Category Archives: 22-27 months

More Tidbits on Memory…and a Clip You Can Watch WITH Your Kids

Finger w-1.string 
 So many fantastic thoughts and comments lately. What a great readership! Some really interesting questions asked/points raised about memory. They jogged my own noggin' (noticeably on the decline in recent years) of a few related studies. Here are the nutshell versions:

1. One of the ways researchers get memory in people of all ages is to compare how easy it is to learn something for the first time, compared to when we have to learn it again. For example, in lots of traditional memory studies with adults, the researchers gave their participants lists of words or word pairs (sock-orange) and looked at how long it took to learn them. Then after some substantial delay, when the participants no longer consciously remembered the list, they brought them back and looked at how long it took them to learn the same list to perfect recall again. The difference in the time it took at time 1 and time 2 is termed "savings" which basically shows that you unconsciously retained or REMEMBERED some of the list. For more on this idea and the guy behind it try here

Of course, we're not going to give a baby a list of words to learn, but just think of the task in terms of something that babies CAN do. For example, in one study infants of just a few months were put in a crib and their leg was connected to a string (such as by a a loop around their ankle). The point was to see how long it took the baby to figure out that if they kicked that leg vigorously, something fun would happen (e.g. a clown doll would appear, or they'd hear a funny sound, the lights would flash etc.). Then after a delay, they brought the babies back and put them in the same crib, same set-up etc. If they got the "leg kick = funny event" link more quickly, the researchers would conclude that the babies REMEMBERED what they needed to do. Oh there's always a way to get inside that amazing baby head…

2.  The stuff you have to remember to do in future – take your medicine at 2pm, TAKE A HOLIDAY GIFT IN FOR YOUR CHILD'S TEACHER BEFORE THE LAST DAY OF SCHOOL (I'm just sayin'…) – is called prospective memory (as opposed to retrospective memory, for things in the past). It's one of the first things to go when you get older. That's your head's up. 

3.  Yes, there is such a thing as photographic memory – when you can picture in your mind the actual material you want to remember, in the place where you first learned it. That's as in, you are writing an exam and you can picture in your head the page in the text book where you read it AND YOU CAN SCAN THAT PAGE TO FIND WHAT YOU ARE AFTER. It's not exactly common. Usually fades by later childhood (11 or so). Any takers?  Did any of you do this?  I definitely relied on this in school, even later on, but it got way, way harder as the years went by. I'm not sure how good a measure of photographic memory this is…but if you have a few minutes on your hands (ha ha ha…) or insomnia, Try this

4.  Another favourite line of research (honestly, can I really call it a fave when there are so many?) specifically targets childhood amnesia. Here's a link to the primary researcher's homepage if you want to have a browse. I cannot help but highlight one of her coolest recent findings. Ya know how excited I get about these things…

The researchers visited young children (about 2-3 years of age) in their homes and taught them a novel event. A machine would actually "shrink" a toy you put inside it. Read: Child puts a big toy in the front opening of the machine, then closes the door. Some flashing lights and machine like sounds go off, then they open door and find a miniature version of the toy inside. Yes, of course, it's been replaced with the mini one by way of the back door and another researcher or something, but boy do they go for it!  It's amazing!!!. This all happens at an age when language is fairly limited but then develops amazingly quickly. They know because they actually measure the children's language skills. 

Then after 6 months or 1 year, they go back to visit the same children and basically probe to see if they remember what happened on that first visit, now "ages" ago as far as they are concerned. The probing includes asking them to talk about it (verbal measure), asking them to pick out pictures of e.g. some of the toys they shrunk (visual recognition) and asking them if they remember how to work the machine (behavioural re-enactment). And oh yes, they measure their language skills again. Get this: Even though children remember what happened (as shown by their performance on the visual recognition and behavioural measures – both non-verbal), their memories are limited to the vocabulary they had AT THE TIME the shrinking machine thing took place. That is, even though they now had WAY better vocabularies, they described the event only in terms of the language they had AT THE TIME THEY EXPERIENCED IT!  This suggests of course that our so-called infantile amnesia is linked to our limited capacity to code or store our experiences in words when our vocabularies are so very limited. Note that as the children had good non-verbal memory of the event, they clearly registered it. It's just that they were limited in their ability to access those memories verbally. So perhaps this helps to explain why we later can no longer access those early memories and integrate them into our autobiographical memories when we are older and rely more on storing and accessing memories verbally. Hmmm…

6. Finally, to help keep your internet-using guilt at bay and to end the week on a lighter note, here's a fun clip on memory that you can actually watch WITH your kids! 

