First you need to decide when to do it.
Our eldest made that an easy decision by vaulting out of his hitherto secure crib and hopping down the landing in his sleeping bag sporting a cartoon style bump on his head and a chipped baby tooth.
If you haven’t spawned a jail breaker though its tempting to keep them where you know they a) sleep and b) can’t escape from for as long as is possible and/or spatially decent, whichever comes first.
After surviving the months of sleep deprivation the very notion of changing the bedtime routine, even slightly, can be enough to bring on parental panic. If they move early enough the mischief centre of their little brains is still lacking a spark plug or two and they don’t clock that past the safety barrier lies freedom and miraculously just stay in bed. A few months later though and they are all over the potential an open bed holds in terms of bedroom play and wanderings further afield – even to the mystical and alluring lands of downstairs after bedtime or mummy and daddy’s room in the dead of night.
It can be a trying time, a throw back to the sleepus interuptus of old and somehow this reprise feels more brutal and debilitating.
As with many of parenting’s painful passages though its just that, a passing moment that despite how deep a cut it inflicts at the time, is gone in a relative flash.
In fact it’s the passage of time itself that masks what the move to the big bed really represents, especially when it’s your youngest making the transition.
If there’s anything sadder than dismantling a cot for what could be the final time in your patenting life I’d like to know what it is, then ensure I never experience it. For many it’s a moment for celebration of course, a line in the sand that means the baby phase of father and motherhood is behind them, much like the final nappy change does or carting the changing table to the charity shop.
But if you’re not sure you want to say goodbye to that time of your life, to being needed with an intensity and purity that you’ll almost certainly never experience the like of again, it can create a moment of brief, but deep emotional melancholy which, lets be honest , has at its heart much more to do with catching a glimpse of your own mortality than it does with any undying love of Sudo creme.
Perhaps we’re not quite ready for the big bed yet ehy?