Best way to roast the broomstick. Must try. Five Stars.

Only because the shipping was free

Recently I have received many concerned emails from people who do not understand why Leta was, up until a week ago, still sleeping in a crib. I think I’ve covered this maybe once or sixty times, but I am very busy being lazy, and generally if you want to know why anything is the way it is, I’ll get around to answering you once I have recovered from all this blinking I have to do.

I knew that transitioning Leta from a crib into a regular bed was going to be intense, and I have put it off because she didn’t seem to care that she was still sleeping behind bars. Not once has she ever tried to climb out of the crib, and yes, I am fully aware of how lucky we are because of that. My sister’s twin boys started climbing out of their cribs when they were 10 months old, would walk into the kitchen in the middle of the night and throw skillets down the stairs to the basement. Because they liked the way it sounded. To survive life she had to chain them to a radiator at night. And whip them with long slabs of raw beef.

Leta just hasn’t ever been physical that way, hasn’t ever understood the need to go exploring like that when all she has to do is repeat a few annoying sounds for several minutes to summon her personal chauffeur. She isn’t a kid who climbs dressers or scales kitchen counters or jumps from the top of the piano. And so there really wasn’t any danger in leaving her in a crib for as long as we did. In fact, I think she would have very much liked to live inside of it if we would occasionally stop by and refill her sippy cup.

I was also loath to buy any of the toddler beds that I have seen in stores around here, beds with large butterfly-shaped headboards or frames stenciled with flying unicorns. There is a dearth of stores that sell both good-looking and affordable furniture in Salt Lake, and it wasn’t until I was browsing a few of my favorite interior design websites a few weeks ago that a brick fell out of the sky and knocked me awake. I realized I could find what I want online and have it shipped to my house. Also? Did you know? You can buy a loaf of bread THAT IS ALREADY SLICED?

So I ordered this toddler bed online (free shipping!) and within seven days someone had dropped it off on our porch:

We didn’t hear the delivery guy knock, and as we were walking out of the house to run a few errands we noticed a large box leaning up against the side of the house. Jon turned to Leta and asked in a hyper, animated voice if she had any! idea! (!!) what this was because Plan A was to convince her that the toddler bed was none other than Jesus Christ. She acted completely uninterested, and as she rolled her eyes into the back of her head she answered, “Um, Dad? It looks like a box.” Like, whatever. And then she got in the car and drove off to college and now she doesn’t call me anymore.

Plan B: Start drinking at noon.

The following morning we took down the crib, and Jon assembled the new bed. I thought I was going to have more emotion around this milestone, but it just didn’t happen. I don’t miss Baby Leta, although I do have many great memories of her, that little screaming frog who screamed a lot every day with the screaming. I’m just really in love with Toddler Leta, and maybe I’m too enthusiastic about what’s happening right now to be sad about the fact that so much has already passed. Maybe it’s because Plan A finally worked, and she got so excited about the new bed — the BIG! NEW! BED! LOOK AT THAT BIG NEW BED! — I was really happy to see the crib go.

When I got her ready for her nap that afternoon, I talked to her about what was happening, that she was going to sleep in this new bed, that it was pretty much just like her other one, except it was a little bit closer to the floor. Her eyes got really big and she said, “THIS IS GOING TO BE SO FUN!” Oh, Leta, I know. Wait until I introduce you to tequila.

And then, the struggle I expected never happened. There has been no crying or getting out of the bed in the middle of the night. None of it. Occasionally she will wake up and not know where she is, and her response to this is to scream out, “WIPE MY NOSE!” Which means, please come show your face, woman. It’s not exactly an I love you, you are my everything, I recognize all that you have sacrificed to give me this life, but it’s close enough.

  • Gosh that’s a cool bed. We were taking a walk past my neighbor’s trash when my daughter noticed a big blue plastic monstrosity. It was a discarded car bed. She wanted it. Now she has it. It’s ugly. Our neighbors actually prevented other people from taking it because they were saving it for us. What luck.

    I can’t wait until she grows out of it.

  • The new bed is glorious! The clean lines are restful to the eye and the reading bench is really fun. I second the request for a picture of the bed set up in Leta’s room.