Now just remember to watch it. Good weekend.


When Parting May Not Be Such Sweet Sorrow

Wow! That was a lot of guilt purging last week. I hope we're all travelling a little lighter this week if only because we've been reminded that we are not alone in carrying that MOTHER LOAD of guilt. Seriously, thanks for all the sharing. Not only has it been great to hear that we are not alone, but it's been great to get to know you a bit. We aim to please…so the more you tell us, the more you can help shape this site, what gets covered etc. 

In that spirit..
Last week's group carthasis started with Bella's guilt over her departure to Europe, but someone (Paola?) mentioned that she was also interested in the garden variety of separation anxiety.  I thought I"d give a little background into the research on separation anxiety (regular kind) but then leave you with a couple of questions that, to my knowledge, are not so well covered in the research literature. The first is an issue about separation anxiety that I"ve experienced with my son (there we are in the pic in those "all important" early days). I've also heard about it from friends re: their experiences with their own children. Once again, it would be great to hear about your experience…

Here's a quick "Did you know…?" to set it all up (just some highlights mind you, the literature on attachment is MASSIVE).

Fig4 1. One of the key studies that influenced thinking on human attachment came from a study with monkeys. Infant monkeys were given a choice of a). a surrogate mom made of wire, with a plastic nipple attached that delivered food or b). a similar wire mother with no food access but who was covered in a soft terry cloth. Although they nursed from the wire mom, the monkeys preferred the cloth mum (as in, they spent 17-18 hours a day with the cloth mum versus 1 hour with the wire/nipple one), even more so when food was not at issue but the monkeys were frightened by some foreign object that entered the room. You can read more about the study here. Although this finding came from a study with monkeys and not human babies, it raised the idea that food supply may not be as central to developing an attachment to a caregiver (as previously believed) as comfort and security. 

2. Of course the MAJOR line of research on human attachment came from Mary Ainsworth's work in the lab using something called the "Strange Situation". Basically, moms and infants come to the lab and spend some time in a "waiting room" of sorts (magazines for mom, toys for baby etc.). Over the course of 15 minutes, the people in the room change. At first mom is alone with baby. Then a stranger enters. Mom leaves baby with the stranger. Mom returns, then leaves again. Then the stranger also leaves and baby is alone. Stranger returns, then mom returns. Each of these scenarios last only a very short time; less than a minute to 3 minutes max. The researchers were mostly interested in what happens when mom and baby are reunited. Based on baby's reaction to mom's return, the babies were classified as either a). securely attached, b).avoidant attached or c). anxiously attached. The secure babies (about 65% of the infants tested) got upset when mom left but were comforted and quickly re-assured by mom on her return. In contrast, the avoidant (about 23%) babies were somewhat detached, did not show much emotion, even avoided mom or acted unaffected by her departure and also her return. Interestingly, biological markers (such as heart rate and skin conductance) later showed that these babies were nonetheless in distress. And the anxious babies (about 13%), were VERY upset at mom leaving, seemed upset or even angry on her return and were not easily reassured. 

The argument goes that securely attached babies, confident in a secure base to return to, are more free to explore their environment and therefore to learn. There is evidence that they fare better than avoidant- or anxiously- attached babies on complex problem -solving tasks and that they are generally better adjusted in later childhood and beyond.

3. In case you're freaking out because you don't believe that your child would react like a securely attached baby, here's something to consider. There is evidence that the proportion of babies in the different categories varies across cultures. E.g. supposedly there is a greater proportion of "avoidant" babies in studies with German infants  (although a more recent study with a German sample showed more of a "normal" distribution of babies across the three categories)  and of "anxious" babies in studies with Japanese infants.. Makes sense if you consider that parenting practices and styles definitely differ cross-cuturally, although perhaps less so nowadays what with the whole global village, internet etc. revolution.  In that case, it would be normal, and perhaps highly adaptive, for babies' attachment behaviors to reflect the culture they are being raised to function in.

