Crib No More…

Well, Clara has officially made the full transition from crib to bed. We never expected her to sleep in her crib for so long (we’ve been “at the ready” with a big girl bed for over a year now, since many of her friends started making the switch back then), but this girl just loves to surprise us and truly adored her crib. And we adored that she was sleeping soundly all night long (even after being potty trained, she was able to hold it ’til the morning). So we didn’t want to rock the boat for all of our sakes, and decided to trust our doc when he said “let sleeping kids lie – she’ll let you know when she’s ready.”

When she started taking “play naps” in her big girl bed, we took it as a sign that she was showing some interest. And then a few real naps followed the play naps, and then she wanted to try her big girl bed out during the night as well, and thus the transition began. Now she’s 100% in her big girl bed (and has been for the last month or so, which is why we’re finally confident enough to make mathematical statements like 100%).

Our biggest fear about the transition was that she’d use it as an opportunity to get up and play at night, or wake us up crazy early in the morning – but she has surprised us once again and has made the switch really smoothly. Except for a couple getting-up-to-put-another-stuffed-animal-in-her-bed incidents, she has slept through the night and through naps without issue. We’re thrilled and extremely relieved.

Half of me can’t believe that she was so happy to sleep in a crib for so long, and the other half of me can’t believe she’s now sleeping on a big twin sized mattress every night. How is she not still a tiny infant in my arms? You blink and they’re all grown up. No I’m not crying, there’s just dust in my eye.

The most exciting thing about this development is that we could finally move the crib out of her room. We waited about a month to do this since we didn’t want her to feel like it got ripped away from her the moment she was finished using it. And as we were moving it out, we told her how now it would make more room for fun things.

So here’s the blank in-between look that the wall was sporting…

… and here’s what it’s looking like now.

I know, I know – we said “make more room for fun” and then we put a dresser there. But the wall where the dresser used to live… well, we’re working on a complete wall o’ fun for her there. Plus Clara was so excited for us to hang the birdcages from her playroom up above her dresser in its new spot (between the striped toy baskets, the moose lamp, the play table and chairs, the daybed, and the pile of art that we’re planning to hang, this room is turning into a nice mix of stuff from her nursery and her playroom).

It still feels a little sparse though, so I think we might layer in some more art or put something in the birdcages (piles of ribbons? Clara is obsessed with ribbons lately…) so this wall isn’t finished, but I think it’s inching in the right direction.

As for how we hung the birdcages, we just used white plant hooks in the ceiling screwed into anchors to hold them nice and firmly up there. And when it comes to their placement, John just held them up and I stood back and said “there – no there! – ok, right there!” and we marked the spots on the ceiling, hung the hooks, and then adjusted the ribbon length on each one until we liked their hanging height.

Of course, during the whole get-the-hooks-in-the-ceiling part of the objective, our little assistant was happy to play with the birdcages. At one point she even picked both of them up and breathlessly said “I love carrying birdcages around.” I’d have a picture of that for you, but we were both laughing so hard that we couldn’t see straight. But I did get this one slightly before that moment…

Oh and this can be filed under “small details” but that bowl on the dresser full of blocks always bugged me because while the top of it was all glossy and red (it was originally just a white bowl from Ikea that I spray painted for a book project), the bottom was all splotchy and half-sprayed… which NEVER would have bothered me if it wasn’t visible, but since it has curved sides, you could clearly see the messy underbelly (scroll two pics up to see what I mean). So I finally did something I’ve been meaning to do forever, and painted the bottom a contrasting color.

It only took me twenty minutes, and I have no idea why I waited so long. As for how I got ‘er done, I rubbed the bottom of the bowl with liquid deglosser, just to get it paint-ready. Then I used a small brush and a test pot of paint that we’ve had around forever (Embellished Blue by Behr) to coat the bottom of the bowl. The small brush and thin application got me through it without any drips onto the front, and after two coats and some drying time, it was ready to rock out on the dresser again.