    You and Jon are raising an amazing child who will be a strong woman. You respect her individuality and encourage her creativity. Anyone who offers judgement of your methods and decisions isn’t worthy of your consideration.

  • The little bench is cute.

    Like you or not like you, whatever, I love each age my girls are now, not regretting the time when they were younger.

  • that is kick arse…yay! I wanna be there for tequila lessons. Here in Dayton we have these things called Bad Juans @ a restaurant called Elsa’s. They claim to be margaritas of some sort, but…that word does not do them justice..they are the only acceptable way to do tequila, in my book!

  • I have a 2 year old and everyone keeps asking me when I am going to put him in a toddler bed. I’m like, are you kidding me? He is finally sleeping 12 hours at night an taking 2 hour naps, why would I move him. This kid is staying in his crib untill he is 6, seriously. I plan for him to be too big for the crib before I move him.

    Congrats to Leta and her big girl bed. Does she sleep w/ gran mal seizure Elmo?

  • vix

    When my niece first slept in a Big Girl Bed at her cousin’s house for a sleepover, she didn’t know that she could get out of it on her own, so she just sat there for about half an hour or so quietly waiting to be freed from her Big Girl Bed prison. Finally realizing noone was coming to get her, she proceeded to holler “I’m awake! I’m awake!” until someone came upstairs and showed her she could just put her feet on the floor and get out of bed herself.

  • Dave Vogt

    Wait, you mean you haven’t introduced her to the bottle yet? Most children her age have swallowed the worm by now!

    In all seriousness though, you make me look forward to having child(ren?) of my own someday.

  • violetgirl

    Congratulations, family!! I think Leta took to her new bed with such ease because you guys have done an amazing job providing her with such a loving environment. She seems to be a very secure little girl and you and JOn should take a huge amount of credit for that. It sounds like you guys took the right approach and becuase of that she responded to this change well. I can’t believe she’s big enough for a “big girl” bed! Good job, you guys!!

  • oh for the love of cheese…why do people think it’s OK necessary and/or OK to tell you how to raise your child???!!!!!! You’re doing a perfectly wonderful job, Leta is a lovely little girl and (I know from George) that you’re quite responsible, and only let her have tequila once a week.

  • Plan A- Speaking of Jesus Christ- He only wishes he had a toddler bed like that one 😉
    Reading that entry makes me want to do the transition all over again!

  • Debbie in the UK

    I tried to comment, but it was a failure….can’t…do…it…all again! Sob. (Losing the will to live)


  • HannahsMomJess

    Switching to a big girl bed is a huge milestone, and I’m glad that for you (and so many other people I know) it was uneventful.

    In my infinite wisdom as the mother of an almost 2 year old, I decided back in July that I would set up a toddler bed, and hopefully when she was ready she would sleep there. I wasn’t pushing, just mentioning how great a “big girl” bed was. The first night we went into her room do finish our bedtime routine and she hopped into said “big girl bed” I giggled to my husband and said “Five bucks says I’m back in here in an hour putting her in the crib”

    I lost five bucks, and she’s never slept in a crib since. Apparently for my Muffin, 16 months in a crib was far too long.

    Anyways, I’m glad that Leta was ready to switch!

  • Debbie in the UK

    Well!! Bloody hell…I only wanted to make a comment and I feel like I have been vetted to join the CIA! Anyhooo…

    Just wanted to comment that the reason you have had no problems with Leta is because you waited until she was old enough to be moved. I didn’t move my two darlings (!!) until they actually ASKED to be move…like…PLEASE, FOR THE LOVE OF GOD – A BED!! and never experienced any problems at all.

    Thats my comment. I wonder whether you’ll think it was worth the effort.

    Debbie from the UK.

  • Ok, I am SO envious that Leta has made the transition so easily! My little boy started climbing out of his crib, and moving to a “big boy bed” has been nothing short of excrutiating (for me—he loves the freedom of getting out of bed *every 3 seconds*.) And ps…her toddler bed is just cute as a button…that little bench is the coolest!

  • Kelli

    What a cute little bed. Love the bench.

    Orr daughter was nearly three when she stopped using her crib for much the same reason. She was happy there and she never tried to climb out, so why mess with what worked?