4. A student of Mary Ainsworth – Mary Main – went on to do pioneering work on adult attachment. She was interested in how your memories regarding attachment with a primary figure when you were a child compared to the type of relationships/attachments that you form as an adult (in friendships but particularly in romantic relationships). Turns out that in ~75% of cases, that early style of attachment stays with you and is similar to the types of relationships/attachments formed in later life. Although, keep in mind that it has also been suggested that certain "buffering" factors can help mediate that connection. So a rough time in childhood does NOT necessarily mean that you are doomed to repeat that pattern as an adult.  

So there you go, some points to ponder. Here's what I'm interested in hearing from you:

My son has been very attached to me, since very early on. At 18 months of age, he would get upset if I left the room to go the bathroom, even if he was in the company of his father or grandparents who he knows very well and loves dearly. A good friend of mine's child went through a phase (granted he was quite young, maybe only 6-7 months or so) where he would get upset when she bent down over the sink to brush her teeth and was momentarily out of his view. Both of these kids improved immensely, but then with no warning would show this intense reaction all over again. No precipitating event, so stressful time, no new baby, move, change of preschool or daycare, illness of loss of a family member etc. Then it would subside, only to return again. And so it went. This summer,at almost 5, my son went to a day camp for the first time (for 2 weeks). He did not know a soul, it was in a location he did not know well, first time taking his own backpack, own lunch etc. But he did not even blink. "See ya Mum". That was it. Ditto the first day of school some weeks later. So we seem to have come out the other side. It's understandable to me that there may be sensitive periods in development when kids are more likely to suddenly seem anxious about separation agai
n, but sometimes he would sail through those sensitive periods without a blip and sometimes not. 

I'm interested to hear from you about "bouts" of separation anxiety. Anyone out there have a child who would "zoom" in and out?  At what ages?  What do/did you attribute it to?

Finally, as a mum of only 1, I"m always interested to know how kids with siblings cope with things. If you have more than 1, are/were your kids similar or different when it comes to separation anxiety?  Also, do you think that how the younger one or ones handled separation from you was different to how their older sibs handled it because they had sibs – read: company – to help tide them over until you returned? 

Send me your thoughts…


Reader’s question: Should I stay or should I go now… (Or… A whole lot about transitions and 2 year olds and a little about sleep too!)

Although this isn't a question directly related to sleeping only, I still think it's a good one for discussing the more "stable" age of 2 years old. I wanted to post this question ASAP since it comes from a mom, K., due with her second child in SIX DAYS! My guess is there won't be a lot of blog reading in the near future for her…

I have a daughter who is 21 months, and I am expecting a boy at the end
of June.  My daughter had a rough start with colic and reflux and I
stayed home full time for the first 6 months after she was born.  Since
she was 6 months old I have been working 2 days a week.  We have a
nanny for the 2 days that I work and it has worked out really well.  My
daughter has grown into a very happy, fun and generally mellow toddler,
although I would say she is sensitive and is definitely in the midst of
the "Mama-must-do- everything-and-Dada-is-not-an-acceptable-substitute" phase right now.  I am hoping we are at least past the peak before the baby arrives.

I was offered a very tempting full time job that would start in
Sept/Oct after my maternity leave.  I have always expected I would be
going back to work full time and this opportunity is something that I
am excited about (even more so considering it sort of fell in my lap in
this economy!).  The catch is that the job is in another state.  But,
it happens to be in a city that is less than an hour drive from my
parents, sister, cousins, etc.  I am not put off by the idea of moving
and would really like to be closer to family but I don't know if I
taking the job would be disregarding or underestimating how hard this
might be on my daughter.  Taking the job would mean that within a ~3
month time span she would 1) have a new sibling 2) no longer have me at
home 5 days a week 3) have a completely new and different caretaker
(possibly daycare) and 4) have entirely new surroundings (new
neighborhood, new house, new bedroom, etc)

Clearly there is no
getting around the adjustment for a sibling but the other variables are
under my control because I don't have to take the job.  I do have some
concern that the adjustment of working full time is going to be harder
than I expect for myself, but when considered in isolation I am fairly
excited about the job.

So I guess I am looking for input about
how much change might be too much change for a toddler that will be in
the 22-25 month stage when all this would happen?  On one hand I know
that kids are very adaptable and these changes would be stretched out
over a few months, but ideally I don't want to be blind to the distress
I might inflict if I take it.  I can imagine there would be sleep
disruption and possibly behavioral issues, but I am not sure what it
might entail.

