How We Transitioned Zain Out Of His Crib

Oct 9, 2019

how we transitioned zain out of his crib


Good morning friends! 

Hope you all had a wonderful night’s sleep and are not currently switching your child’s bed around 😉  It’s not been terribly long since we transitioned Zain out of his crib and I wanted to wait a little longer to share what we’ve found to work and not work but I’ve been receiving so many questions about it, I thought I would jot down where we are now and hopefully update it at a later date. 

First up, I want to share where most of our things are from for those asking. If I missed anything that you are curious about just shoot me a message:


Crib: Babyletto 3-in-1 Crib – also available here, here and here | We’ve been really happy with this crib and not had any issues. It held up through our move and was super easy to transition over. If I had to change anything, I would have gone for a lighter wood color. 

Crib Mattress: Naturepedic Organic Mattress | We went in store to look at crib mattress and although this one was pricier we have loved it. It has a waterproof cover which is so helpful and if you think about how long these kids use them for it doesn’t seem so crazy. 

Crib Sheets: Crate Kids | Almost all of our sheets are from Land of Nod (now Crate Kids) and we have no complaints. I can’t believe we have been using them for 2 and a 1/2 years but they still look brand new. 

Toddler Pillow: Moonlight Slumber | We just purchased this after we transitioned Zain to get him excited for his bed. We had been meaning to get one for a while and we love this! Made in the USA, doesn’t have a smell to it and I love that it comes with the pillowcase. 

Sound Machine: Dohm now Hatch Nightlight | We just switched this into our room since his new light has it built in. Also, why have I never slept with white noise before? It’s magical. 

Blanket: Little Unicorn Quilt | We have had this since Zain was born. I used to lay it on the floor for tummy and play time. It’s the perfect size for him to sleep with and I like how it has a little weight to it. 



Alright so, why did we decide to transition him? It was all very sudden and we were very unprepared. Zain had never shown signs of climbing out of his crib. In general, he is a super cautious child (I’m sure I’ve rubbed off on him) and had never even put his foot up on the rail. ON Just a few weeks back Trevor walked in to get him and saw his leg half way propped up on the crib. We thought it was a fluke and kind of ignored it. 

That afternoon we were over at my parent’s for lunch and I took Zain up to their second floor to take a nap. We keep his pack n play over there when we’re not traveling and he usually sleeps better in it than his crib 😉 Well, about 5 minutes later my mom called me to the kitchen and there he was standing with a giant smile on his face. The kid had climbed out of it and come down the stairs. We ended up bringing him home and he took a nap in his crib but we changed it over as soon as he woke up. Trevor and I were both worried he would hurt himself trying to escape. 

That first night was the hardest. Trevor was on call and gone much of it and we were not prepared with anything. It was all new to him so I tried to be patient and would lay him down, talk to him about it and then wait outside his room for him to try to come out. After about 4 or 5 times, he eventually laid down and drifted off to sleep. He woke up far earlier than he usually does the next morning.

The next day my friend dropped by and installed a hook and eye closure lock on the outside of his door and I felt a little more secure. We don’t have baby gates yet anywhere because again, Zain is a very cautious child but I was so worried he may sleep walk or end up coming out and falling down the stairs so I wanted the option to lock his door. 

The second night we decided to approach a little like sleep training. For some background, you can see how we went about it when he was a baby here but Zain has always put himself to sleep. We knew he was capable of going to sleep in his bed on his own and was just testing his limits. So, we did our entire bedtime routine, laid him down and quietly locked the door. 

The first time he got out of bed and tried to open the door he got a little bit upset 🙂 He laid on the floor and said ‘no lock door mommy‘ which simultaneously made us chuckle and cry sitting on the floor outside his door. However, after about 20 minutes of whining off and on he walked over, got in his bed and never go out. We haven’t used the lock since but I think it was necessary for him to realize his boundaries. 

Since those first couple nights he’s been good about staying in bed when he goes to sleep. What we’re still working on is staying in bed in the morning! We ordered and started using the Hatch nightlight about a week or so ago and originally started with the light set at 6:30am. If you haven’t seen them, it is a sound machine and timed light that you can customize. We set it to turn green when he’s okay to get out of bed. He kept making it to 6 or 6:15am but we wanted him to experience the joy of successfully staying in bed till it went off. So, we moved it back to 6am and have slowly been pushing it back each day. Right now, we’re back to 7am and it’s working well. He gets so excited when it turns green and I think it’s going to be a great tool for us!

So many of your recommended the Hatch and/or a reward chart with stickers if you all are looking for ideas. We do a breakfast reward with him if he makes it since his love language is food. He gets to make pancakes and is over the moon about it!

He also loses privileges when he doesn’t stay in bed till he’s supposed to. He’s normally allowed to watch one episode of Sesame Street before school but we do no TV in the morning on the days he doesn’t make it. He hasn’t gotten up before the light in a week so I’m hoping he’s getting used to it. 

So, long story short we haven’t perfected anything but my best advice is to be patient, use some trial and error and create some type of reward. Zain is now old enough to understand our reasoning and process goals so we felt confident doing this. 

Hope this helped even a tiny bit and leave any of your tips and tricks in the comments for other parents to see!



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  1. Britney Crawley says:

    I know we’ll have to transition our son soon but I’m worried about naps. How did Zain do for his nap? I feel like my son will just start reading books and emptying drawers instead of staying in his crib.

    • shaheen khan says:

      I was really worried about that too because I feel like he isn’t quite as tired for naps but he’s done okay. At first, I was going in there when he was reading books instead of sleeping but now I let him do his thing and he eventually lays down and sleeps. I did take out his two baskets of stuffed animals though so he wouldn’t be tempted!