    One day she finally did figure out that she could get out of it and we just went straight to a double bed. Of course, we forgot to do this until it was bedtime (because we’re THAT good) and so we were scrambling to take down her crib that she was very much attached to and put up this other bed moments before we planned to toss her in it, turn off the lights and leave the room.

    She was a bit freaked at first, but then the “THAT’S MY BED!! THAT’S A REALLY REALLY BIG BED AND IT’S ALL MINE!” moment hit and she was fine. We didn’t have any real problems transitioning and it was never an issue at night. She did start taking most of her naps on the couch, though, where she would fall asleep to a movie of some sort. She never would have kept napping otherwise. She was about ready to give them up at that point and I was determined to drag them out as long as possible.

  • ClaudiainUK

    Leta is exactly like my little boy – he never tried to climb out of the crib so we were not in any rush to get him in a bed. In the end, we changed him purely because he didn’t fit in the crib anymore (he was nearly 3). When we transitioned to the bed, he took it in his stride and didn’t seem troubled, just another great place to sleep. It took many months for him to figure out that he COULD get out of this one any time he wanted. So for a few lovely months he would lie in bed, even while awake, and wait for someone to come and get him.

    Now, though, he knows he can get out of bed (his dad taught him the trick and now regrets it) and can wake us up at ridiculous hours.

    It was only when he was well established in his bed and ready that we THEN potty trained him. He is now nearly 3 1/2 and has only just cracked it. So never rush, kids have their own timetables anyway.

  • likesacookie

    To this day I still remember showing my mom that I could crawl into my crib. She was just about to help me in for my nap and I said that I could do it on my own. I loved to crawl up those bars. It was so thrilling and I was so proud of my accomplishment. It took me a lot longer to figure out how to climb out of my crib and when I did the only reason I did it was so I could climb back in again.
    I wish I had kids so I could share some cute and whimsical tale about my child climbing out of their crib… Ah, well…

  • Don’t these assholes know how much energy it takes to be lazy? Damn it. Maybe if they pulled their sorry, fat asses out of their self absorption, they’d realize that. Hello? It actually take a lot of work! Jesus…

    AND…Blinking??? Duh. That’s a lot of work right there. Keeping dust out of our eyes so we can read their OVER ZEALOUS CONCERNS!!! Crib nazi’s.

    Sometimes with all their flatulence blowing around, it even takes work to breathe.

  • houkhouse

    Ahh, memories. Our crib was one of those “cribs for life” and converted from crib to toddler bed to actual full-size head and footboard. We originally thought “how sweet, the bed will grow with her”. Yeah, that only works if you only have one child. We had 4. We would no more get the crib converted to toddler bed and then, boom, crib time once again. We always seemed to lose the instructions, the bolts, that little L-shaped thing you turn them with, or all of the above. So, after all those years of ordeals, the crib just came down for the last time.

    I’m with you – it wasn’t a sentimental thing. I was so glad to see progress made in cleaning this place up. The boys went in new bunk beds and daughter #2 gets the crib for life as the full bed. Daughter #1, a tween, is still holding out for the $3000 Pottery Barn bed she refuses to believe she isn’t getting. Her mattress is currently on the floor until she wakes up and faces reality.

    Anyway, I do enjoy them all immensely (most days) at every age. So, here’s to transition phases and surviving them with the rest of parenthood.

    Thanks for making me laugh!

  • cate

    One night, the huge brown eyed floating head will appear to you.

    it will urgently whisper ‘Mama’ a few hundred times until you break from your deep, restorative slumber, thinking you are hearing things, open your eyes and …


    You’ll piss yourself.

    Wait for it, and good job on the big girl bed transition!

  • I agree that kids can stay in the crib (or cot as we call it) as long as possible. If it’s not bothering them, or you, then why stress about it which you obviously didn’t.

    I moved my son into a bed when he was 2 only because I was physically incapable of lifting him out of his cot all the time. I too expected traumas but it was like nothing at all had changed. I even left the cot in his room and he didn’t ask to go back in it.

    It’s a bit like everything with childhood milestones – toilet training for example. Kids will start doing it when they’re ready and people will always compare their kids with yours.