Here’s that side of the room from the doorway now. Oh and see those hooks on the side of the dresser? Those used to hold the wet bags for our cloth diapers, but I strung up two ribbons to hold hair clips for Clara. She likes snapping them off and on, so it’s sort of like a fun new activity for her. Such a funny gal.

Speaking of funny, it’s funny how you can get so used to turning the corner and seeing this…

… and suddenly it’s not there anymore.

But the most exciting wall of the room is still in progress (you can see the corners of a few items that we’ve added to the mix on the right of this room shot). I still have a few things to paint/hang/drill, but we’re hoping to have that all done and photographed for you guys on Thursday.

Until then, I’d love to hear about other people’s crib-to-bed switching experiences. Were your kids super young and climbing out of the crib? Is Clara going to end up in the Guinness Book Of World Records for Longest Holdout? Is your son or daughter in a toddler bed, or did they make the switch straight to a twin sized mattress? It’s amazing how kids all move at different paces for things like walking, talking, and bed sleeping (Clara was a really early-talker, but had no interest in walking for a while – and certainly liked her crib more than most). I love that they all move at their own sweet little pace.

Psst- We’re chatting about baby names (and what the bun would have been named if he was a she) over on Young House Life.


  1. says

    This is so helpful – we have a two-year-old toddler who is still in her crib, and I’m always wondering when we should make the transition to a big-girl bed. I like how you just waited until Clara told you she was ready, maybe we’ll go that route. Of course, her big-girl bed is so fun, no wonder she transitioned so well!

  2. Kimberly says

    I’m glad Clara has transitioned so well to her big girl bed! And hopefully, when the time comes, your little barnacle will do the same.
    We were forced to move our daughter to a big girl bed when she started being able to literally climb out of her crib. She was fearless! (Still is…) And that makes it sound like we held out until she was like 8, but she was only about 2 1/2 or so…

  3. Nicky says

    Clara is one lucky gal. I know you don’t share too much of the bad and the ugly but the way you write about her and the steps she takes in life just shows how loved she really is. Also, I don’t think I have ever seen any child’s room as pretty and as thoughtful as Clara’s. Sometimes I even catch myself thinking ‘I wish I had had that in my room when I was a kid!’ (like the pretty clock) even though I had an amazing childhood.

    • says

      Aw, thanks so much Nicky! It’s so funny you mention the clock because she woke up from her nap yesterday and I asked her what her favorite thing in her room was and she said “My blue clock!” – I’m so glad that she likes it.


    • says

      That’s in a pile in the future nursery right now, although I do have one idea for making it a pendant light in her closet (I’d love to turn that into a little walk-in playhouse, so we’ll have to see if it works in there).


  4. jennifer says

    yay clara! her room is really looking great!

    quick question: it looks like you dismantled the crib – was that just to get it through the door or will the new nursery use a different crib than clara’s old one?

    • says

      Yup, just to get it out the door we had to take it apart about halfway, but the bun will sleep in the same crib in his room. Clara’s actually excited for us to put it back together for him (right now it’s still half assembled in the nursery).


  5. Sarah says

    Love it! Also, every time you show pics of Clara’s room I die over those curtains. Why oh why did Ikea have to discontinue those…..

  6. Megan CC says

    It’s nice to hear that other people have let their “big” girls in a crib if they were still content to be there. My girl is a few months past 2yrs. and still very happy to sleep in her crib. We were just talking about it the other night, if we should move her into a “big girl bed”, but I’m definitely leaning towards waiting until she shows us she’s ready. Love the way Clara’s room is turning out!

  7. Danielle says

    I love her big girl room. It has so many colors and fun stuff happening, but doesn’t feel like a toddler room…if that makes any sense. I feel like it could grow with her. I am planning our first nursery for our little girl and feeling a little overwhelmed. There are so many great ideas out there. I want the room to grow with her, but am surprisingly getting some flack for not doing a themed room. It will have lots of color, but just wont have themed bedding and wallpaper, etc. Anyone else feel like they get some flack for that? I know she is a baby, but that doesn’t mean it has to be super baby-ish…right?

