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Practicing Gratitude: Accepting the big girl bed

Nichole Beaudry strives to capture the wonder, beauty, and whimsy in the small moments with her children. She earned her undergraduate degree in English from The University of Texas and her master’s in English from California State Un...

Letting our kids grow up isn't always easy

Sometimes, things like toddler and big girl beds carry with them the fear that our children are growing up more quickly than we’re ready. But, sometimes it takes the realization that a bed is just a bed to remind us that in many ways, our children will always be our babies.


Letting our kids grow up isn't always easy

Sometimes, things like toddler and big girl beds carry with them the fear that our children are growing up more quickly than we’re ready. But, sometimes it takes the realization that a bed is just a bed to remind us that in many ways, our children will always be our babies.

She’s ready, he told me.

When the topic of moving our baby girl out of her crib and into a toddler bed came up, I pushed it off for months. Then, I pushed it off some more.

My excuses were numerous. She was still so small. Would that flimsy safety rail protect her? What if she fell out of bed? What if she was scared? What if sleeping in a toddler bed somehow made her less my baby?

She’s ready, he told me.

So, with time, his reassurances helped me feel as ready as I'd ever be for the transition. She never fell out of bed, she welcomed the change and she truly thrived.

She did immediately seem older, but I came to see that there was a baby-ness to her that no toddler bed could rob me of.

More on moving to a toddler bed >>

Is it that time already?

Two years passed happily, but those sweet baby legs lengthened by the day and the idea of moving her to a big girl bed arose before I was ready.

And, again, I pushed it off for months. Her toes may have touched the footboard, but she didn’t seem entirely uncomfortable.

She’s ready, he told me.

So, we ordered her mattress and linens and this past weekend, her big girl bed finally arrived.

Our guide for buying the best beds for kids >>

As I smoothed her bottom sheet over the mattress, I had to truly stretch to reach the other side.

As I smoothed the top sheet and fluffed and tucked the duvet cover, the expanse of butterflies, hummingbirds and flowers seemed to go on forever.

After I plumped her pillows, I turned to her and her smile lit up the room.

Then, once her bed was completely made, I told her she could climb in. There was a part of me that was delighted that she couldn’t climb in without a stool.

In some real way, it reminded me that although she would now sleep in a big girl bed and the toddler bed would be tucked away, she is still, in so many ways, my little girl.

We tucked her in that night and she slept so peacefully. When I checked on her before turning in, she looked so tiny. She somehow seemed more my baby in that huge bed.

My husband was right. She was ready.

The perfect partner

If it were left to me, I would undoubtedly hold her back from growing up... from reaching and changing and becoming more independent.

I am so incredibly grateful to have a husband who sees that letting her grow up a bit doesn’t mean that we’re letting her go. I couldn't ask for a better partner for this parenting journey.

His encouragement and reassurance have helped me to see that she’ll always be our baby.

More on growing up

Practicing Gratitude: Parenting and change
Your 4-year-old: Development, behavior and parenting tips
Your 5-year-old: Development, behavior and parenting tips

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