Goodbye Crib – Hello Big Kids Bed
You may be wondering when the appropriate time to transition your child from their crib to a toddler bed. The truth is there is no standard age. Most children tend to make the transition between the ages of 1 ½ to 3 ½.
If your child has begun to climb out of their crib, then yes, it’s probably time to transition to a toddler bed. Climbing out of the crib just isn’t safe, but if you feel your child isn’t ready to move to a new bed, you may be able to use the crib for a bit longer by lowering the mattress in the crib down as far as possible (remember to remove padded bumpers as soon as they start to climb). The bars are now higher and harder to climb over. You can also purchase something called a “crib tent.” A crib tent is made of mesh and attaches to the railings to prevent your little one from climbing out.
If you have another little one on the way and need to use the crib for them, try to introduce the bed to your toddler at least 6-8 weeks before your next child is born. Or you may be able to buy some more time for your toddler if you use a bassinet for the new baby. Babies can safely use bassinets until about 3-4 months after they are born.
When deciding to transition your child to a toddler bed, the most important thing is to listen to them. If they aren’t ready or comfortable in a toddler bed, it may be best to delay the whole transition for a couple of months, as long as they can safely remain in their crib. If after the first night you feel you may have made the move too soon, don’t give up. However, if your child is still upset after a couple of days, then yes, go ahead and move them back to their crib. Just be sure you don’t treat their move back to the crib as punishment or a step backwards.
When the time comes, there are several things you can do to make the transition easier. For instance, place the bed in the same spot their crib occupied in their room. And don’t forget guard rails! Also, consider using sheets from their crib. It may be comforting for them to have something familiar in this new environment. Also, try getting your child excited about their new bed. Try including them in the planning, maybe they could help pick out the bed or their new sheets. Toddler sheets are usually themed after popular cartoon characters, which may get them excited for their new sleeping environment.
Remember, every child is different. Some will be eager to move to a new bed, others not so much. But with encouragement and patience, your child can successfully transition to their new bed.