Monday, March 03, 2008

The Big Boy Bed

Sometime towards the end of last year, I started thinking about moving Ayaan out of his cot to a regular bed. To start with, he was getting a little big for the cot, especially since it had to accommodate his pillow (for the adenoids) and four soft toys (two Noddys and two Teletubbies). Secondly, I was worried about him climbing out and injuring himself - he has been tall enough to climb out for a while but just hasn’t realised it. Lastly, I had read somewhere that the longer you wait, the more habituated they get to the cot and the harder it is to move them out.

So I started looking for a toddler bed – or actually any adult-sized bed that already had or could be modified to have in-built toy storage capacity and some contraption that would keep Ayaan from rolling off during his sleep. I could have asked a carpenter to do it but I have been pretty disappointed with the finish these freelance guys churn out. Moreover, I have neither the creativity to imagine/ design stuff nor the bandwidth to ensure quality control on the wood and other supplies. So it had to be store bought.

I was not averse to kiddy designs (in fact, I was rather in favour of them) and so my search took me to a newly opened store called Big Red Bus, which promised to meet the heretofore unmet need for high quality kids' furniture. They had lovely designs and colours – however, the design I liked (a simple bed in yellow with built-in ) was going for a pricey Rs. 45,000 – almost double of what I paid for the bed we sleep in! And while it was beautifully made, I was not about to spring that much money for a piece of furniture that was likely to be covered with crayon marks and scratches before the year was out...

Since I had really (and I mean REALLY) liked the pricey bed, it took me some time to get over with wanting it and the bed plan went into cold storage for a couple of months. Till a friend at work told me about another kid’s furniture store with more reasonable prices. So one weekend in January, we decided to go and check it out. And found just what we were looking for – simple beds with clean lines and options of storage drawers. Also, the proprietor was open to customisation – he agreed to make the laminate on the toy drawers yellow to match the theme of Ayaan’s room and put in a wooden railing that ran half-way along the length of the bed – keeping Ayaan from rolling off while leaving enough space at the bottom of the bed to let him get out when he wanted to. Tis what we ended up with:

I wanted this to be a one-way street so I prepared Ayaan well for it. We took him with us to choose the bed and kept talking to him about the fact that his NEW! BIG! bed would be coming soon – this ensured that he was pretty excited about its impending arrival. And then on the day it arrived, we dismantled his cot and told him that it was broken. And it worked! He took to his new bed like a duck to water. It's been about three weeks and I think he has forgotten he ever slept in a cot...

There’s just one problem though. It has to do with the fact that he can get out of bed on his own. This leads to some rather funny or frustrating (depending on my mood and perspective) situations. Here’s a sampler:

  • He comes to our bed when he wakes up in the mornings. Which is mostly nice except for the elaborate ritual of first coming himself and lying down, then getting up to go back every few minutes to fetch his ‘cubber’ (cover in Ayaanspeak), pillow, Noddys and Teletubbies, one at a time. And then everything has to be arranged just so to suit his highness’s sensibilities or it all ends up in an early morning meltdown of epic proportions – not something you’d want to wake up to, I assure you!
  • A few days ago, we heard him get out of his bed and open his door but then there was no sight or sound of him for the next five minutes. As all mothers of toddlers know, silence is never a good sign so Jai was despatched to investigate – only to find that Ayaan had headed over to the kitchen, opened the fridge and had happily helped himself to an early morning treat – some leftover brownies from the previous night!
  • Afternoon naps have become unpredictable. And investigations of strange sounds on the baby monitor often turn up sights of Ayaan, having collected some of his toys on his bed, merrily playing away instead of sleeping.
  • And this one from today afternoon – he picked up the Vicks from the shelf in his bedroom and proceeded to liberally apply the stuff on to his pillow and sheets!

But overall, I have to say that I am terribly proud of him for making the transition so comfortably (for him and for me). And the vacated cot is probably a sign that I should start thinking of ways to fill it again... :-)


  1. Tell me about toddlers waking up in the morning and coming into your room with the blankie, pillow and baby (soft toy) and a tooth brush just in case he realises that its morning and he needs to brush his teeth.

