From this......to this
Yup, I've done it. I dreaded it. I thought I'd missed the boat on it a little but hooray it's been fine.
First night at home 1 week old
About 8 weeks old
That's what I did with the big kids, that's what I've done with these 3 and I'll do it again for the next one.
First time alone in their cots - 10 weeks
Honestly, only the boys climbed out twice each, straight after doing it the first time, on different occasions. I told them to go back to sleep and helped them climb back into bed then when they got out the second time I gave them a little smack on the leg (yep - I'm a smacker) and said it was 'nigh nigh time' and that was that. Ailah has yet to climb out.
My other secret? A really, really solid night time routine. Dinner, bath, dry in the bathroom, walk up to the bedroom, lie down for a bottle, get dressed, walk back to the bathroom for teeth time, walk back to the bedroom for hair brushing then they climb into their beds. I feel that's a really big thing. Get them to take ownership about bed. Sure there are times that they don't do it when I tell them, so that's when I assist them to climb in but essentially they're putting themselves to bed. At 17.5 months.
The beds (which were their cots) have little rails on them that help them not to fall out. They still have. Isaac on the first night, Dylan on the third night and Ailah twice since. I put blankets on the floor so it was a cushioned fall. Both Isaac and Ailah woke up crying but were soon back to sleep when I gave them a cuddle, Dylan I found asleep on the floor in the morning. I heard nothing on the monitor that night. Hehehehehehe!
I don't let them play on the beds. They're only for sleeping, I also feel that this plays a huge factor in the change from cots to beds. The one day they didn't go down well I had a friend over who also bought her dog. The trio didn't know the dog was there and while we were having a cuppa Dylan and Isaac got down, opened the front sliding door in their room and went onto the front deck. Holy Dooley did they get a shock of their life when big Tess came bounding up to them! Needless to say there was a lot of screaming going on! After that they went down without any problems. Ailah has a new trick - lying in bed at night smiling and yelling at the top of her voice 'Muuuuuumeeeeeyyyy', even if I'm still in the room. It was cute and funny the first few times she did it. Now it happens every night and a lot during the day when she's walking around the house.
The same day we (thanks Anita!) converted their cots to beds we only gave them 1 day sleep. This has helped immensely as they were so tired by the time we put them down that they did nothing but sleep. By the time they're used to 1 sleep a day they'll know that it is sleep time and will just go down without any fuss.
That's the plan. So far, so good!