So your baby is ready to graduate from crib to toddler bed, but are you? This is a big change not just for your baby but also for you as a parent. Don’t worry, we’re here to help you out! Here are some tips on when and how to make the transition, as well as how to get a toddler to sleep in their own bed all night.
Moving From Crib To Toddler Bed | All You Need To Know
Signs Your Child Is Ready for a Toddler Bed
There is no hard rule on the right time to switch out your crib. Experts and veteran moms agree, however, toddlers should be moved before they can climb out of their crib, usually between the ages of 1 1/2 and 3 1/2. This is because crib-climbing poses risks to your children’s safety. Make the switch before they’re three feet tall and can get out of the crib and possibly hurt themselves.
A new sibling can be another reason for moving to a toddler bed. If this is the case (and assuming your toddler is at least 18 months old), it’s important to begin the transition at least two months before the new baby is due. This way, the older child will be less territorial with the crib and won’t feel like he or she is being replaced by the new baby. Try to keep the crib out of sight before the baby arrives.
It’s also important to make sure the switch does not coincide with other major changes in your kid’s life, such as toilet training, giving up bottles, or starting preschool. Too many changes at the same time can be overwhelming and make it hard to adjust.
Choosing the Right Bed
The right bed should be sturdy and equipped with rails to avoid incidents of the toddler falling. The bed should also be low on the ground to prevent injuries if ever your kid climbs out of bed. A simple design, without cutouts and protrusions on the headboard and footboard, will prevent active toddlers from bumping their heads.
Making the Transition Easier
To make the transition from crib to toddler bed easier, frame the change as something positive. Let your child play an active role by allowing them to choose their bed or sheets as well as other decorations. This will get your toddler excited.
In addition, make sure not to make drastic changes to their bedtime routine. If it’s your habit to read a storybook together before sleeping time, keep at it. If you haven’t established a solid bedtime routine at this point, it would be best to start so your toddler will be less anxious and won’t keep getting out of bed. Also, try putting the new toddler bed in the same spot as the old crib to underscore the effect of the move.
Moving Toddler Back to Crib
For some kids, moving from crib to toddler bed requires very little adjustment, while others do need a little more time and patience. If you notice your toddler getting upset about bedtime they may not be ready for the move. Other signs of a premature move include taking too long to fall asleep and getting up at night too often. It might be helpful to bring back the crib for the time being and try again in a few days. Make sure you properly communicate to your toddler that this is not a punishment and is only temporary.
There are convertible cribs that can be turned into a toddler bed. This is advantageous because it will be a less dramatic change for your kid. Watch this video from Pottery Barn Kids for an example of a convertible crib:
Whether or not your child adapts to their new bed easily, moving from a crib to their own little bed is a big step for everyone. This is an important part of your toddler’s development. Take the time to celebrate how much your baby is growing up!
Do you have other helpful tips on how to make the transition from crib to toddler bed easy? Let us know in the comments section below!