Monday, July 27, 2009

The Great Big Move To Big Kid Beds

Thing 2 learned to climb out of her crib months before Thing 1.

But still, I managed to resist the move to a big kid bed.

Nearly two years after that first nocturnal escape, and many months after removing one side of each of the kids' cribs, so they could roam free, I finally decided it was time. They could probably have lasted another six months, a year at best. But they'd be pretty cramped by then, and I figured, why not change 'em over during the summer, so they wouldn't face sleep disruption mid-school year?

Then the question became, what kind of beds should we get?

Toddler beds seemed a foolish idea to me; they always have. Why spend money on a bed only long enough to last a few years, when you've already been saddled with buying a crib, and you'll only have to get a twin bed later? (Confession: both my kids' cribs are hand-me-downs, so the only money I spent was on mattresses, waterproof pads and sheets ... and come to think of it, some of those were hand-me-downs too. Thank you for sharing -- you know who you are.)

But the thing about getting your kids beds is this: you've got to have everything on hand when those beds arrive. New mattresses. New sheets. Waterproof pads. And in my kids' case, bed rails, because my kids still manage to fall out at night on a regular basis. We unfold a foam futon between their cribs at night to catch them.

A few nights into this project, I realized it was a major undertaking.

The biggest adventure was locating decently priced beds actually made of wood, not particleboard and other "wood composites," beds that'll actually last a long time, god willing till college (mine did), that wouldn't look ridiculous for four-year-olds or for eighteen-year-olds.

There were excursions to discount kids' furniture stores in the far reaches of Torrance. To the kids' delight, there were bunk beds and loft beds and beds that look like castles on which to play (even though we weren't contemplating those kinds of beds). To our frustration, we had to corral them before they totally alienated the harried salespeople. There were many late-night web sessions, once again. Until finally, the beds were located and bargained for at a reasonable price. And then, the clock began to tick: the beds were coming in ten days or so, and all the other components had yet to be procured.

I'd promised the kids they could pick out sheets, only to realize, upon venturing out to Bed, Bath, and Beyond What's In Your Checkbook (I call it this because you go there for one item, and bring home six), that bedding made for kids is crap.

Itchy, scratchy, polyester crap.

So ixnay on the Disney or other well-known character bedding.

The girl said she wanted polka dots anyway, and the boy is more persuadable when it comes to such matters. So after a lot of late-night web-browsing, I came upon 100% cotton sheets of a decent thread count at Pottery Barn Kids, an enterprise I've generally considered to be 100% evil. That's because everything there is tasteful beyond belief, as if a Martha Stewart pixie decorated the whole store, and everything is wildly overpriced.

In fact, I'd even titled my post to a westside of L.A. parenting message board, "Where Can I find Nice Beds Not At Pottery Barn Prices?"

I figured I'd grab some solid sheets in acceptable colors and a good price at Bed Bath, to be the back-up sheets, and then take the kids to Pottery Barn to give them the illusion of picking out what I'd already found for them: polka dot sheets for her (per her desire, in her choice of color) and Dr. Seuss character sheets for him. Yes, Virginia, you CAN get character-themed sheets in 100% cotton. Better yet, organic cotton. And they were ON SALE. OMG. Who knew.

But I did manage to steer the kids out of the store, with Dad's help, before they could beg for any overpriced, if exceedingly precious, merchandise.

I've already written on this blog about my long quest to find non-toxic mattresses (see "Once Upon A Mattress.")

And then came the final wrinkle: locating bed rails that would work on platform beds (beds that don't require a box spring under the mattress).

Turns out there's only one, or at least only one I could find in all of Childhood Beddingdom, that does so. Luckily, a local baby-proofing store carried them, so off I went on my lunch hour to buy a pair.

The day the beds were supposed to be delivered, delivery time came and went ... and then when I called the store, I was given another "window," later that day, to be sure and be home. And that "window" came and went too. I was beginning to wonder if I'd have two very disappointed children at the end of the school day, after I'd made the mistake of letting them in on the Big Kid Bed delivery.

Finally, the beds arrived, and within an hour, were assembled.

The kids were thrilled.

Their room looked a lot smaller, but they didn't seem to care.

Nearly a week later, they are sleeping through the night and we are enjoying nights without nocturnal wanderers ... well, okay, we had one last night. But for the most part, after they're asleep, the kids are staying put.

What I really need to do, after the Great Big Move To Big Kid Beds, is get some sleep myself.

But I'm a mom, and that means I'll probably move onto the next Great Big Project without too much of a break.

I have taken the time to enjoy one thing, though. The very best part of Big Kid Beds is that I can snuggle with my kids in their own beds now, which I never could do in the cribs.


Unknown said...

Ooh! Those are awesome! Spacify offers Futon Bunk Bed and more at reasonable prices.

Karen Hartzell, Graco said...

I too had a bed dilemma finding a reasonably priced twin for my 4 yo DD after moving. Her orig queen bed didn't fit in her new room. After tons of similar searches, I finally found a mattress set, frame and a cute headboard I felt were suitable. Now...if I could only get her to sleep in it for more than a few hrs before she ends up back with me. lol

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