Big Kid Bed Transition: Q&A with Rachel Blumenthal

Rachel and her big kid

Rachel and her big kid

We asked Rachel Blumenthal, Founder and CEO of Cricket’s Circle a few questions about her experience transitioning her toddler to a big kid bed:

1. Tell us a little about yourself and your big kid.

“My son is almost 4 1/2 and we transitioned to a big kid bed when he was 3 1/2. We were moving to a new home so we decided to wait and transition him with the move.”

2. What cues did your toddler give you to let you know they were ready for a big kid bed?

“He had already climbed out of the crib a few times and was well beyond crib age.”

3. What was the most important thing you were looking for when you started researching big kid beds?

“We wanted a bed that he could grow into - both in size and style. I believe in investing in furniture that grows with your children - a large dresser that can double as a changing table, a big kid bed that can be used from toddler age through high school, etc. I also believe in having a balance of design sensibility that is sophisticated but age appropriate.”

“Tactically, we needed a bed that would be easy to adapt a bed rail and low enough that if he fell out it wouldn't hurt.”

“For the mattress, it had to be organic.”

4. Did you include your toddler in the process and decision making? If so, how?

“If my son had his way, he would have drifted off to sleep every night in Elmo heaven/hell - depending on how you look at it. Instead, I chose a dark brown leather bed by Restoration Hardware that was sophisticated yet fun in a boat-like shape. The bedding is neutral with several different sheet options that we switch up each week. I included my son in the process of what a big kid bed meant. We read books about sleeping in a big kid bed, what it meant for bedtime routines and leaving his room when it was time to get up in the morning.”

5. How did you introduce/start the transition from crib to big kid bed?

“We went cold turkey. Sunday he was in a crib and Monday a big kid bed. I have heard of friends that, if space allows, they put the big kid bed into the room with the crib. They use the bed for story time so it feels really special and then communicate that when the child is ready, they can be a big kid by sleeping in the bed so it feels like an accomplishment or reward.”

6. How long did the transition take and did you have any challenges changing your toddler’s routine?

“Again we did it overnight but I have to say, it's been a year now and he's yet to sleep the same as he did in the crib. The crib was cozier, he was used to it and it didn't have room for mom or dad to snuggle. Now, we're regularly woken up in the middle of the night asking for one of us to keep him company. We've tried to add pillows, stuffed animals and anything to make it feel cozier and we're getting closer to success. At some point we'll just have to put our foot down but there's something priceless to snuggling with your child.”

7. Was there anything about big kid bed transition that was unexpected or surprised you?

“I was surprised that he didn't look at it as something that was special or a big deal. He still asks for his crib from time to time and when he's at Grandmas he still ops for the crib over a big kid bed.”

8. If you could give parents who plan on or are starting the big kid bed transition one piece of advice, what would it be?

“Set boundaries and routines from the beginning and stay strong! The minute you start to go outside of your routine, it's exponentially harder to get back on track.”

About Rachel:

Rachel Blumenthal, Founder and CEO, created Cricket’s CircleRachel Blumenthal, Founder and CEO, created Cricket’s Circle to solve the what-to-buy conundrum she encountered during her first pregnancy.

Rachel began her career in the publicity department of Yves Saint Laurent, developing her aesthetic sensibility and passion for curation. Following YSL, Rachel’s first entrepreneurial venture was as designer and founder of the fashion jewelry brand Rachel Leigh, which after a few short years was available worldwide in over 300 high-end retailers and named one of Oprah’s “Favorite Things.” The brand was licensed to GlamHouse in 2011.

crickets circle logoRachel then lent her hand to Warby Parker, which was cofounded by her husband Neil. When the eyewear retailer – and their son, Griffin – were up and running, she got to work on Cricket’s Circle.

A Tufts University graduate, Rachel is a proud and active supporter of Baby Buggy, HELP USA and Healthy Child, Healthy World. Originally from Cape Cod, Rachel now resides in Manhattan with her family.