A while back I read an article about getting your child ready to welcome a sibling. The article suggested all major changes to take place in your toddler’s life, in preparation for welcoming the newest family member, should happen up to 2 months before baby’s arrival. Well, we don’t know exactly when that is going to be. It could be in 16 weeks, or sooner. So, since we got back from Mexico, we have been working on all of the necessary transitions. My very first goal was to transition Helena from her crib, which Olivia will inherit, to a toddler bed. I was a bit nervous about it wondering if I were rushing things, if Helena was truly ready for it, if she could get hurt somehow. But, we decided to go ahead anyway. Worst case scenario she would be going back to her crib.
We made it a big event! We went to Ikea, had Helena test – drive some beds, had a nice meal there! We kept telling her how she is going to be a big sister and her sister will be inheriting her crib so now she got a brand new bed. We also got a small wardrobe because her room doesn’t have much storage. Unfortunately, we could not build her furniture right away because we had to wait until Dan was back home from work. The day arrived! Dan started to build Helena’s new furniture. She grabbed her tools and tagged along to help daddy haha She participated through the whole thing. She helped us organize her new closet, clean her room, put her mattress on the bed, put sheets and covers on the bed. At the end of the day, I just could not believe how excited she was with her new room. She was electric! She would go in and out bed, play with her toys.
When it was bedtime, we talked to her and explained that now she was going to sleep in her bed and no longer in the crib. I could tell she was a little nervous about sleeping in a new environment so I stayed with her until she fell asleep. The first night was great! She slept through it and didn’t fall off or anything. It has been this great since, the only problem was that she now expected us to stay in her room until she would fall asleep, and I did not want her to be dependent on that to sleep. It was hard to break this habit – amazing how it took only one time to get her hooked on it – but we finally managed. Dan noticed that leaving her door a bit open was enough to comfort her. Now, we leave it open and then she gets up and closes it on her own, goes back to bed and sleeps haha What I have loved the most about all this is how much she adores her room. As a parent, it is really gratifying to see your kid this happy with something you envisioned for them. She loves hanging out in her room during the day and that has even facilitated nap time. There were times we would put her in her crib for her nap and she would just cry. Now, we take her to her room and she plays a bit then goes to bed for her nap on her own! I can’t begin to explain how much time it saves us not having to deal with nap time tantrums anymore. At the same day we bought her bed and wardrobe, we also got her a toddler table with a couple of chairs. The idea was to use it for crafts and what not, but she decided she wanted to have her meals there too. It has been another blessing! She has been eating so much better since we got her this table. She enjoys eating like we, adults, do. She enjoys taking her plate to the table and eating with the freedom to get up and not be stuck like she would be in her high chair. She takes us by the hand and invites us to sit with her. She loves eating with us at her table. When she is done, she dumps her garbage in the can and takes her dishes to the sink. She is so proud of herself she starts to clap haha I am so glad this has been a smooth transition!!! This whole experience has been bittersweet! It is so nice to see your kid growing and reaching milestones, but it is bitter to see how fast time goes by. I cant believe she will be 2 in about 2 months. I really miss her newborn self sometimes. When you have a newborn it is so exhausting and demanding that it feels like it will never end, but now I can realize how quick the newborn stage is. I will certainly try and enjoy Olivia’s newborn stage as much as possible especially because we don’t intend to have anymore kids!