  2. so cute.. loved the vicks story.. I wouldn't have know whether to laugh or cry!! :) Nantu makes his transition in a few months.. he is bumping and rolling so much on his toddler bed :P

  3. Congratulations to Big Boy Ayaan!! And to Mama and Papa too - for the smooth transition :)

    But just one question - do you seriously think buying him a bigger bed will take care of the "4 soft toys in bed" problem? Take it from someone who is a few years ahead in the game - the number or size of toys/pillows GROWS with the bed! :D S still sleeps perched on one edge of her bed because the rest of it is covered by her body pillow and the assorted doggies and dolphies and kitties and whatnot. I tried to put a limit on what she can sleep with but have stopped because she is going to be this little just once, right? :(

    The bed looks very nice!

    It was funny reading about his new-found freedom :) Once S found the bottle of Vicks and proceeded to paste it all over HERSELF - face, hands, HAIR!! Worked faster than an alarm clock in waking dear mommy and daddy up :P

  4. "And the vacated cot is probably a sign that I should start thinking of ways to fill it again..."

    Yes! See the spate of second babies currently? You should definitely, er, go with the flow. Or spate. No?

    I'm getting a little alarmed. Brat and Ayaan both have a year on The Bhablet but I've had to start on the school hassle and have been checking out toddler beds of late.

    Given space constraints, will probably just discrad cot and give him a mattress which can be rolled away. Afternoon naps can be on our bed, which will be unused then. What do you think?

  5. have bought a similar bed for my 4 month old as well..
    first couple of days, she kept tossing and turning and waking every now and then..
    now she seems to have accepted it..
    she has still not learnt to sit up etc, I'll have to look for a baby guard on both sides then..:)

  6. the bed has turned out really nice and am sure you will soon find use for the crib-cot- all the best

    i see ayaan has been leaving his mark on the wall paper- i was just wondering if i shld go with wall paper or with paint for anush's new room

    btw i am in mumbai the last week of march- are u in?

  7. Hi Rohini....been a regular reader of ur blog...but commenting for the first time....

    Good to know that the transition from cot to bed was easy for Ayaan. 45k for a kiddie bed...thats way toooo much!

    We are expecting our first baby in April....have bought a cot but still confused about the mattress...the one at lifestyle was not too great n Mothercare does not have the size which we want...can you pls recommend what kind of mattress should be go for the, pollyfill, cotton....

    reply soon...plsss....cuz want to set up the nursery asap.

    Love to Ayaan.
    Post more regularly :-)


  8. loved the new bed.... looks so comfy. the kind u want to jump in & sleep at the slightest xcuse!

  9. I have set my foot into your world for the very first time, great being here.
    Lovely post!So all set to fill the baby cot ;-) ?

  10. BTW you have been tagged..........

  11. and go ahead and fill up the empty cot!!

  12. :D I see there might be more announcements in the near future. lovely.

    as for the cot... man, you're way ahead in the game. we took the brat out of his cot when he was just abt 2 so that the bean could have it.

    we didnt find a cot we liked - some ugly stuff you get here !! and the poor guy goes from room to room like a vagabond depending on how many guests we have. one night on our floor, another in the guest bed which is a king size bed and so we just live with the fear that he might roll off (not happened YET).. somedays on the nursery floor.

    we were planning to buy identical beds for the two babies but its not happened yet. we are such procrastinators...

  13. AHA!! The empty bed giving you ideas, eh?? How come the only idea I get on seeing an empty bed is how nice it would be to curl up in it and take a long snooze?

    ANYway, so Big Red Bus is terribly expensive, is it? I had called them to check if they stocked bedrails - our little Adi tumbled off recently - and they didn't. Just as well, would have prolly asked for a bomb. I am still hunting for them rails.

    A big YAY! for the BIG!NICE! boy Ayaan who now sleeps in a BIG!NICE! bed on his own!

  14. [Jayashri] Toothbrush?! LOL!

    [Preethi] The Vicks incident happened when I was away at work so I found it hilarious but I suspect I would have been less than amused had I been the one to walk in on it...

    [Ceekay] You have a point... it started with one Noddy. When that one got its nose chewed off , I bought a new one but he wanted to keep both. And then the Teletubbies. I wonder what is next. The teddy bear he got last week clearly hasn't made the cut :)

    [Sue] I am thinking yes but trying to find the courage to bite the bullet. Your sleep solution sounds just about right for your living situation - no point cluttering the place up...

