OK...I'm a little late on sharing this news with you all. We actually switched Abner to her toddler bed at the end of June after she managed to escape her crib one night. To her credit, she was able to swing herself up and over the side safely without falling, but once they can get out, what's the point of keeping them in a crib?
The bed is actually just her IKEA crib with the sides off and the head and foot boards lowered. I highly recommend it if you're in the market for a new crib. It's low enough that she can easily climb in all by herself and it doesn't hurt if she falls out (which she hasn't really done).
I'll be honest, the first few nights were a bit rough. She was super excited with the change and that meant she didn't want to go to sleep...at all. She was up till almost 10 pm each night playing, talking, crying, screaming and getting in and out of bed. Even once she drifted off (actually, it was more of a sudden crash), she would wake up every few hours and get out of bed and come into the living room or into our bedroom. Did I mention she has no door on her room? It's enough to make you pull your hair out having to get up eight times in a row to march her back to bed!
Thankfully, though the crying and screaming continued for a while longer, by the third or fourth night she was at least staying in her bed. By the second week, she also cut out the crying. All I had to do was ask her to stop crying and she did (who knew!).
The move to a bed has also coincided with a change in her bedtime routine. Up to then, I'd sung her the same song each night, tucked her into the crib and turned on her music box to put her to sleep. Now, the song and music box are out and Robert Munsch is in. We have one of his storybook collections and each night Abner lays in bed while I read one of the stories. We have a rule that her head has to be on the pillow otherwise I stop reading. It's been a great tool to help her learn about staying in bed and settling down before sleep. She absolutely loves the stories and I am absolutely loving sharing them with her...they were some of my favorites as a kid.