Do you have any advice or insights into how to
make these transitions as smooth as possible, or would I be signing up
for much more than I realize?  Is it too much adaptation to expect from
a toddler given that these would be choices not forced on us?

I love this question because there's just so many factors to consider and so many of them touch issues that many of us have had to deal with. I'll tell you right now I won't nail them all. But let's try to take this apart so we can see what this decision will really entail. K's done a great job of thinking all the various parts of the transition through. The main concerns seem to be:

1. Is this an ok age to make a bunch of changes in a child's life?
2. How much change can a child take without some significant level of distress (which, of course, K doesn't want to inflict on her daughter)?
3. What sorts of things are there to consider in order to make this transition go as smoothly as possible?
4. How will K's daughter respond (behaviourally and in terms of sleep disruptions)?

There's one more issue that I think is at stake here, although K doesn't mention it explicitly and that is:
5. To what extent is it ok to prioritize my own professional and personal preferences over some level of distress from my daughter?

All of these concerns are so intricately intertwined that it's tough to deal with one without considering the others. The bottom line is this decision will be about balancing the various needs of all family members. Let's start with #1: This is a relatively good age to go through changes in the child's life. Your daughter is just heading out of the toughest part of the 18-22 developmental upheaval. Of course, these are rough estimates of age boundaries so it would have been nice if your daughter was slightly  older, but still, she should have covered most of the crazy neediness/clinginess/crabbiness by then. But by 22 months or so, your child is more calm, more stable, and more secure than she was just recently. The massive cognitive changes ushered in by the 18-22 month shift have begun to consolidate. She has gotten used to being a social player in a social world. She understands what you require of her at meal-time and bedtime. Which means that she understands rules and she can adapt to them if she has to. This age can be a real delight because they start getting how fun it is to FOLLOW rules and to be a part of the family in whole new ways. But they're also now attuned to separations in a way they weren't before 18 months or so. You’re dealing with a child who is a lot smarter and more verbal than ever before. Driven by insecurity and anxiety about separations of any sort, these skills will be put to use to get your attention and comfort as much as possible. But still… making the big changes you're considering will be a lot easier now than at 2.5  years old.

#2 is about how much change is too much change. There's no REAL, data-driven answer to this of course. It all depends on the child and her sensitivities, it also depends on the TYPE of change and it also has a lot to do with how the parents are coping with the changes. She's now taking a whole lot of social cues from you, so if mom and dad are happy and excited about the next move, she will tune into that and likely join in the fun. And the TYPE of change is important here also. Yes, she's leaving her nanny and her house and neighborhood. But she'll be gaining much more access to grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins and all the warmth and gushing love and excitement that could entail (never mind all the extra support you will get which will, in turn, help you parent with less stress). As you say, the sibling is coming whether she likes it or not. That will be a HUGE transition to deal with and you've thought about this big change deeply. But it actually may be EASIER for your daughter to deal with a new sibling if you do move. Whacky thought, huh? But here's where I'm coming from: Many parents report that the best thing they ever did for the older child to cope with a new sibling is to put him/her in daycare. There, the child gets lots of attention from other adults, she doesn't have to fight mom for her love and affection, and she really feels like she's becoming a "big girl" with a "baby sister" at home. Then when she comes home from daycare, she can have "special time" with mommy while dad takes care of the baby for a while. Your daughter will also have extra access to a bunch of loving adults, her extended family. This may possibly go a long way to buffering the rejection she may feel from mom being with the baby so often.

And here's a crucial point: What WON'T change is mom and dad's love and affection for her. At this age, children aren't as attached to places as they are to their primary caregivers. If they stay stable, predictable, and provide the same love and limits that were set in the old context, chances are they'll adjust quite well in a new place.

#3: What are some practical things to consider if you DO decide to move… I have a few thoughts, but it would be great if anyone else has made a significant move like this one to pipe in with further suggestions.

- Talk about the move with lots of excitement and joy. Plan TOGETHER with your daughter what her new bedroom will look like, how often she'll see grandma, and so on.

- Even if you DO feel lots of anxiety about how she'll cope, don't overly project those anxieties onto her. In other words, you want to let her express her fears of moving, her anger at her new sibling's arrival, her anxieties about not being mommy's little girl, but you want those to mostly come from her. Kids pick up our worries so easily and make them their own, even when they weren't there originally. Open ended questions that provide some choices help if you notice her feeling angry or sad. Something like:  "Are you mad or sad or something else?" Why? Is it because of mommy or daddy or baby?"

