transitioning from a crib to a big girl bed

When I was pregnant with Lydia, long before I even knew I was actually having a little girl, all I could think about was a nursery centered around a gold Jenny Lind-style crib.  The day we had our ultrasound which, indeed, confirmed our little bundle was a baby girl, I ordered this crib and immediately had it painted Champagne Toast by Ralph Lauren Regent Metallics.  It was – and still is – my favorite part of Lydia’s nursery. 

Well, here we are two and a half years later (I still can’t wrap my head around how fast the time went) and she’s not only starting to run out of room in her crib, but we are also getting closer to needing it for baby bear’s nursery. The thing is, even though she is 2.5 she isn’t exactly ready for a big girl bed. My child has always been super curious about everything and wants to be around us 24/7 so, even though we go through our whole routine every night before bed, it still takes her at least 30 minutes most nights (and sometimes more) to settle herself once we leave the room (and that entails playing with her lovies in her crib, talking to herself and looking straight at the monitor and yelling for momma to come get her). 

I know the only way she could sleep in her big girl bed would be if I were to lay in there with her until she falls asleep, otherwise, she would be all over the room, pulling books and toys out and having herself a grand old time, but I feel like doing that would defeat all my efforts over the years to get her sleeping through the night and not having to run in there every time she kicks the covers off or semi wakes up for a minute before drifting back off to sleep.  I know she is about to undergo some serious adjustments once the baby gets here and I feel like sticking to routine as much as possible would help her tremendously, but I also know I need to start transitioning her slowly, as well. 

Luckily, she LOVES her big girl bed that Daddy made for her room before she was born!  (You can find the plans we used to make it here; it’s aptly named the “Lydia” bed)  We read books there and lay together after reading stories and saying our prayers at night, talking about all the fun things we did that day, but she very rarely ever asks to stay and sleep in it….

With baby boy making his debut in the next six weeks or so, it just doesn’t make sense to buy another crib, so I figure I will start out by getting her to take naps in her daybed.  Any suggestions of how to make that transition easily?  And, more importantly, how to get her to stay in it? Or, am I crazy and I should just leave her sleep in her crib for as long as she wants?

Hope you’re all off to a great start this week!

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I'm Kelly, interior designer, stylist, hostess with the mostest and editor of my blog, where I share pics of my work, my own home, décor projects, entertaining hacks, where to find the best decorating deals and all the beautiful things that are currently inspiring me!




  1. Holli on July 25, 2016 at 3:48 pm

    We have a very similar 4 year old. He is a great sleeper . . . once those eyes (and mouth) close. He loved his crib. We are about to have baby #3 and had to finally move the crib out of his room to let him adjust. For a while, we had the crib and a transition toddler bed side by side. Some nights, he would request to get back in the crib and would go right to sleep. We always joked that he would look like Will Ferrell in Elf, sleeping in that crib at 14. So no real advise here. Just like all parenting . . . trial and error. Good luck!

  2. Tara on July 25, 2016 at 5:49 pm

    My experience with my 3 little ones is that they all move at their own pace. I've found that when I have pushed for something to happen, its been a mistake on my part but when I waited till when they are ready, I have had better success…from potty training to moving out of the cribs. Unless expense of another crib is too much, I highly recommend waiting until she is ready especially with another change on the horizon 😉 I think we all know what is best for our own children though and wish you the best of luck!

  3. Yvonne on July 26, 2016 at 12:09 am

    Well does she have any older cousins or friends who already sleep in a big girl bed? You could show her how they are big girls and get to sleep in big girl beds. That worked for my youngest daughter. Maybe have her pick out a LARGE stuffed animal to sleep with and tell her that the crib is too small. Good luck. 🙂

  4. Kelly Stivers on July 26, 2016 at 3:29 am

    Holli – Buddy the Elf in a crib, hahaha! That's almost where we are at right now because she's so tall, I don't know how we are going to last too terribly much longer, but maybe moving her crib right next to the crib is a good idea, thank you so much! xx

  5. Kelly Stivers on July 26, 2016 at 3:31 am

    Tara – you couldn't be more on point about the change on the horizon; it's why I feel like I should try to keep things as normal as long as I can (aka her sleeping in her crib). It's almost like a puppy in a crate, it's her safe place. Thank you so much for commenting! xx

  6. Kelly Stivers on July 26, 2016 at 3:34 am

    Yvonne – unfortunately, no we don't have cousins anywhere close by, but the giant stuffed animal is genius! xx

  7. Jennifer Howell on July 14, 2017 at 5:48 pm

    I just came across your blog and am in love with the colors of your nursery. Specifically the pink/coral stripped pillows. I am currently on the hunt for some wonderful drapes for my daughters room and am looking in the coral/ watermelon-pink family. It's long past I'm sure, but where did you find those pillows/fabric??

  8. Kelly Stivers on July 18, 2017 at 8:08 pm

    Hi, Jennifer! The striped fabric pillows were custom made by fabric by the yard I found at a hole in the wall fabric store when I was pregnant in 2013. It's by P, Kauffman and the color way is discontinued, unfortunately, I'm so sorry!

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