Sunday, November 3, 2013

Tory's New Room and the Big Girl Bed Transition

The final step in our "musical rooms project" to prepare for Baby Aden's arrival is complete. Tory transitioned to a big girl bedroom about two months ago now. It's been an interesting process, that's for sure. The physical act of changing from a nursery to a toddler girl's room was easy. Transitioning one Miss Tory from sleeping in a crib to sleeping in a "big girl bed" ... well, not so much.

So, the room make-over part first:

I originally decorated Tory's nursery in a subtle lavender color with white and black accents so nothing was too "baby-ish" and needed to be replaced. (Of course, that hasn't stopped me from making updates here and there over the last two years). Here's a few pictures of her previous "baby nursery" for reference, taken shortly after we moved into this house in July 2011. 

Items which have changed in the last two years -- I removed the cube bookshelf (seen above) and replaced it with a glider rocking chair which has since moved to our living room. I also added white floating shelves on the wall in place of the cube bookshelf.

When designing Tory's new room, Andi and I went back and forth deciding if we wanted Tory to have a twin-size or a full-size bedroom set. At one point, we decided to go full-size and use an extra headboard and frame we have in storage, but then Andi measured and realized it's actually a queen-size bed. I thought a queen was too big for Tory's room so the decision was made to go with a new twin bedroom set. I wanted white, but finding a "girlie white twin bedroom set" proved to be somewhat difficult. We couldn't believe how much junk was out there for options! Some larger, fairly reputable furniture stores in the Twin Cities don't even carry white bedroom sets for girls. has some, but reviews about shipping damage deterred us from that option. We looked on Craigslist and a few garage sales, but nothing was just right. Finally, quite near the end of our shopping rope, we found the perfect set. 

Tory was as much over furniture shopping as we were

Here is Tory's new big girl bedroom, complete with a new white bedroom set and some of her favorite toys previously kept in the play room.

New bedroom layout

I adore all things monogrammed so with this set of room updates, I did treat myself - err, I mean, Tory - to a new wooden wall initial sign to hang above her dresser. This replaced the black, white and lavender name plaque I'd originally made for the room. With new pink and white twin bedding, the old lavender fabric and black frame didn't tie to the room anymore and I'm much happier with the monogrammed wall hanging. 

Previous name plaque

New monogram wall hanging

I splurged on new pink bedding from Pottery Barn Kids. When I first designed Tory's nursery, I was determined not to have a typical pink nursery for my girl but now two years later, I actually love how the pink compliments the lavender walls. The quality of the sheets, quilt and duvet are very nice, so hopefully she'll have this set for years to come. The white twin bed skirt was purchased separately from here. The safety bed rail is a hand-me-down from one of Andi's co-workers. 

I left the vinyl wall decal we originally printed to showcase three 8x10 photographs above Tory's bed. Every year around her birthday, I replace the photos with updated shots of my big girl. Still waiting on images from Tory's 2 year shoot in September to add to these frames ....

Finally, Tory's transition to actually sleeping in her new big girl bed:

Coincidentally, Andi was scheduled for work travel most of September so the pleasure of transitioning Tory to a big girl bed was all mine. By confession, she wasn't the greatest sleeper in her crib. Tory has always woken up 1-2 times a night and I usually had to soothe her back to sleep again. We've tried all the Cry It Out methods and sure, they work for a while but something (sickness, traveling, spending weekends at the cabin, etc.) throw us right back into an evil crappy sleep pattern. 

Back then, however, Tory was confined inside her crib. She'd started to climb out if I left her in there to cry but I never rushed right into her room to reassure her of my presence. I knew Tory wouldn't be one of those dream kids who stays in their big kid bed and calls for the parent to retrieve them. She's a little monkey by nature and has had no problem scaling Andi and I's fairly high master bed for some time. The minute Tory's new bed arrived, she climbed in and out on her own with no problem.

So, mixing Tory's light sleeping patterns and her ability to get in/out of bed on her own means I've been getting up with her 1-4 times a night to re-direct her back into bed ever since the dang bedroom transition in mid-September. When Tory wakes up in the night now, she doesn't even cry out for me. Instead, she grabs her pillow, sippy cup and a few toys, then high-tails it into the master bedroom for a sleepover. Since I'm already up with pregnancy insomnia half the night anyway, I do a pretty good job of re-directing Tory back into her bed. It just stinks I have to get up with her several times a night. I also have to wait until she falls back asleep again, or she follows me right back to my room. Naps seem to be going okay in the new bed. Tory will sleep 60-90 minutes in her bed which is comparable to what she slept in her crib. 

Our lake cabin throws an interesting twist into the big girl bed transition. We moved Tory to a full-size bed there (she was sleeping in a pack n' play before) and she has yet to sleep past 11:00pm in that bed. Since August. It's hard to develop a consistent routine of familiarity because we're only at the cabin on weekends.

So, in summary, the big girl bedroom transition is: rough going. I think we made the right decision in transitioning Tory from a crib to a bed before Baby #2 arrives but, man, I wish she was a better sleeper. Really, I've been wishing that for the last 26 months! I hope Tory grows out of this light sleeper / up several times a night phase and eventually, I know think she will. I mean, teenagers love sleep, right? Eventually she'll love to lay in her bedroom all day ... I just have to hold on until then.

I'd be lying if I said I wasn't nervous about bringing a newborn baby home in a few days AND dealing with Miss Up All Night at the same time. How I'll nurse a baby and put Tory back to sleep several times a night will prove interesting. Usually, all bedtime routines in our household fall to me since I'm the stay-at-home parent, but Andi has agreed to help when the new baby arrives. Tory, on the other hand, may have another thing to say about that as she screams for "Mommy" when Andi or anyone else tries to help. (Maybe waiting nine days before my due date was a bad time to work Andi in the bedtime mix)? I'm trying not to worry about it because the new baby is coming (soon!) and we'll have to figure it out. So is the life of being a parent ....


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  3. Pretty colors and I like her bed a lot!

    I'm so so so sorry that Tory continues to give you huge sleep drama and I can completely relate to it because it's the same thing Bella did to me at the same time in her life (although I guess we transitioned her a week before Oliver was born because she started freaking me out with crib climbing). I don't have any magical advice. It took time and a lot of limit setting and walking her back ,etc. It's so exhausting. I think it's really smart to let Andi take on night duties with her - the change in parent might be enough to get her to stay put. I do think her sleep will improve, especially as she drops her nap. Bella is still prone to getting out of bed at night, and I confess to letting her sleep with us most of the time, but that's because she is now a calm sleeper (normally). She just climbs into our bed at 3 AM or something and goes right to sleep. But like Tory she ususally has to bring an entourage of stuff: water, lovie, alarm clock, random things... :)

    I hope you don't mind me copying you on posting a similar topic today but this reminded me that I had a version of my own in my drafts!

  4. I hope the sleep troubles end soon. And especially hope that Aden is a breeze...I've said it before but you so deserve it.

    I love her room though! So dainty and girly and perfect!