    [RT] Wow! A 4-month old in a toddler bed - that is pretty cool. Does she sleep in her own room or in yours?

    [Artnavy] Hey! You're in my part of the world! Yay! I am out of town on the 21st March long weekend but around post that. When exactly? You coming with Anush? Must meet...

    [Ektaran] Thanks for de-lurking. I got a coir foam mattress made. I think it breathes much better than the pure foam or cotton ones so more suitable for our summers. Also, it's pretty firm so there's no depression - better for posture and for easy breathing when they start sleeping on their stomachs.

    [Itchy] That's just what I do after I have been woken up way too early by Ayaan - and it really irritates him - he's really possessive about his bed :)

    [Wunderyearz] Thanks for de-lurking. Not quite 'all set' but getting there... and I have to warn you, I am yet to take on the last 20 or so tags that have come my way :(

    [Mad Momma] Depends on your definition of 'near'.... and your way seems to sound like the Brat is flexible about where he sleeps, whereas we have kittens about how we will manage Ayaan's sleep everytime we travel...

    [Parul] A snooze sounds nice but the cot would be a bit cramped, no? Mothercare used to keep the rails but they were out of stock last time I checked. Otherwise ask someone to get it from abroad

  15. Wow, you are so way ahead of the game.....ayaan in his own bed...Karan is still very much sleeping with us in our bed. This actually suits me fine, cos I have someone to cuddle at night when my hubby is travelling (which he is doing quite often these days). Am I pathetic or what?!

  16. I agree, time for another Ro !!

  17. The bed looks so cute.

    My son ALWAYS used to wonder out of his bed at night when we transitioned him. My little girl never gets out of her bed which sounds good except she "summons" us every morning to come get her. Luckily my husband is a morning person and doesn't mind the 6:30 am wake-up call.

  18. The minute I read you moved him to a BBBed, I was thinking that it was time for another wee one. You said it yourself at the end. :)

    Great going with Ayaan and the move. The bed loooks so simple, functional and pleasant in a little boy's room. Loved the customisation too.

    I wanted to check with you on what kind of cot you were using. I remember from you earlier posts how you had a mobile cot that you would carry when you went out of station? I will be in Chennai in 2 more months and wanted something similar for Sathya, so his sleep habits do not get completely disrupted. Could you let me know? Thanks.

  19. Yay! Ayaan. You are BIG boy now...yoohoo!!!

    I loved teh looks very little guy friendly. I like the color and the side rails...the storage boxes....very cool!

    Hope you are getting some good night's sleep (if not the mornings).

  20. Oh what a beautiful bed you bought for your son...

    ... all I know about children (and adults for that matter) and sleep is that the bedroom and especially the bed must ideally be kept absolutely sacredly for sleeping only. if you can do this, sleeping problems are far less likely to arise at any time

    (I speak as a lifelong insomniac/hypersomniac... don't know that I've EVER had a "normal" sleep pattern at any time over the last 25 years!)


    ps this is a wonderful blog!

  21. Hey, I missed the last line!! Yesyesyesyes - time for a new occupant for the cot!!!


  22. [Lawyeramma] Actually, Ayaan has never slept with us so this was just a change of bed, since he was always used to sleeping on his own in his room. I love the cuddling too but I love my sleep more and a restless toddler next to me does not make for a restful night...

    [Taamommy/ Ceekay} Well, now that I have your permission.. ;)

    [Mint] The Girl's approach still sounds good, in spite of the summons...

    [Tharini] I basically bought this which folds up into a long rectangular bag. How is this for an idea? I am done with mine so can loan it to you if you wish. I am sure to travel to Chennai on work in the next couple of months so if you give me an address, I could drop it of there

    [Shobana] Night sleep is never the problem since Ayaan sleeps through the night. Now if only I could get myself to sleep earlier (instead of blogging, etc), I would be must more rested...

    [Gledwood] Well, that's definitely not a problem for us. Given his hyperactive nature, it's all we can do to keep in his bed at sleep time - sitting there any other time is completely out of the question...

