35 lbs this kid weighs! Which is spot-on his growth curve and all and not a means for concern, but good grief, he's a bit of a lot to lift and tote. And that was a big part of what spurred us to move him from a crib to a toddler bed this week.
If we hadn't happened to buy a crib that converted to a toddler bed, I would have no truck with toddler beds, and would have put him right into a single bed, or possibly just put his crib mattress on the floor. But lo, the wonder of Ikea.
Ikea let us down. When we took the bars panels out and went to take the top panels off the headboards, it became immediately clear that there would be no detaching and reattaching the decorative cap pieces. They didn't have a flush, flat-to-flat join; they had some kind of grooved thing that was on no account A) going to come apart without solvents or B) going to attach to the bottom panels of the headboard without sawing and sanding. Naturally, we began this process about forty minutes before the kid's bedtime, so power tools were not in the cards. We left the bed with no decorative caps, which means it has a sad, unfinished edge with weird holes. Meh.
I had intended to get a pair of those bed baffle things to keep him from falling out, but I forgot, so instead we put a big dog bed right beside. The bed's only about six inches off the ground, anyway. I wondered if he might not end up preferring the dog bed, and if so, whether it was my duty to discourage that.
I had searched for toddler bed linens online, and found two mutually exclusive categories: the ugly and the ruinous. One advantage of moving your kid out of the crib while he's still this little is that he has not yet developed an attachment to any licensed characters, so there was no tempation to yield to the ugly in the form of Elmo or Thomas or Spiderman in their poly-blend luridness. Nor was I quite willing to shell out fifty bucks for Dwell Studios' precious hipster 100% cottons. Besides, I didn't think the kid was going to be able to manage the top sheet + comforter; it seemed like a recipe for tangled child. But that was the only formula available from Target, which I quickly realized was my best bet for spending under rather way, way over fifty bucks.
So, Ikea. Which sells toddler pillows and duvets, and then sets of duvet covers and pillowcases (because for pete's sake, if you already have the crib, you already have fitted sheets!). But which doesn't ship its kid bed linens. I did actually consider the idea of tossing the kid in the car and driving three hours to New Haven. I'd have arranged to meet my mother, so it wouldn't have been thoroughly crazy, but still. She offered to go instead, and that was a much saner plan.
So. It only remained to see whether Ben would accept this transition or raise holy hell. Would he pop right out of bed and bang on the door, screaming? Would he rampage through his bureau or pull all the books out of his bookcase? We took the space heater out because he has a desperate fondness for buttons, so at least he probably wouldn't burn the house down. He's a pretty mild-mannered toddler, so odds were in our favor, but then he's always been an iron-jawed sleep resister, so there's that.
There was some initial yelling, but he didn't pop out or fall out of bed. And he settled down pretty quickly. We've now put him down for three bedtimes and two naps, and there's still a little outrage, but it's short-lived and appears to be on the way out. There have been some wake-ups, but no more than in the crib. And we're not out of the woods, I'm sure -- he could decide to rampage at any moment, after all -- but I think it's not premature to call the experiment a success.
But I would never jinx us like that.