Tuesday, February 24, 2009

wake-up call

So here's the scoop on Alex's new bed. We went to IKEA with the intention of getting a bed made specifically for toddlers, only to discover that those beds are no wider than a crib, and if we were going to the trouble to get him a bigger, better bed, we wanted to get him something he was actually going to be able to grow into. So we ended up getting him a regular twin-sized bed, what you might call a "typical IKEA design" - very Scandinavian, low to the floor, brown wood veneer with a slab headboard and a recessed mattress. We put it together on Sunday morning and he laid right down in it at naptime, slept for two and a half hours, and sat in the bed whining until we came to get him.

Oh, there's one little detail I forgot to mention about this whole bed situation. We sorta put the cart before the horse on this one in that we ran out and got a new, fancy bed before we got new, fancy bedrails to keep A from falling out of it. Not for lack of trying, however. We did look at some rails at Target when we got his bedsheets, but the design of the fancy, new bed with the recessed mattress is not conducive to having regular bedrails that slide under the mattress. Our best bet was the kind of foam bumpers that sit on the bed and are attached by straps that wrap around the mattress. Of course, we didn't have time to order them online (and they cost a fortune), so Plan B was for me to make some. So we went to the fabric store to get the supplies only to discover that it would cost as much to make them as it would to order them and have them shipped. So we nixed that idea and decided to "improvise" until we could get some bumpers delivered.

"Improvising" meant we covered the floor around Alex's bed with sleeping bags and stuffed pillows between his mattress and the bed frame to discourage him from rolling out. The bed is only about a foot off the floor, and the sleeping bags are soft enough to cushion a fall, so we weren't really worried that he would be physically hurt. Just emotionally scarred, maybe. We put him to bed before we left for our movie in case he decided to get up and run around, but much to our surprise, he stayed in bed and went right to sleep.

I spent most of the movie wondering if A had fallen out of his bed, and when we got home around 10:30pm, Grammy assured us that he was still sleeping soundly in his bed. So I hit the little girls' room, and as I was washing my hands, I heard a loud THUMP, followed by Alex's high-pitched squeal, followed by silence. The idiot I am, my first thought was that Tim had slammed the door to the other bathroom and woke Alex up. It wasn't until I heard Timothy running from the living room to Alex's room until it dawned on me. Eeeeekkk!!! Alex fell out of bed!!!!

I made it to Alex's room in time to see Tim open the door and flip on the light, and sure enough, there was Alex, lying on the sleeping bag next to his bed. Tim picked him up, and it was only then that I noticed he was still sound asleep, and that the bright light was doing more to wake him up than the fall had. I told Tim he was still asleep and flipped the light back off so he would stay that way. In fact, if we hadn't heard him fall, I'm pretty sure he just would have slept right there on the floor all night and we would have found him that way in the morning.

Clearly our system to keep him in bed had failed miserably. We decided not to risk another fall by putting him back in bed, so we pulled out his mattress on put it on the floor, where he slept for the rest of the night.

So that was Night 1. To avoid a repeat performance on Night 2, I ran around town the next day, searching through furniture stores, baby stores, and department stores for some more bedrail options. When I finally resigned myself to the fact that I was not going to find what I was looking for, I decided to go ahead and buy "regular" bedrails that slide under the mattress, you know, the ones that I had nixed two days ago. I figured we could try them and take them back if we couldn't make them work.

They worked. Mostly. They cause the mattress to buckle a little, which is what I was fearing from the start, but it's not as if Alex is sleeping on a camel's hump or anything. Just a little bump in the middle that flattens out when he lies on it. I think Alex would agree that, considering the alternative, sleeping on a humpy mattress is a small price to pay.

So it seems that, once again, we have not given Alex enough credit for being a good boy. We totally expected this bed situation to be a long, painful process that would involve us going to his room twenty times a night to put him back in the bed after he had gotten up to read a book or play with his toys or just run around and enjoy his newfound freedom. But, for a week and a half now, he has stayed in bed every night after I have laid him down and kissed him goodnight, as well as at naptimes, and in the morning or after a nap, he will sit in his bed and whine until I come get him up. The only exceptions were two times at night, when I laid him down and said goodnight, and he immediately got out of his bed, stood next to it, and flashed me a huge grin. Both times, I gave him "the look", told him to get back into bed, and he did just that. Obviously, he was testing his boundaries, and lucky for me, he quickly understood where those boundaries lie.

I wish I had pictures to share of Alex in his new bed and his rearranged bedroom, but Timothy had "official lawyer-type business" to attend to in Nashville and needed to take my camera with him. He returns tonight, so I will try to post some pics asap. Or whenever I get to it.


Chatter said...

Thanks for the scoop on the big boy bed. It's very impressive. He transitioned well. That's how Conner was. Only he was older so thankfully we didn't have issues with him rolling out of bed.

Thanks for your comment on my wish list. It's one of those days, weeks, months...
This too shall pass!

Amy said...

I'm thinking since he sleeps like a mix master that he'll have to have bed rails until he's 16 or so. Can't wait to see what you got him!