My Kayla is a growing up way too fast.
When she was a baby, I had major challenges with her sleep (mainly because she do much of it!) and for all non-parents out there, the sleep deprivation is crazy when you have a sleepless child on your hands. Looking back, I wonder if it was just me (and the depression) and the obsession about her sleep was more than what it should have been. I worked so hard at getting her to sleep well that it basically took over our lives and I refused to go out if there was any chance of interrupting or sabotaging her sleep.
These days I've relaxed quite a bit not only about her sleep but about everything. I've realized that parenthood can't be planned and when you have a kid, nothing is predictable. I'm no longer the crazy sleep nazi I once was; in fact, our routine - while still firm - is not to-the-minute drill-seargeanty type of routine but I gauge her behavior and go with that. Where I was adamant that she slept in her room on her own, I now stay with her as she falls asleep. Hell, we even moved our old futon in there so we could be more comfortable! That started when she was about 23mos old and for some reason, one day, just needed me to be in the room with her as she fell asleep. This is something that I would never had done one year ago but I thought long and hard if this was truly a problem and decided that it wasn't. I also realized that this stage won't last forever and before I know it, she'll be pushing me out of her room and not wanting me to be around at all.
I even tried to get her to co-sleep but she's not down with that either.
But now that she's 2.5YO, she's starting to outgrow her crib. She loves her crib so we've been lucky insofar that she's not a crib jumper (some parents face this issue when their baby is 9 months!) and it wouldn't be a challenge for her becaus the rails reach her hips when she stands up in the crib.
It's wise to keep your baby in her crib for as long as you possibly can; moving her out too soon will only cause prolonged sleep battles the younger they move to a toddler/big kid bed. It's very normal for children to move to regular beds by the time they're 1 or 1.5YO only because they learn how to climb which presents a safety hazard.
For the past week or so, Kayla has been asking for a big girl bed. She literally told me that she "doesn't want to sleep in her crib anymore but in a big girl bed". I thought she was just saying that because she sleeps on a mat at daycare but when I looked at her the other night after I put her down for bed, she is definitely too big for her crib. The picture below is an approximation of her size relative to the size of her crib:
I asked her to lie flat on her bed and not move for a while so I can judge how much (or how little) space she has and it's not much. No wonder she bangs her limbs and head during sleep when she's moving around.
I've been dreading the day when she finally outgrows her crib because I've read/heard about stories of middle-of-the-night wanderings and little visitors standing beside your bed at 3am. I worked so hard to get Kayla sleeping the way she does only to have it come undone when she finally realizes the freedom that comes with transitioning to a big girl bed. Kayla doesn't need much sleep to begin with and she's always one who would rather stay up and have a good time than sleep (hmmm... I wonder where she gets that from?!?) so I know we're going to have a tough road ahead. Hopefully she'll be able to last in her crib until after we go on vacation in April.