Tuesday, December 3, 2013

The Adventures of Transitioning Quadruplets to Toddler Beds

Well, this post has been cooking for awhile! I'm glad that I didn't blog about it right away, because I think I can safely say that our transition to toddler beds started much better than it is currently going.


We are really tired. But for your entertainment (and so that my kids feel guilty when they are adults and never put us in a nursing home), this is the tale of the Ishum Quadruplets Moving to Toddler Beds.

A few weeks ago, Sean and I decided to take down the gates we had up around our house in addition to switching them to toddler beds. We took down the gates at the beginning of the week, and then switched to beds over the weekend to break up the newness of everything. It just made sense to do both close together, so that's what we did.

This is what our kitchen looks like now since we have an open pantry. So...I guess we still have that gate up. Hey, I'm too tired to go find all of my cans of beans every night before bed.

Because we've had our kitchen blocked off since the kids started crawling, we didn't have our cabinets child proofed yet. That was the very first thing we did when we took down the gates. But then, our kids figured out how to take off the child latch on the cabinet under the sink, so Sean had to add a second layer of locks. The kids thought they'd help with the second installation. I think they might have secretly been trying to figure out how to dismantle it, but thankfully, it's still secure two weeks later.

With Saturday morning of our transition day quickly passing (like I said, the kids were super helpful), Sean and I moved on to tackling the cribs. Some wonderful people bought these cribs for us before the kids were born and made sure that they all converted to toddler beds to save us money. We are still so grateful for them three years later!

But that didn't ease the trepidation that comes with the idea of four toddlers on the loose. See the haunted expression in Sean's eyes? Yeeeaaah.

Their room looks like this now! Actually, I like the look of the carefully made up toddler beds. It makes the room look bigger and...goodness, they are growing up, aren't they?

The kids' toddler beds made up in their special colors.

And then, we set the kids loose and the "carefully made up toddler beds" part came to an abrupt end. Now they are just toddler beds with a heap of blankets on them. The kids thought that they were pretty cool though and loved that they could climb up in their beds all by themselves. We let them play and explore for awhile before trying to put them down for naps.

Whew, that was a rough first nap time. I stood with my nose in the crack of the door for quite awhile so that I could "insist" that they stay in bed. Happily by bedtime, they had mostly figured out the rules! And they followed those rules for a good 4 or 5 days before it went downhill.

Somewhere in all of this, they've decided that the "stay in bed" rule doesn't really apply to them anymore. So frustrating! I have no idea why they suddenly have a change of heart (take pity on your Mama!). I try to be consistent, but I am so tired these days.

Why am I tired? Because I now find things like this:

All day long. And since we don't have gates anymore, I'm chasing them on two levels of the house.

I. Am. Beat.

You may think I'm crazy, but I swear infant quadruplets are far, far easier than toddler quadruplets. Or maybe it's just that I was so sleep deprived back then that I've blocked the memory of two hour feedings on four hour cycles....


at this point, I'm just trying to keep up with them. Our house isn't clean or picked up (which isn't exactly a new development, it's just really bad now), and I know I'm not as consistent as I need to be with them. I'm trying not to beat myself up over that and just enjoy the fact that they've reached this new milestone.

What do the kids think of their new roaming area and toddler beds? They love it!

I snapped these photos right before their first night in their new beds:
Our big boy, Caleb.

Abby with her wild hair.

Elijah who was too excited to sit up and let me take a photo.

 Ellie. She actually has little steps up to her bed because she is too short to climb up. Hehe!

And in case you missed it, here is the aftermath of the transition that weekend. :)
Elijah                                                    Caleb 

In spite of the exhaustion and frustration that goes with this stage, I can't help but be grateful that God has allowed each of my kids to experience this milestone. I frequently think back to the statistics that multiple doctors gave us while we were pregnant and in the NICU, and I know that we are blessed.

Still blessed even when I've picked up all of their clean clothes for the fourth time today!


  1. You are brave parents! Grace, patience, and wisdom to you!

  2. My son and daughter are a year apart, so the crib was not converted right away; we had to buy a separate toddler bed for him. But he sure knew how to climb in the crib. He'd get in with her and start jumping up and down. Or he'd dump a basket of laundry in. Anything but sleep in his bed. Good times.

  3. Brave mama! Grace is still in her crib. I've been thinking for weeks now we need to convert her crib, but I like my sleep! I hope it gets better soon.

  4. Oh my goodness! I can imagine that you are exhausted. Prayers that this phase will pass quickly and they're all sleeping beautifully soon!

  5. I remember those days with the twins!

  6. Infant triplets are FAR easier than toddler triplets - so I'm sure the same hold true for Quads. Hang in there. It does get better. I often make mine run laps around the downstairs before bed to wear them out a little more. We make it a game. "Everyone hop like a frog. Now waddle like a duck" Works wonders!

  7. Oh you are so brave! I waited until my kiddo was 3 to make the transition. The beds are just adorable. Thanks for sharing this interesting situation with us :)

  8. Sounds like a fun and tiresome adventure. I'm sure it will all pay off in the end though.

  9. I'm so jealous that you got to wait this long to switch them! Lincoln has been in a toddler bed over a year. But I definitely cannot imagine having four toddlers with complete freedom! Your poor house!

  10. When we moved our twins out of cribs it was the end of good naptime and easy bedtime :P For a while we had a gate in their doorway to keep them in. Then they learned to climb over it or knock it down. So we closed their door and put a childproof knob cover on it. Yeah, that last about 2 days before they figured out how to take the cover off. So we turned their doorknob around and locked them in. That actually lasted a few months before they learned how to unlock the door. Plus they started destroying everything once they were out of their cribs. We had to take out their dresser, nightstand, any toys, etc and lock their closet so they don't completely destroy everything. And since they still will play with poopy diapers we have them safety pinned into their backwards zippered PJs (which they still manage to get off sometimes, sigh). I never had these problems with just one toddler lol.

  11. They are the cutest! I need some of those adorable monster pjs for my little! ;)

  12. Their rooms are so adorable, and they look so sweet in their beds (says the onlooker who does not have to chase them back in). Just wait until they're getting up in the middle of the night to go potty ;). And I will be sending up extra prayers that they become gracious to you all in the meantime!!


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