- Try to leave yourself several weeks open before you go to work at the new job. So, move several weeks before your mat leave ends. That way, you can put your child into daycare (or whatever arragement you choose) in the next city and deal with any transitional anxieties or behavioural problems before you also have to worry about being on time for work. 

- In terms of sleep specifically, try to mimic the context that she was sleeping in before as much as possible. Go through the same bedtime ritual, play the same music, read the same books, use the same blankets. Put her to bed at the same time and try to enforce those limits as much as possible even though she will surely push on them. This is going to be a time of heightened anxiety and our temptation in these times is often to become more LAX in our rules about sleep. The paradox is that this is exactly when children need us MOST to remain firm, so that they feel like their world is a predictable one, one that can't be shifted easily by the little rages of scared children. They need us to say "everything will be alright, you have to follow this rule, as you always have; we are the big people here and we'll take care of everything."

- Invite lots of family over to your new place early on, even if you're still living in boxes. This will help your daughter realize how great the new move was and how much more love and attention might be hers to enjoy (make sure that you give your family a heads up and ask them to hold and play with your older one as much or more than with the new baby).

#4 In terms of how your daughter will respond, as you can see, it depends on loads of factors and even if you do everything "perfectly" (which doesn't exist), she'll still have normal fears and anxieties that she'll have to work through with your help. Yes, that might entail more tantrums and less sleep. And if you're prepared for this and understand that it's a normal part of adjusting to novelty, it does
n't have to be a horror-filled time at all.

And this bleeds into the unexpressed issue #5: The bottom line for me is that if this job is your dream job and it's also a great location that affords you so many benefits that you look forward to (professionally and personally), then go for it! Your children will adjust, perhaps much easier than you anticipate. And if your daughter does have some difficulties, it's interesting to note that with the very, very rare exception, "biographical memory" doesn't really start until age 3 (in other words, she won't even remember the move by the time she's around 5). I'm partly kidding here (biographical memory does begin usually at around 3, but that's not the point). The point is that you are a thoughtful, engaged, empathic parent who cares deeply for her child's emotional well-being. That will pull her through almost any dramatic transition unscarred and likely better for it.

Good luck and keep us posted on your decision, if you can!

Reader’s question: To transition or not to transition a 2-year old to a “big boy bed”

Here's a challenge a lot of you seem to be going through: transitioning a child from a crib to a "big kid's bed." I think I've said this before on this blog, but I'll say it again: I was SURE I'd never move my kids out of their cribs until MAAAAAAAAAYBE when they reached adolescence and the bars on the cribs couldn't be nailed any higher. I'm serious. I LOVED those cribs, mainly because my boys loved their cribs. And they slept in them. For many, many hours. And when they did not sleep, they were still IN their beds. Contained. But in a socially-acceptable, non-locked, un-toruturey-looking sort of way. Oh how I feared the move to big boy beds. Oh how I put that transition off… And then things changed and I had to suck it up and just do it. Here's the question (the child is 2):

We bought the bed about 6 weeks ago, planning to use it for story time
to get our son used to it. Well, one night about a month ago, my son
begged to sleep in the bed, so my husband let him. To our great shock,
he went right to sleep and stayed there all night with no problems.
That went on for two weeks. Naptime wasn't as great. I would give him a
chance sleep in the bed and tell him if he got up, he had to sleep in
the crib. I usually gave him three chances, and 60-70% of the time, he
ended up in the crib. He'd scream for one minute about wanting to sleep
in his big bed, then go to sleep peacefully.

Then we went to the
beach for vacation for a week.When we got home he was getting all four
2-year-molars at once and he simultaneously discovered how fun it was
to run out of his room and laugh gleefully while Mommy or Daddy chased
him. He's been 90% in the crib ever since. Every single time, he cries
to sleep in the big bed and we try it, but it ends with him running
around. A few times last week, I managed to get him to nap in the big
bed by holding his doorknob shut for 30 second intervals, but I think
it was just the surprise of the situation that worked. Once he got used
to that, he realized it was just as fun to play in his room and make a
mess until Mommy came back.

