If you’ve got your hands on an escape artist, it’s probably time for the legendary “big kid’s bed.” The transition from a crib to a toddler bed is a time of change — for both of you. And it can be difficult for your little one to adjust to his new bed. So how do you ensure your child is safe and the transition is as seamless as possible? It can be a little tricky, so we’ve compiled a list of tips to get you started.
When will my toddler be ready for a large cot?
Most experts recommend switching to a new bed after they turn three. Three-year-olds typically have the behavioral control and communication skills to handle the change. Every child is different, so there is no magical date when you should move them to a large cot. Choosing to replace, the cot will depend on your child’s development.
One of the most important signs that your child is ready for his next bed is whether he can climb out of his crib. This usually happens when the crib rail height is less than three-quarters of its size. Once they can climb out, you don’t have to keep them in. Another marker to look out for is whether your toddler can sleep alone at night or if he asks for a large cot.
Five tips for moving your toddler to his big cot
1. Make sure the time is right
The first is obvious, but you don’t want to rush this process. It’s a big change and a lot of newfound freedom. They need to understand the limits of the new bed, and you need to be consistent in maintaining it.
If they are not ready, it will be a headache for you in the long run .You don’t want to change bed during major changes — like potty training or starting daycare. If your child has trouble sleeping, address those issues before making more changes.
If a sibling is on the way, that does introduce a bit of a timeline. We understand it; the last thing you want to do is buy another crib. It is best to start menopause about two to three months before the baby comes. That way, they have settled into their new large cot before the latest addition joins the family.
2. Childproof their room
Your kid’s room is probably pretty safe already. Their new freedom without your watchful eye can introduce unknown security risks you may not consider. A good trick is to think about things from the perspective of a wandering toddler.
Things to watch out for:
Toddlers love to climb: Whether it’s a dresser or a bookcase, they’ll try to climb it. Toddlers are curious: cords and curtains are like a magnet to toddlers. Please ensure they are out of their reach to ensure they don’t pull on it. It is important to secure all furniture so that nothing falls on it. Also, make sure the windows are locked to prevent falls. Toddlers touch everything: make certain sockets are covered so little fingers can’t get in.
3. Stick to the same bedtime routine
You probably already have a bedtime ritual with your toddler. The good news is you’ve already done the hard part. All you need to worry about now is to keep things consistent. Ensuring their bedtime routine is the same will keep stuff from overwhelming them.
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4. Practice during a nap
No toddler is perfect at sleeping in a new bed. They may be nervous about their new bed or wander when they should be sleeping. Practicing sleeping in their large cot during a nap is a good way to help them adapt to the new environment without fear. Rewarding them for good behavior is also a good idea. Try a sticker card that tracks how many days they’ve slept in their new bed.
If you are not ready to buy them a new bed, you can remove the front wall of their crib. It gives you time to decide which mattress is best for your child and helps them practice staying in bed without borders.
5. Expect it to be a process
During this process, you have to anticipate setbacks. Sometimes, they won’t stay in bed or cry because they’re scared. Patience is everything. Talk to your little one about what is happening to help him understand.
By involving them in the process, they feel they control the changes. To help them feel ownership (and excitement) about the process, have them choose something for their new bed, such as a blanket, pillow, or stuffed animal.
The information in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified healthcare professional if you have any questions about a medical condition or health goals.