The time has come. Today, I took one side off of Sweet Pea's crib, converting it into a toddler bed.
She LOVES that she can climb into it all by herself now!
I took the railing off just before naptime, and let her explore her "new" bed for a while before proceeding with our normal naptime routine.
Naptime went fantastically, and getting her down at bedtime wasn't too tricky either.. but we haven't made it through the whole night yet! Time will tell whether she stays in bed or ends up elsewhere by morning. We will definitely be putting up the gate at the top of the stairs.
She and I had a conversation about her new big girl bed ("big girl" is a phrase we've all been using quite a bit lately), and how big girls stay in their beds all night, and that when she is ready to get up, she can call for us and we will come get her.