One of the first major transitions you’ll make with your toddler is the transition from crib to bed. This transition was actually harder on me than it was on my first born. He was so excited to get his big boy bed, and I was a little sad to realize that he really was growing up so fast! Looking back, there were certainly some things that made this transition much easier on our family. Below, I’m sharing exactly what we did to make sure the transition from crib to bed went as seamlessly as possible. And hopefully, these tips will help you have a comfortable transition for your little one as well!
Wait Til They’re Ready
If there’s one piece of advice I took to heart, it was waiting until my toddler was ready to make the move from crib to bed. While there’s never a way to know exactly when they’re ready, you can usually tell when your toddler is getting too big or active for his crib, which is a great time to make the switch. For us, it was about a month after my toddler’s second birthday. He was starting to climb out of his crib, which had me worried. Plus, he seemed to need more room to roll around at night. So we decided that it was time to move him into a big boy bed.
Waiting until he was a little older really helped. He didn’t try to get out of bed after we put him down, and seemed to really understand the concept of getting bigger translating to new and exciting things.
Make It Exciting
The more excited your toddler is for their new bed, the easier it will be to convince them to sleep in it. Talk to them about it well in advance of making the move. Let them help pick their new bed out, or assist with putting it together. Have them help you to select their new bedding, and make a big show out of getting their fancy new bed ready for bedtime. We didn’t buy a new bed, and instead moved what was in our guest room into my toddler’s room. He helped me take apart the crib, then put together the new bed in his room. He came with me to pick out his new big boy bedding, and was so excited to get it all set up. And that made those first few nights a whole lot easier!
Make It About Them
For some families, the transition from crib to bed also involves a new baby coming into the picture – and moving the crib into the new nursery! But avoid the temptation to immediately set up your toddler’s crib in the new nursery, as this can make them feel like they’re being replaced. To avoid this, allow ample time between when you set up your toddler’s new bed and when you need the new nursery completed. At the recommendation of our pediatrician, I didn’t put our crib up in the nursery until about six months after our toddler made the transition from crib to bed. This kept focus of his big move on our toddler’s needs first, and the new use for the crib a distant second.
Easing the Crib to Bed Transition
Finally, make it easier for your toddler to get comfortable in his or her new bed by staying in their room longer than usual. It’s less scary when mommy and daddy are part of the transition, at least at first. My husband and I both stayed in bed with our toddler until he fell asleep the first few nights. Then, we started to shorten that snuggle time each night, until we were back to our normal nightly routine. It’s been almost a year since the initial transition, and he still loves sleeping in his big boy bed. A lot of this is because we took the crib to bed transition slowly. By focusing on his needs, and what would help him get ready for his new digs, we made him comfortable with the big move. And now that he’s used to sleeping in his big bed, bedtime is a breeze!