Actually, phase 1 probably began with the... "hmmm, maybe she should be out of her crib sometime soon?". In fact, it has been a few months since Lili showed interest in sleeping anywhere other than her crib, and the thought of a "real" bed crossed our minds. It would be nice, we think, to not have to take the pack and play with us when we travel, and also will be an easier transition for her than having to give up her crib to a new baby, so why not do it now? Plus, I have visions of cuddling in her bed with her at night.
Then came the search for the right bed. We wanted twin size so that we don't have to do another transition from a toddler bed to a twin size bed. Lili is also a really restless sleeper, and can be found all over her bed at various times of night. We contemplated just putting a mattress on the floor and letting her roll off if she so desired, but then decided she'd be too cold if that happened. Then the brilliance! At a neighbor's house we saw the holy grail: a bed that looked basically like the top section of a bunk bed. A real twin sized bed with high walls to keep our tossing and turning kid from falling and screaming. So we trekked to Kids Town only to discover to our horror that the bed we wanted would cost us over $800. Without a mattress.
What to do? Oh yes! IKEA is a mere 2 hours away! Let's see what they have! And lo and behold, a simple plain wood bunk bed just like we dreamed of. All we needed was a saw. Thanks to some other neighbors, the project was done in less than 2 hours. And only cost $150. For two beds. How sweet is that? Now we just have to wait for her (all natural and turns out to be expensive but at least we didn't blow all the money on the bed) mattress to arrive (4-6 weeks!) and we can complete phase 3: actually using the bed. I'm sure there will be many more phases as we figure out how to keep a kid in bed, but for now I'm happily anticipating!
et, voila! awaiting her majesty!