  • RachelMeRee

    ‘The Toddler Bed: How Awesome Will It Be?’

  • IMTriMom

    My son bailed out of the crib at around 2.5 – we converted his convertible bed into the toddler bed and he wanted nothing to do with it. He slept on the floor for about 6 months. Crib, toddler bed, toy box, floor….I really don’t care – as long as they are SLEEPING!

  • AJ

    Whatever! Two of my 3 daughters were like this. What is wrong with sleeping in a crib until you are 3?

  • Your posts never fail to drive me into hysterics. That is a great bed, I’m sure Leta will be very happy in it. And there’s even room for her books at the end. Will she be comfortable with them a little further away then almost on top of her, threatening to pin her to the bed again (that was too funny)?

  • My son, Ethan, was the same way. When we finally moved into our house we just set up his twin size bed, put the crib in the garage and that was that. He has never gotten out of bed at night and he waits for us to come get him in the morning. I too was totally expecting the difficult transition from crib to bed.

  • Agent M

    So, your kid like, stays in her bed and sleeps? So.Not.Fair.

  • Sami

    I love watching Leta grow up. Thank you.

  • Personally, I think the moms who have a fit if your kid is “still in a crib” at a certain age have some pent up resentment. I noticed that the only moms who criticised me were the ones who HAD to switch their kids to a big bed because another one was on the way. My friend, on the other hand, had such a hard time with her oldest switching (she thinks she did it too soon) beds, when she gave birth to her most recent baby- they just bought an additional crib so they wouldn’t have to switch the middle child over and go through the same thing all over again.

    When are people going to realize that each child has different needs? (Don’t answer that- I’m sure we’ll all be aware of hell freezing over when it happens).

  • My twin boys (10 or so months younger than Leta)have also never once attempted to climb out of their cribs. They climb other places, but I think they feel safe in their cribs, no matter what other people say about their supposed imprisonment. 99% of the time, they go to bed without fussing and seem sometimes almost happy to be put in there. (I think an advantage to twinhood is that they have each other at night, so the calls for mom to wipe their nose don’t come that often. Nevertheless, we will be doing the Big Boy Bed thing after pottytraining ensues to some level of success, so hopefully sometime this year.

    (BTW, about the potty training thing? I’ve got one ready to go, and another who doesn’t have the slightest interest or clue to care about it. It really has to be when they are ready, and good for you for just letting Leta lead the way there. Especially with some of the stuff she’s gone through.)

    Cool bed. Does it convert to a twin? It kinda looks like it might.

  • You are too funny! And that bed? Super cute. I love it! It may sway me off of the idea of a princess bed for Leah…

  • Yay! This is so exciting…even for me. Sad that my life consists of blogs? Nah, it’s Leta!

    (wow, that was cheesy)

  • That is the big girl bed of my dreams. Congrats on a smooth transition!

  • Oh my God, you are too lucky for words. For me? 3 girls, 3 struggles. I bow to you, lol.

  • Oh, I love that bed! It’s awesome. I don’t think we had big boy/girl bed crying, either. We had crying and tantrums and much carrying-on when it was time to move to the crib (we co-slept), but the bed was pretty uneventful. I wish we’d skipped the crib altogether, to be honest with you.

  • I remember having the same feelings of excitement and being a grown-up when I traded up to a bed — of course, this was when I went from my college Ikea monstrosity to the king-sized bed my wife forced me to purchase. Mmm…rollover space.

  • That bed is adorable!! I wish I’d seen it before I bought my boys their bed.

  • babbling

    These little triumphs are the payoff you get for living through the screaming. It’s a trade off. Some kids don’t scream through their infancy, but climb out of bed and wake their parents up by poking them in their closed eye and breathing in their ears, “are you awakkkkeeeeeee mommy?” If/when you have another child, it could very well be the quietest baby ever. Who sleeps all night right away. Who gets out of the crib at 3 years old, and drives off with Chuck riding shotgun in your car, in the middle of the night. Anyhow my kids had a “6-year crib”. I never understood that, except the side could be removed so it was something like a daybed. We went straight to a twin bed with a railing at 2-3 years. You and Jon are a great example of how parenting works itself out, no matter how much self-doubt, or planning happens. We just do our best.