    • says

      Yeah, I think it’s hard because especially with kids, everyone has opinions about how things should be or how they did things (for example, my mom actually was sad I didn’t want to do a wallpaper border). One thing that seems to work out for us, is just to move one day at a time and layer things in there as it feels right, and usually when it progresses other people start to “see it.” Like when we said “we’re doing white walls and no wallpaper border” my mom wasn’t into it, but as we layered things like the pink ceiling, the raindrops, the canopy, the fairy lights, etc – well, the whimsy/fun/color/playfulness became more apparent, and now my mom says she wants to move into Clara’s room. Haha! So my hope for you is that as things come together, people will see all that color and the fun, personal touches – and it’ll make sense :)


    • Stefanie says

      The thing about kid’s rooms is that they need to be easy to evolve. Their interests change so frequently that doing a theme/character/etc can be pointless, especially when doing a nursery for an infant who doesn’t even actually have interests yet! Haha.

      My plan of attack has always been less is more. Keep the big things neutral-ish (walls, furniture) and then doing colors/art/bedding that work well with each other but don’t necessarily present a theme. If a theme is what you really want then focus on the things that are easily (and cheaply) changed out..bedding/art/etc.

      And Sherry…thank you for not doing the wallpaper boarder. I’ve been waiting for this trend to die out for eons now. Funny how our parents, my own included, have such ideas as to how things should be. My own mother couldn’t believe that my daughter’s bed would not include a BEDSKIRT! Oh the horror of it all!

    • em says

      That is the silliest thing I have ever heard! It’s your baby- do whatever you want and nip that flack nonsense at the bud! Also, I think most people these days are going for what you are doing- making a non-theme room that is not too babyish and can transition as the child grows.

    • Christine says

      We had the same issue with not wanting a “theme” room. I was too cheap to spend a ton of money on something she would grow out of quickly, plus I just really didn’t like any of the choices out there. I finally had some luck with this fabric

      I didn’t buy any of the pre-made stuff, luckily I have an aunt who is a fantastic seamstress/quilter/crafty person so she did a valance, crib skirt, window shade and small tablecloth (for a side table) for us using that fabric, plus some blue and brown accents (so it wasn’t overly pink, in case our daughter isn’t a pink fan!)

      Good luck – I agree, it’s stressful. And then once you find something you like, it’s CRAZY expensive!

    • Jessica Leonard says

      Agreed! I had a whole themed room planned for our son originally, but had to scrap the plan when the crib I wanted went out of stock. I ended up with a nice neutral gray on the walls and ceiling and added color and a “theme” with artwork and accessories. That way if the little monster ends up loving pirates later or just plain hating the Nintendo theme, it’s super easy to switch things up! Here’s some pics:

    • says

      This is one area I get particularly frustrated with – people expressing opinions not asked for on parenting issues not brought up, and especially having strong opinions on something as ridiculous as decor, for a room that’s not even in their own house. People are welcome to their opinions. You do what you want to do. We aren’t going to go with a theme either (that’s the plan at least). I’m all about keeping it simple, fun, colorful, and easy to clean!

    • Danielle says

      Thanks for all of the great feedback ladies. There does seem to be a lot of unwanted advice given very freely when people find out you are pregnant. We also are going to cloth diaper, and while I know its not necessarily the easiest route, especially since I will be going back to work full time after 3 months, it feels right for us. Its good to know there are lots of other mamas out there, making decisions that irritate their family members haha! Another reason why I love blogs- its so easy to find people who are making similar choices for their families. Such a great support system.

  8. April says

    This isn’t exactly “fun”, but GIANT MIRROR! Then you’ll have double the bird cages, and be able to see the colored raindrops!

    • says

      Yup, we’ll use the same crib in the nursery for the bun. We began planning Clara’s nursery in February when she was due in May, so we think January might be when we get things started for the bun, since he’s due in April. We’re definitely thinking about a million ideas, but haven’t pinned anything down yet. Can’t wait to dive in, though!


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