Every parent who has transitioned their child from a crib or toddler bed to a “big-kid bed” knows the process can be fraught with angst and drama. One dad had a creative solution to that problem.
Coolest dad in the world Eric Strong was able to convince his son to give up his convertible toddler bed by assuring him he would make him “the most awesome bed ever.” And boy, did he deliver on that promise. Using parts from Ikea and the Internet for inspiration, Strong combined two loft beds, a bookcase, an organizing system and his son’s favorite interests to build the ultimate dream bed and hideaway for the boy.
Trust us when we say that this is the bed dreams are made of. The loft-style bed features a slide, which would be cool on its own, plus an LED-lighted hidden room that opens when you pull up on a book on the bookshelf, a pulley system and a ball run. It’s hard to put how cool this thing is into words, so take a look for yourself:
Video: Eric Strong/YouTube
More: Cool beds for kids
This should definitely cut down on all the drama that surrounds transitioning your reluctant toddler to a “big-boy” or “big-girl” bed. After all, Strong came up with the idea for the bed after striking a bargain with his son: Give up the toddler bed, and you’ll get an awesome replacement. It’s a common tactic, along with race car-shaped beds and princess canopies. Who among us has not used a well-placed bribe to get a child to do what you ask them to?
As far as “awesome” beds go, this one, at $850 for materials, can sound like an expensive undertaking, but it’s relatively cheap when you consider that a similar bed can cost well over a thousand dollars and doesn’t allow the same customization.
Of course, if you don’t have the money to spend or the math skills to construct a bed like this one, here are some strategies that experts suggest you can implement to make the transition from crib or toddler bed to “big-kid bed” a little more painless for everyone involved:
1. Involve your child in picking out their new bed
This is key. Of course, you’ll have to draw a boundary somewhere — not every child can have a bespoke tree house bed/clubhouse with a milk and cookie dispenser. But by handing over some of the control, your kid will feel less shaken up by the upheaval. This goes for picking out bed linens and pillows and the like as well.
2. Time it just right
Don’t stack transitions if you can help it. A move, the beginning of school or the arrival of a new baby are already very stressful, so plan in advance, and put three to six months in between one big event and the big-kid bed.
3. Stick to business as usual
Once the new bed is in place, it’s fine to be excited, but it’s also critical to ensure your regular bedtime routine remains in place. The familiarity will help show your little one that the big-kid bed is no big deal.