goodnight” to Dora and Boots. However, she still wants us to lay with her until she’s sleeping and she still wakes up through the night wanting to come to our bed. So on one hand, it’s been a great start to a new chapter, but on the other hand, we’re exhausted and anxious to get through this chapter. Kelly loves her new bedroom and that’s the most important thing about this transition. It’s a start and there IS a light at the end of the tunnel (that’s what I keep telling myself 🙂 ).
I made a canopy for her bed with some tulle from the sale rack at the fabric store, two curtain rods I got at the dollar store, and some ribbon. Since it’s spring time, I didn’t have any trouble finding little butterflies to decorate the canopy. We also found some wall stickers at the dollar store that were a cheap and temporary decor that was fun for her to help put up. We found a couple of new pillows and a bean bag that she picked out to create a little reading corner. And to add a few personal touches, I added a couple of canvas prints to her wall (DIY mod podge canvas prints); one with a picture of her and our dog, her best friend, Lilly and the other of some flowers I photographed in Europe this spring.
I changed her bedding by incorporating a butterfly themed quilt a family member made for her when she was born. It matched perfectly, so there was no need to go out and buy something new and Kelly was excited to get to use the quilt on her bed. Overall, the room came together really nice and it was highly affordable. Now we just need to continue our work on getting Kelly to enjoy it ALL NIGHT LONG.