  23. Late to comment I see from the nos here already...but in any case - nice new bed the warm yellow.
    Am not surprised at his easy transition - he/you tackled the much harder part already - which is sleeping in his own room. KB had no problem moving into his toddler bed from the crib - but I can't imagine moving him to his own room - I will spend most of the night walking back and forth getting him to sleep...he is so restless a sleeper even having the toddler bed right next to our bed! I am just glad to have my own space in our bed - at least he doesn't toss and turn in the same bed!

  24. oh, i love his room and his bed!
    ayaan deserves a big pat on the back for that smooth transition.
    i have a similar vicks story to share, but maybe some other time :)

  25. Hugs to Ayaan for being such a brave little boy, now if he can only extol the virtues of sleeping away from mom to big bhaiya Krish, Aunty Kiran would be delighted. But to be fair to Krish, there is no place for him anywhere else in the house, and the MIL is not prepared to have him in her bedroom. Poor chappie...squished between the two of us...

  26. There's always that "transition time" when the novelty is fresh. We tried buying those "child-proof" door handle covers with our oldest, which he figured out how to defeat by the next morning. So, we just reverted to getting up and putting him back to bed as often as we needed to until he got the picture that it was NOT time to get up yet! (With a crib, he would just go back to sleep, but all of a sudden, he didn't have to do that, right?)

    So much fun! Jabin did pretty good with the transition, except for napping, because he often naps alone, whereas at night his brothers are in the room. Naps are still interesting, but he knows darn well that he has to stay in there, now.

  27. //[Taamommy/ Ceekay} Well, now that I have your permission.. ;) //

    And you are so wicked, dear !! :)

  28. Wow! seriously, you managed it so well - all this yet to find the perfect day (u see my Mr. calls it the muhurtham time;)) for Kaju to get her own bed..she is so used to sleeping with us in OUR bed (had a tough time getting up at nights and feeding after that horrendous post-delivery period) now we are finding it really difficult to find the proper time to transition her in to her own bed) wish me luck :)

    btw, Ro, take up the tag when you get a chance...

  29. [Noon] Know what you mean. I am a light sleeper so whenever Ayaan has slept with us, it has usually meant that I don't get much sleep...

    [Mona] Can't wait to hear your Vicks story :)

    [Kiran] Only thing is that he's not the one squished is he? From your recent post, sounds like you're the one :)

    [Talena] Yup, we are having trouble with the napping too. Now that he can hop out by himself, he sort of thinks they are optional... :(

    [Taamommy] ;-)

    [IBH] Was easy since he's slept in his own room since he was a year and even before that in a cot in our room. Sure you will figure out the right time to move Kaju... no promises on the tag - barely get time to post :(

  30. The bed looks beautiful!!! No wonder Ayaan took to it so easily.

  31. Beautiful bed. And best wishes for the second one!!!

  32. Seriously, for some reason, its not like i thought of it or anything, but just assumed, i am not exactly sure, but it did come as a shocker when you hinted at a second child. For some reason, maybe cuz you are an only child and maybe cuz you are so career oriented, i just assumed Ayaan is the only one. Not like i assumed, maybe just when you hinted, i was taken aback, really :), now isnt that weird !!. But the more the merrier, seriously :)

  33. he's a big boy indeed! and thats a beautiful bed, very cheery looking.

    also are noddy and teletubbies big in india?

  34. Anonymous10:12 am

    That's a lovely bed. If you don't mind, could you tell me where it's from? I'm looking for something like that for my son. Big Red Bus is down the road from me, but as you said, the prices are scary!

  35. [Homecooked/ Lavs] Thanks :)

    [Taamommy] Read this and you'll know my unambiguous view on the same :)

    [Choxbox] well they used to show Noddy on the cartoon channels and Teletubbies is currently on too. I don't know if a lot of kids watch them but when Ayaan watches TV, it is usually one of those

    [Anon] Here's the place:
    Furniture4kids/ Vazir Furniture
    Contact Person :Mr Ranjeet
    Call :+(91) - (022) - 26289742, 26287319
    Mobile :+(91) - 9820268949
    Email ID
    Address : 338 S V RD, NR Andheri Subway, Andheri W, 400053 - Mumbai
    Don't expect the Red Bus finish but overall pretty decent stuff.

  36. To More Ros (Clink !! Toast !! :)

  37. Love the cot...was going to ask whether the shop has a branch in delhi and then saw the last reply...