  • Fenicle

    Our son has a raised bed with railings along all sides – not as high as a bunk, but it’s elevated enough he can play underneath. We kept him from getting up by removing the ladder at night.

    By the way, you’re making this transition sound way too easy!!!!!

  • Ricki C

    My daughter (now 22) was also 3 yrs old before we bought her a “big-girl bed”. She also never tried to climb out of her crib, I think because we always came to get her in a timely fashion when she awoke from a nap or in the morning. We chose a super-single waterbed for her, because a) she would have a hard time falling out, and b) because it would be a rather easy clean-up if she wet the bed or became ill. To our surprise and delight, it took her several months to realize that she could actually get out of the bed without our permission! At the end of her nap, or in the morning, she would politely call out, “Mommy, I’m awake”, and lie there patiently until we came in to get her. Talk about a nice transition! I wish you, Leta, and Jon the best!

  • lyndseyelise

    Yay, a big girl bed! We had to transition our daughter to a big girl bed when she was only 18 months old because we needed her crib for her baby brother. I dreaded the thought of having to keep putting her back in bed during the middle of the night but that never happened. In fact, she finally started sleeping thru the night, like 11+ hours at one time. It was amazing. I love reading your posts, keep up the good work. You are a fantastic mama!

  • schwa

    Hoorah! Another victory for furniture!

    Bed is cute etc. Where did you get those neat jeans that Leta is wearing in today’s photo? I’d like to get a pair and then replicate the cool stitching on my girl’s other jeans.

  • That is a beautiful bed. Leta sounds like such a great kid. My Peyton is great, but even she had some trouble adjusting to her new bed when we brought her to the new house.

    Congratulations on this milestone!

  • gunderson

    You don’t miss baby Leta? You’ll miss her when toddler Leta turns into teenage Leta and if you look at her wrong her head will start spinning like in the Exorcist, but different.

    the mother of a teenager.

  • That’s an awesome bed; congratulations to you, Jon and Leta.

  • Meredith

    Our daughter slept in her crib until we needed it for her brother. She was nearly four. We have no intention of moving her brother out of it before we have to. He’s a skillet-throwin’ kind of kid…

    New reader to your website. It’s a great read!

  • ms. in

    We bought our kids their beds at Ikea when we lived in San Francisco…just found out they are now coming to Draper in the spring! We’re psyched!

  • My older daughter also transitioned quite nicely to the toddler bed. My next one is quite a different child. She’s almost 22 months and she climbs out of her crib, opens her door, comes into my room and wakes me up at 5am. It’s time for the toddler bed, but will she ever stay in it?? Who knows.

  • JnJ

    I am SO jealous! My son, who is 2 weeks older than Leta, was always a great sleeper thanks to “Healthy Sleep Habits”, and, like Leta, never minded his crib and never tried to climb out. I figured we’d keep him in there till he was 7. So why did we decide to move him to a twin bed at 2 1/2? Because we’re IDIOTS (and we got my nephews hand-me-down bed. STUPID STUPID STUPID.) It was, and sometimes still is, a NIGHTMARE. The night we finally realized we had to try to correct the new pattern of having to lie in his bed to get him to sleep, we did the “silent return to bed” routine 67 times in one hour, before he stayed put. It took a couple months of HELL. And our newest challenge has been getting him to stop waking up (and waking us AND his one year-old sister up)for the day at 4:30 every morning by coming into our room or run screaming down the hallway.

    Congratulations on such an easy transition! You have a beautiful little girl.

  • SurprisingWoman

    Yeah! Go Leta.

    Congrats on the new bed, and the lack of difficulty. It’s about damn time something was almost impossible for you guys. Good on ya, you deserve it.

Heather B. Armstrong

Hi. I’m Heather B. Armstrong, and this used to be called mommy blogging. But then they started calling it Influencer Marketing: hashtag ad, hashtag sponsored, hashtag you know you want me to slap your product on my kid and exploit her for millions and millions of dollars. That’s how this shit works. Now? Well… sit back, buckle up, and enjoy the ride.

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