This weekend marked a milestone in our household. It was the first time we transitioned Wyatt into his new big-boy bed. Well, technically Max is the one with the new bed, we bought him a loft bed to fit over top of his old one so that Wyatt can take over the one below. For simlicity’s sake, we will refer to the beds as “bunk beds” because that was the easier explanation for the boys. The transition went about as smooth as 20 grit sandpaper.
For several months now, Wyatt has been waking up in the middle of the night, crying to get out of his crib, say, anytime between 1 and 3 a.m. After much coaxing and screaming, Bill or I could usually get him to settle back down again for at least a little while, sometimes with Bill having to sleep on his floor. By “a little while” I mean until about 4 or 5 a.m., when he would expect to get up for the day, and demand to go downstairs and have his milk. I hate to admit it, but we learned that he would sleep an extra hour or so if we brought him in our bed with us. I know, you’re not supposed to do that, but there is a reason why sleep deprivation is considered torture. It didn’t help that he’s just too fun to cuddle with.
Anyway, it was becoming obvious that with the new baby coming, this scenario was not going to fly for much longer. It was decided that Wyatt should be put in a big bed now, so that we could lay with & comfort him in his own room instead of ours. The plan was always to move Wyatt into Max’s room- we sweetened the deal for Max with promises of him getting the top half of a new bunk bed, which seemed to work, he was very excited, and didn’t seem to mind having share his space.
For anyone out there considering getting bunk beds for a 4 and 2 year old, allow me to forewarn you of some possible complications that you (like me) may not have considered:
1. Try bringing home said bed and telling an irrational two year old he’s not allowed on the top bunk, only his brother. You might want to have earplugs on hand.
2. If you have any kind of routine that involves the children playing quietly in their rooms while you get ready in the morning, you can pretty much kiss that goodbye, as they will be fighting over who gets to climb the ladder and risk life and limb in the process.
3. If your older child who sleeps in the top loft has a tendency to fall asleep downstairs, he’s probably going to have to stay there all night, since climbing a ladder with a 40+ pound preschooler is not happening. Getting Max to wake up & walk upstairs on his own is not an option, he sleeps like the dead.
4. If you like to check in on the sleeping children before you turn in for the night, be prepared that one is now too high up to actually see if he’s warm, covered, breathing, etc. Granted, since Max’s bed is technically a “loft” bed, it’s probably a little higher up than most bunk beds, but still something to consider.
5. Once one wakes up and starts calling/screaming for you, they will inevitable wake up the other. Sleep deprivation: 1, Us: 0.
Yeah, good times.