Elliott Coffey in his crib

Elliott Coffey, 3, may move to a big boy bed this winter.

Every morning starts with a familiar sound.

I hear, through the baby monitor, my 3-year-old son waking up. I love hearing Elliott wake up, happy to play and hold cute conversations with his stuffed animals or “read” books out loud. On weekends, when my husband and I get to sleep in a little bit, he’s eventually joined by his 5-year-old brother. My favorite thing is hearing their deep, hearty belly laughs. Sometimes Sam will climb into Elliott’s crib, and we’ll hear them jumping around.

Yes, Elliott still sleeps in a crib.

Why? Well, there are a few reasons.

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The first is that he doesn’t climb out. In fact, he’s never so much as attempted it. There were the couple of times his older brother helped him get out. But as Elliott grew heavier, Sam wasn’t able to help. If Elliott had started trying to climb out, we probably would’ve moved him to a big boy bed to avoid any possible falls or mishaps.

Elliott being in a crib has also been — and continues to be — a good way to make sure he stays in bed at night and sleeps instead of getting up and roaming the house unchecked. He is really good at dragging the kid stool to wherever he needs, snooping through drawers and cabinets and opening snacks all by himself.

And frankly, Elliott is my baby. I’m not entirely sure if we’ll have another child. When Elliott moves out of the crib, will it ever get used again? I don’t know the answer to this, which scares me. It’s heartbreaking to think of that crib being taken down and stored in the basement. I’m not ready. And he doesn’t seem to be either.

But we’re getting close.

For his part, Sam was almost 3 when we moved him to a regular bed. And it wasn’t because I wanted to. (That first night tucking him into bed outside of his crib was rough for me.) At the time, his baby brother was due in a couple of months and would eventually need the crib.

Those first few weeks included a lot of interruptions at night because Sam would get out of his bed and climb into ours. I remember I once found him — during one of my many middle-of-the-night pregnancy bathroom breaks — curled up on the stair landing, fast asleep.

Elliott is potty trained now. He stays dry all night, which means it’s important to get to him as soon as possible in the morning so he can go to the bathroom. It’s never good hearing him yell, “Mommy! I have to go potty!” first thing after waking up. Half awake, we throw ourselves out of bed, rushing to make sure we get him on the potty in time.

I’m not sure when we’ll move him. Our thoughts are sometime this winter — maybe over a long break so we can get used to being woken up a lot by a nighttime visitor.

Sam is pretty excited for Elliott to leave his crib behind. Elliott will be sleeping on the bottom bunk in Sam’s room, and he’s looking forward to having a little roommate.

I laugh to myself because, before long, he’ll be complaining about how he doesn’t want to share a room with his brother. I can already picture it.

I guess one good thing is that when Elliott moves out of his room, it’s mine to turn into whatever I want. Art studio? Office? Spare bedroom? The possibilities are endless.

But I’m still not quite ready to go there yet.

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