Friday, August 13, 2010

Two in the Bed

I have two kids. My son is about to turn 2 and my little girl is almost 4. With my son's 2nd birthday approaching I'm starting to think about moving him out of his crib. I think he can stay in for a few more months, because he hasn't climbed out yet and he is fitting just fine. However, I know that within the next 6 months (probably) he'll need a bed. We live in a small apartment with only two rooms and the kids' room is small. We most likely will not be moving for almost another year, so I know that at some point I will need to have both my kids in the same room without a crib being in the picture.

So, I have a few concerns. First of all - space. The room is small as I mentioned, and I'm not sure how to fit two beds in the room. One would have to be a toddler bed and the other a twin (my 4 year old is outgrowing her toddler bed). Or we'd have to use a set of bunk beds. I'm not worried about my 4 year old being on a bunk bed, she can navigate stairs/ladders very well. It's my 2 year old I worry about. I worry he'll climb to the top of my daughter's bunk bed and then won't be able to climb down. Or that he will fall and break something.

Secondly, I'm also nervous about them sleeping in the same room when one of them isn't contained. As it is, they usually stay up for 30-60 minutes chatting/crying/reading/playing each night after we put them to bed. I can only imagine how the problem will be compounded when my son is in a bed of his own instead of a crib.

So, here are my questions.....

What is the longest you've left your toddler in a crib for?
Have you used bunk beds with toddlers?
At what age did you feel safe having a bunk bed?
If you've used bunk beds with toddlers what safety measures have you taken?
How do you get your children who share a room to stay in bed when neither one is in a crib?

Thanks so much!


Anonymous said...

Yes I've used bunkbeds for a 2 and 3 1/2 year old. I explained to the older one very seriously that he could get very hurt if he fell out of the bed because he wasn't being careful or because he was playing around. He's careful.

The 2 year old actually isn't big enough to climb the ladder yet. I picked a bed where the rungs are too far apart for her to climb it so she can't go up.

I picked the shortest bunk bed I could find in case any of them do fall at any point.

You can always add one of those things that prevent kids from rolling out of bed to the bottom bunk. That may help the youngest to feel "contained" in the bottom. If your son is small enough to sleep in the pack and play still, you could always tell them that if you come in and find he's gotten out of bed, he has to sleep in the pack and play and put him in there. My super small kids' room is still big enough for the bunk beds and a pack and play in the corner.

Or, here's a thought: avoid bunk beds altogether and get a trundle bed. They may still play and not stay in bed, but at least you won't have to worry about them falling out of a bunk bed.

Liz, Karl and Madison said...

I obviously don't have much advice about this one but Ikea has a really cool bunk bed thing for kids (and I think Richard could build you something like this)

It is reversable and such but it is really close to the ground. The bottom Mattress just sits on the floor and it's only made for little kids to be able to use it so the second bed really isn't that high. They also have these really cool bed tents that you can put on the top... it just looks like it would be a lot of fun and I would think it would be safer because the top bunk really isn't that high. Just a thought...

Liz, Karl and Madison said...

sorry just wanted to add, if you go to Ikea's website and click on children's Ikea there is a box that pops up with a bunch of bedrooms using ikea furniture... the one showing you what I was trying to tell you about is called "lets make bedtime a special time"

It really does look magical!

Jessie said...

My kids have each moved out of the crib shortly before their 2nd birthday. They weren't climbing out or anything, I just needed the crib for my next baby.

When I was trying to figure out what to do with our 3(!) kids in one room, I looked into trundle beds a lot. They're nice because no one is too high off the ground, and everything can get put away when they're not using it, saving space. Ultimately, though, we decided against it, and are currently in the process of building some (very basic) toddler bunk beds. My dad is helping me (he built the beds I grew up in), and it's been a lot of fun, and I'm excited for the girls, I think they'll love them, too. I know my 4-year-old will outgrow them in the not-to-distant future, but in the meantime, they'll save us a lot of space, without being so high off the ground that I have to worry about the ceiling fan. And then my next two kids will be able to use them. The beds Liz posted look like a great alternative to building your own, as far as keeping them close to the ground goes.

As for how to get them to go to sleep--I know with my kids, we just have expectations, and rules are rules around here. They are required to stay in their room after we put them to bed, whether they feel like sleeping or not. I did find my 2 year old asleep on the floor a couple times when we first moved her to a toddler bed, but she's doing much better now, and is asleep even under the covers most of the time these days. Like all things with kids, consistency in expectations is key.

Good luck! :)

Andrea said...

I love bunk beds.

Just establish rules.

Putting your kids together in a room creates friendships that you could never create otherwise.

Let them stay up and giggle.

Thats my advice.
Short and sweet.