Are you thinking about transitioning your toddler from the crib to a bed?
Signs your child is ready for the move:
- He’s become quite an escape artist; regularly crawling out of his crib on his own.
- He’s potty trained.
- He’s literally outgrowing his crib (36 inches tall or more).
Although there is no set time-frame, many kids are ready to leave their cribs between two to three years of age. However, even if they do display signs of readiness, some kids are more resistant to change and need a bit more encouragement than others.
To help you both rest more easily, here are some tips to make the transition a smooth one.
Take it slow. Rushing the move can have negative side effects. A child who comfortably sleeps through the night in his crib may wake up every hour in a bed if he feels uneasy. If your child is anxious about the transition, consider making the move in small steps. Set up a bed beside the crib. Use the bed for naps and the crib for bedtime until he gets used to his new sleeping arrangements.
Read stories. Read stories about other kids moving into beds to help your child understand this is a normal and fun experience. Good books to read can include Your Own Big Bed by Rita Bergstein and Big Enough for a Bed by Sesame Street.
Keep with routine. New experiences can be stressful so try not to change other things like brushing teeth, reading stories or bathing at the same time as introducing the bed. Also try not to introduce anything new such as potty training, moving houses or a new baby. Maintaining the same routines you and your toddler had when he was in the crib will make the transition easier.
Go shopping together. Make the experience a fun one by involving your toddler in the bed selection process. Select a few models ahead of time and then have him pick out the one he likes. Also, go shopping together for new sheets, duvets, pillow cases and decorations for his “new room”.
Don’t forget about safety. Transitioning to a bed calls for all new safety precautions. Your child is now more mobile and can get into things he couldn’t get into before. Here, are some safety tips to consider:
- Install guard rails to the bed to prevent falls.
- Anchor large furniture like bookshelves, armoires and dressers to the wall.
- Remove window cords from the bedroom. They can be a choking hazard.
- Install window guards to any windows that can be easily opened.
- Install a gate on the doorway and/or stairs if you’re worried about nighttime wandering.
- Ensure exterior doors have double locks to prevent kids from wandering outside in the middle of the night.
- Keep a night light on in the hallway and/or bathroom to prevent falls during midnight bathroom trips.
Through your patience and encouragement, transitioning your toddler from the crib to a bed will be a positive and fun milestone to remember.