I feel like we're at a crossroads.
If we're going to make the bed work, we've got to do it now. I'm also
at risk for preterm labor (our son was 4 weeks early after I was on
bedrest for 10 weeks) so there's also a real possibility this baby
might come sooner and I obviously don't want to try to change anything
in my son's world once this baby is here. My husband is loathe to spend
money on another crib, but our son sleeps SO well there. Is there even
a chance we can get a just-turned two year old who just wants to run
around to actually sleep in a big bed? We haven't taken the crib out of
his room yet, or tried returning him to bed as many times as it takes,
because honestly, both my husband and I feel drained after 15 minutes
and it's so much easier to give up and put him in his crib where we
know he'll sleep. I'm starting to think we should buy a second crib for
the baby and leave well enough alone until our son seems more ready for
a big bed. The only reason I hesitate is remembering the 14 or so
nights he slept there so well, but maybe I should chalk that up to a
fluke and move on.

Alrighty… there's a few things going on here and I'll take them in turn. First, let's start with his age (I'm so predictable that way). Two years old can be a GREAT age to make big changes. He's gone through the messiest part of the 18 – 22 month transition and he should be feeling a lot more emotionally resilient and relatively stable now. I'll write more about this stage soon, but the bottom line is that your child should generally be less clingy and anxious than a few months prior and more feisty and independent (generally speaking, of course). So, yeah, good age to move things around if you must. ESPECIALLY since a new baby is coming and change is going to be hard at 2.5 years old, no matter what form it takes.

Second, um, yeah, you really WERE lucky with those first two weeks and unfortunately your instinct is right, you should probably just chock it up to a fluke and move on to problem-solving the current situation as it stands (which is of course exactly what you're doing). Also… if it makes you feel any better, I'm pretty sure that your son would have eventually figured out the joys of hopping out of bed and running whacky through the house even if his molars DIDN'T come out and you HADN'T gone away for a trip. It's generally just a matter of time until the little monkeys get it and most of us have to actually implement some sort of "rule" about staying in bed before they reliably stay put.

Third, you obviously have a HUGE life-altering change that's going to be happening to your whole family, including your son, very soon. I completely agree with your decision to make any changes now, before the new baby comes. And the sooner the better so that your son doesn't "blame" the baby for kicking him out of his own bed. So, I think you have at least two ways to go with this:
1. If he sleeps beautifully in his crib still, you can easily let him go for another year there if you want to (if he's not endangering himself by climbing out). At two, they're still little roly-polies, squirming all over the bed during the night, and often feeling a lot more secure in a crib than a big bed. So, if you don't want to buy another crib for the new baby, you can get yourself a pack and play (they were called play pens in my "youth") or a similar idea through Craigslist or any second hand store. They're generally very inexpensive if you take that route and the new baby won't know the difference for at least 6 months.
2. You can bite the bullet and REALLY transition your boy to his big bed. That means take the crib right out of the equation, otherwise, your son knows that you'll place him there eventually when he's oppositional (develpmental psychologists' way of saying a "pain in the ass") and runs away. He's probably enjoying that game by now and his goal may ultimately be to land himself in the crib. You can make a big to-do about moving to a big bed permanently and then go through the regular old routine that you are loathe to do: when he gets out of his big bed, walk him back calmly, probably 100,000 times the first nigh 90,000 times the second night, and so on. Walk him back to his room when he gets out of bed with as much neutral emotion as possible. Don't get angry or playful, don't talk much to him, just say the same thing each time you escort him back to his bed, something like: it's time for bed now, please stay tucked in, see you tomorrow morning. You WILL prevail. He WILL get bored of bouncing out of his bed the ten trillionth millionth time, but it may take a few nights of staying consistent with this message.

I know option 2 really, really sucks because you need your sleep and you're very pregnant and tired and NOT in the mood to play tag an hour after bedtime and it's just SO MUCH EASIER to give up and plop him in the crib and be done with it! The main thing I wanted to emphasize with these last 2 options is that at this point, it seems like giving him choices about where to sleep might be confusing him in the end and he may be developing new habits that will need to be broken when the baby comes (NOT a time when you want to deal with this). Although I understand your initial rationale for wanting to ease your son into the choice of where to sleep, I think right now, presenting the option of the crib vs big boy bed may prolong the inevitable transition and make it harder on everyone involved.

Any other parents with siblings who have dealt with this transition? Suggestions, words of commiseration, success stories or cautionary tales?