Many parents wonder how to transition to a toddler bed, as it can be both an exciting and anxious time for your child. Knowing how to ease the transition will make the change easier for everyone in the family and help guarantee that your child will feel comfortable enough to ensure the move is permanent for weeks to come.
Don’t Transition Too Soon
If your child is sleeping well and they are safe in the crib, there is no need to hurry them into a bigger bed. You can keep them cribbed until they are showing signs that it is time to move on. If your child acts out or is trying to climb out of the crib, then there is a chance they could possibly hurt themselves, and a switch is necessary.
Make it Special
To get your child excited about the big change and curb their fears about the transition, have them pick out some “big kid” bedding. A new comforter or blanket, themed sheets and even a new stuffed animal or toy can help them make the time very special.
Know That Falls Will Happen
Up until now, your child has only slept in a bed where he is safely enclosed. He is not accustomed to the freedom of movement that an open bed offers. Because of this, it is extremely important to take safety precautions just in case your child rolls off his new bed. You can purchase special bed rails, place another mattress on the ground, or use a couple of pillows around the bed in case he falls out.
Limit Their Freedom
Without being enclosed in a crib, toddlers will test the limits of their newfound freedom. They will constantly hop in and out of bed, and you may find them wandering into your bedroom – and bed! You can avoid late-night guests by installing a gate on your child’s bedroom door. This will prevent your child from walking out into your room or around the house while you are asleep. You could also use door knob protectors to prevent your child from opening their bedroom door.
Make Sure They Are Sleepy At Bedtime
If your child goes to bed tired they will fall asleep much quicker and hardly notice their new sleeping situation. For the first week or so after getting the toddler bed, be sure your child is worn out from a long day of activities. You might even want to keep them up an extra 15 minutes or more so they are very tired which will keep the focus on sleep. The sooner they get used to actually sleeping in their bed, the easier the transition will be.
Keep it Consistent
You can guarantee the switch stays smooth by making the transition and then not going back to the crib. Once you have made the switch, stick with it! Be firm and consistent so your toddler sees that this is the new normal. Stay on top of them by checking on them frequently and making sure they stay in bed.
Keep in mind that transitioning to a toddler bed is a different experience for all toddlers. Just be patient, stay calm, and help your child enjoy this new and exciting stage of their life.
What’s a good age to switch into a toddler bed? My LO just turned 1 and she is on the petite side being about 19 pounds. She can get off my couch very easily, I’m just afraid if I switch her to a toddler bed she might fall off even with bed rails. Too soon maybe?
My LO is 18 months old….we got a toddler bed bc we figured it was time. We still left the crib up bc we haven’t had time to take it down, but he will NOT sleep in his toddler bed. Any advice on this and do you think it’s ok to keep him in the crib as long as he is comfortable there?