Thursday, June 2, 2011

A big bed for a big girl!

Noelie turned 2 last week and received a great and practical present from my mum and dad: her first big girl bed. To be truthful, they got it when they came over at the beginning of April and it has just sat in the spare bedroom since then. There were some practical issues that needed to be sorted before we could allow Noelie to have the freedom to get up out of bed by herself!
First, we needed to get safety gates. Although she is well able to go up the stairs by herself, she doesn't really attempt to do it without somebody following her. Well she tried a couple of times but quickly realized that Maman and Daddy weren't too keen on the idea. So we wanted to get safety gates for the upstairs landing, to prevent her from attempting to go down the stairs should she manage to get up out of bed and open the bedroom door without anybody noticing. As much as she has mastered the art of going up, she is far from having mastered the going down part. She tries to copy everybody else and walk down, which considering her size and the length of her legs means that she would tumble down at the first step.
Anybody would think that getting safety gates is a common enough thing to do and as such, an easy one. Not in our experience! Firstly, our landing is wide. We could find safety gates that fit but at what we considered to be too high a price (I know, safety has no price, but seriously would you pay 150 euros + for safety gates?). So we looked into the extensions on a normal safety gate option which seemed like a good idea. After visiting a couple of Mothercare shops, we discovered that we could find the safety gate we wanted, but it seemed that none of them had the extensions in stock. Eventually, we found one shop that did have them in stock. Very happy, we purchased our safety gate and the extension, and other bits and pieces we needed and made our way home. Simple, hey! Well, no. It turns out that we were given the wrong extension, it wasn't even the same brand as the gates and wouldn't fit onto them. And on top of that, had we been able to fit the extension on, we were missing quite a few inches in length. So, we went hunting for the right extension and the right length. We went to another Mothercare shop, where they had no extensions but took back the wrong one and gave us a refund. They also said that they could order them in and we could collect them but had no idea how long the process would take. We then decided to order them ourselves on the website as it really made more sense. Simples again.

Well, guess what? Not so simples. We looked on the website and for a start, although they sell white safety gates, they only sell silver and black extensions. We went for the silver ones, that were in stock and expected the delivery within 10 working days. Everything was fine, or so we thought. A week or so later, I received a phone call informing me that the 14 cm extension wasn't in stock so they'd give us a refund and we could order it again when they were back in stock (all research and checking would have to be done by ourselves, of course). Wonderful customer service, isn't it?

A couple of days later, the delivery came with one of the extensions we'd ordered but we were still a few inches short. So the safety gate was just sitting there, under the stairs, with its too short of an extension, in other words, absolutely useless.

Eventually, we decided to put the safety gate up at the bedroom door and forget about extensions and the likes. So on Saturday, Mr Foodie plucked up the courage to put the bed together (why is it that men as much as they love putting things together, don't like reading the instructions on how to do it?) and the cot went out of the room.

This didn't seem to phase her at all. As soon as the bed was up, she wanted to go for a 'dodo' (sleep). Noelie is at a stage where she loves doing the same things as her big sister and, for the past couple of weeks, insisted on getting into her sister's bed in the morning with a book and the bedside lamp on, just like her big sister.

At bedtime, she rushed up the stairs really excited about sleeping in her big girl's bed. I know that sometimes the transition from cot to bed is not necessarily and easy one, but I have to admit that we were more nervous than she was. All through the evening, we kept listening out for a thump, indicating that she'd fallen out of bed, despite the barrier. We went up a few times too, to make sure that she was OK (something that we haven't had to do in ages!). But the night went without a hitch or thump. My main worry wasn't really nighttime, it was more nap time. What if she didn't want to sleep and kept getting out of bed? But that too went without a hitch.

The second night took a little more work. We had put Noelie to bed slightly later than usual, and Marie followed closely. After a few minutes, Marie shouted from the landing that Noelie kept getting out of bed and coming into her bed, and that she'd like to sleep now please so could somebody come up and put her in her own bed and make sure that she stayed there. So I went up and settled both girls back into their respective beds. I calmly told Noelie that it was time to go asleep in her own big girl bed and so she did. And so far, there has been no nap time or bedtime escapes.

The cot is now on the landing, ready to be put into our room for the arrival of Peanut in 9 (or less) weeks time. And she hasn't as much as taken a look at it on her way to her big girl's bed. We are very lucky that she has taken to it like a duck to water and that she was ready for it. It is quite an emotional thing for parents, seeing their baby make the transition from cot to bed. She looks so small in such a big thing. But I can't help but wonder, are we, parents, making more of a big deal about it than it really is for our children?

What do you think? How was the transition from cot to bed for you?

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