3 Awesome Reasons To Make Big Transitions Early
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We make big transitions pretty early around here.
Well, early by today’s standards. To be honest, I’m doing things at the same pace that my mother did them with us.
We potty trained Jack around age 2 and transitioned both of our children into big kid beds at 13 months.
Age 3 seems to be the magic number to make transitions. I’m not sure why.
While I’m totally not interested when other people choose to make transitions with their kids, I do take issue when people scare moms away from making them early.
Some people think we’re crazy, but generally speaking, making big changes early has worked well for us so I thought I’d share 3 reasons why making transitions early is pretty awesome.
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1) Less Pushback
This first point is pretty much the biggest factor for us.
As my children get older, their willpower increases. So does their vocabulary and their physical strength.
Because we made the switch to a big kid bed (read how HERE) at just 13 months, my children didn’t fight it.
They were pretty much just babies at the time and were happy to be put where ever so long as they had their loveys.
Potty training was the same. Jack was eager to please and not yet at the stage where he wanted to be ornery just to test it out.
That’s not to say that there never came a day when my kids DID push the limits and tested the boundaries, but it wasn’t immediate by any means.
When that time came, we were consistent with our expectations and the consequences of not listening to mom and dad.
Many people claim that young children aren’t capable of understanding the boundaries and rules.
I know I only have my own experience to take from, but I would readily dispute that assumption. I’ve actually found that the earlier I start teaching and guiding my children, the quicker they understand what is expected.
Just because a child isn’t very verbal doesn’t mean that they lack comprehension.
2) Less Baby Gear
This is another reason we like making transitions early.
We head out of town most weeks and it is nice not to have to worry about bringing a big load of diapers with us, or worrying about where our kids will nap.
With ours being just 18.5 months apart in age, there was a time when just a simple trip meant half the car was filled with baby gear.
It’s nice to be able to not have to pack so much.
We don’t have to bring along pack n’ plays. Instead, our kids will happily sleep in whatever sleep space is available at our destination.
3) Money Saving
And then there’s the financial advantage.
I’m mainly referring to the potty training aspect here.
Even when Jack was still in diapers, we did our best to keep costs down by using cloth diapers (see my review HERE), but now that he’s only using a pull-up for sleep times, the cost has gone down even further.
And let’s be honest, there is nothing fun about changing toddler poop.
Transitions & Babywise
One of my favourite parenting tools is Babywise.
If you’ve never heard of it then start with these posts:
So, how do transitions fit into Babywise?
Honestly, they fit where you put them. One of the things I love about the Babywise method is that you make it work for your family.
For some, it works better to make certain transitions later in the game, and that’s fine.
Babywise gives you the tools to create security for your child through a consistent routine so that when big transitions do happen, they still have something that remains constant and helps them feel safe.
This is a huge asset!
When your child has a ‘normal’ that remains consistent, then when other things change it isn’t so very overwhelming for them.
Knowing Your Child
I’m a fairly big advocate of switching your child from crib to cot, from bottle to sippy, and diaper to potty on the earlier side.
However, the one thing that comes before all of that is knowing your child and treating them as the unique individual that they are.
Kids aren’t the same. People aren’t the same.
You can’t expect to get the same results from every single child.
If you know that your child will not do well without the security of their crib, then don’t feel as though you have to make that transition until you’re comfortable.
Potty training is especially a unique experience for each child.
My son probably could have been left in diapers for several more months before attempting potty training. My daughter, on the other hand, has been very aware of everything for several months now.
She’ll be two in a couple of months and I think we’ll have a go at potty training over the summer time.
I’ve also switched my kids from bottles to sippy cups by one year of age. However, while both kids transitioned around the same time I used very different methods for each.
My son was fine with going mostly cold turkey, but my daughter required more of a gentle weaning process.
So, while early transitions can be great, know that they are not the be all and end all. They do not define the quality or success of your parenting.
Most importantly, the time at which you make transitions with your child should be based on them and not on community standards.
Until next time!