Goodbye, Crib…Hello, Toddler Bed!
Transitioning out of a crib and into a bed is one of childhood’s major milestones. Some toddlers take to the big-kid bed with ease. But many need a little help adjusting. Either way, here are the best tips we’ve found for easing the move from crib to bed.
1. Avoid Pressure (and Pressuring)
Don’t be pressured by well-meaning friends or family to rush it. Make the move when you and your child are ready. For safety reasons, it’s ideal to do it before kids start climbing out of their crib, typically between ages 2-3.
2. One Transition at a Time
If you’re in the middle of potty training or moving, wait until things settle down before you tackle another hurdle. Like all of us, kids have a hard time handling too much change at once.
3. Do It Well Before a New Baby Arrives
Becoming a big sib is hard enough without giving up your crib to a newbie. If you’re expecting, plan the transition from crib to bed a good month or two before your due date. Consider tucking the crib out of sight during this time, so your child has time to detach from it.
4. Make The New Toddler Bed Exciting
It’s hard to resist a really cool toddler bed, like our race car bed and princess bed. Or let your child pick out super-cool kids bedding. Not only does it help create enthusiasm, it gives kids the sense of having some control over the situation.
5. Don’t Start Redecorating Now
Now is not the time to makeover the nursery. Place the new bed where the crib was, and keep everything else where it is. It’s easier to sleep in a room that’s familiar.
6. Avoid Falls: Use Bed Rails
Rolling out of bed while in a sound sleep is the fastest way to make your child fear their new bed. Start things off right; put bed rails in place. See our bed rails for twin beds and bed guards for toddler beds and convertible cribs.
7. To See or Not to See?
Some toddlers get upset watching their crib being moved or dismantled. You know your child best. Decide in advance how you’ll handle it.
8. Let There Be…Night Light!
If your child doesn’t already have a night light, now’s the time to get one. Kids find them fascinating as well as reassuring.
9. Follow a Bedtime Routine
Bedtime routines can help kids fall asleep faster and sleep better. Ideally, you’ve established one already, and it will reassure your child during the transition period. If not, start creating a bedroom routine now.
10. Be Patient and Use Praise
It may take a little time for your child to adjust to his or her new bed. Plan for a few bumpy nights, let your child express his or her feelings, and offer understanding and praise. Some kids find “big bed” books and reward charts helpful. With a little time and patience, your child will happily climb into his or her big kid bed every night.
Bedtime Routines: Getting Kids to Bed Without the Stress
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