Taking The Sides Off Toddler L’s Cot Bed

Last night saw another landmark in the life of Toddler L. It may not be up there with the more ‘glamorous’ milestones such as crawling, walking or talking, but I think it’s significant nonetheless. As given away by the title of the post, yesterday I removed the sides from Toddler L’s cot bed. Dun dun dunnnn!

At a week over 2.5 years old, we’ve been toying with doing this for a while now. However, we’re very much of the ‘if it ain’t broken, don’t fix it’ mentality. As, on the whole, her sleep is pretty good – 8pm to 7am with a few wake ups for water – we didn’t want to make a change in case it had negative ramifications. The last thing we wanted was to remove the sides and find that life became as unbearable as it was during 4-months sleep regression.

Life with a kid goes so bloody fast. I can remember very clearly when she made the transition from the SnuzPod to her cot bed – in fact, this was one of the changes I wrote about when she was around the 6-month mark. That’s two years ago! Two!

Then, more recently, it feels just like yesterday when she went from sleep bag to actual, proper bedding. With the duvet and pillow set, plus the awesome gelato bedding set we were kindly sent from Mokee, it made me realise that she was becoming a little girl. I guess it’s the same kind of feeling Geppetto experienced when Pinocchio became a real boy. Despite the move to a pillow and duvet feeling like the other day, it was actually nearly five months ago now. Crazy.

However, let’s return to yesterday. As I played FIFA worked downstairs as she slept, I heard a banging which I assumed was coming from next door. When it happened for a second – and then third – time, I went to investigate. On opening the bedroom door, I was startled to find Toddler L standing in the middle of the room with a self-congratulatory smile upon her face. She then proceeded to tell me about how she’d climbed over the side of the bed. The sneaky little blighter.

So, with that, the sides had to come off. Well, I say “sides”, but I’ve been lazy and only taken off one of the sides as the other is against the wall. As we bought a bed – the Samplings Kitty Cot Bed – which would grow with her, I *could* also lower the head and foot board, but I’m not in the habit of creating DIY jobs unless they’re definitely needed. I might wait until my dad next comes over so he can do it for me…

Toddler L seemed to be pretty chuffed with her ‘new’ big girl bed. With the sides off, she proceeded to get in and out unaided, bring cuddly toys in with her and pretend to sleep. However, the test would come later that night when she went to bed. Obviously the sides of the bed meant that she’s been trapped in so far – well, until she figured out that she could climb.

Without sides though, my fear was that she’d have free reign to do whatever she wanted when we put her to bed. I had visions of her taking clothes out of drawers, climbing into the wardrobe, playing with plug sockets, and generally everything she’s been constrained from previously doing.

So how did the first night go? Very well! Despite not having a side, nothing changed. She went to bed as normal, stirred a few times as she needed a drink and then called us around 7am. Despite being able to ‘escape’, it appears that she chose not to. Result.

It was a similar story for her nap today. She went to bed – despite not wanting to – then woke 1.5 hours later. On going up to retrieve her, she’d got out of bed and was holding her teddies ready to bring them downstairs. I was pleasantly surprised and can only hope that there’ll be a repeat tonight.

At what age did the sides come down on your kid’s cot bed? Or did they go straight to a toddler bed? Did you have any issues with your little one getting up or falling out during the night? Let me know below!

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  • I’m so glad I read this, thank you.

    T tried to make a break for it from his cot weekend but thankfully got stuck half way.

    I don’t thinkwe’re there yet but because he’s so damn tall we seem to be thinking about it a lot earlier than I would have liked.

    I’m really nervous about clothes being emptied or T simply falling out of bed. I’m not ready but I’m glad things went well for you guys.

  • Martina Pichova

    My daughter had a special ‘FIRST’ tonight too. She slept in her own bed next to ours until today. We have just moved to her own room – finally. (She is a few weeks younger than yours.) We are using a bedrail on her bed otherwise I would be jumping at any little noise from her room thinking she is on the floor…

  • My experience was quite different Dave. I imagined in my head that I’d experience the same as you but circumstances were already against me.

    My daughter is just over two and a half and she has been a dreadful sleeper since birth. We just managed to get her to sleep in her cot by leaving her to drop off weeks before the birth of our son in December 2016 and she would sleep through.

    Shortly after our sons birth it all went down hill…. It takes 2 hours of staying with her in her room to get her to sleep. Then she also woke multiple times in the night. I didn’t witness her climb out but I once walked in and she was practically out.

    I took the side off to prevent her from hurting herself and made a big thing about it being a big girls bed….

    She’s not slept in it since! Ha.

    She would rather sleep on her floor and when she wakes up, she casually strolls into my bed and I wake up with her next to me.

    I have to carefully plan the next step to beat my toddler at the game!

  • Elaine Livingstone

    My daughter managed to keep the sides on the twins cots until they were 3 and as they had on sleeping bags and had not worked how to get them off and therefore could not climb. In fact the sides are still on they have just removed some of the bars so they get in through the hole.

  • Victoria

    We took off the side of our lil girl’s cot last night and she was very overwhelmed with all the newly found freedom that she continued to get out of bed and open her bedroom door looking for mummy and daddy for the better part of the hour. they are all so different!