From Crib to Toddler Bed – Tips to Help You and Your Little One Deal with the Transition
When you’re a parent, you seem to face one challenge after another in the early years of your little one’s life. No sooner do you seem to have overcome the challenge of breastfeeding but you have to deal with starting on solids. No sooner do you manage to get them to crawl, it’s time to teach them how to walk. You just seem to have managed to get them to sleep through the night and then it’s time to transition them from their crib to their first toddler bed. Does this sound familiar? If you’re at this stage in your little one’s life, it can be a worrying time. Where do you begin? You don’t want to distress your son or daughter but they can’t go on sleeping in their crib forever. This is especially the case if you have another baby on the way and need the crib for the new arrival. With that in mind, here are our expert top tips to help you to manage the transition more effectively.
Timing It Right
There isn’t a set age at which you should definitely move your toddler to a bed, however usually you might want to start considering it around the age of 18 months. If your little one is 3 feet tall, or is climbing regularly out of their crib, or has even asked for their own bed, it’s definitely time to make the move. One thing to watch out for is transitioning your toddler because of a new arrival. You don’t want your son or daughter to think that they’re being displaced by the new baby, so make sure to leave plenty of time for the transition period so that your toddler doesn’t associate the move with their new brother or sister.
Choosing the Right Toddler Bed
There are lots of different types of toddler bed to choose from. You can choose ones that come in the shape of a castle, a car or a truck, or regular beds with safety rails attached. As long as the bed you choose is safe, you’re onto a winner, although you might want to involve your child in the decision. Make sure that the bed you choose is sturdy, low and equipped with safety rails.
Read a Story
One way to prepare your little one for the transition is to read them a story about characters who move to a new bed. This can help you to talk about it and to get your little one excited about the move that they’ll be making.
Involving Your Little One
Children are often happier to transition to a bed from a crib if they can be involved in the process. Allow your child to choose their own bed linen and decorate their bed with their favorite toys. They can also help choose the bed itself. Making the bed as welcoming and comfortable as possible with a cozy pillow and comforter is the best way for your little one to enjoy their new experience.
You’ve probably already toddler-proofed your home, however the transition to a bed is another good time to check out your safety precautions. If your child can escape from their bed during the night, you may need to block any stairs, lock doors and windows leading outdoors and make sure that no cleaning products or dangerous medicines are kept in low cabinets that they could access if they go wandering during the night.
Having a Bedtime Routine
You probably already have a routine for bedtime in place for your little one. This isn’t a good time to change that routine. Make sure that changes are kept to a minimum. Stick to the same bathtime, bedtime and story time and keep the other elements in their bedroom the same so they don’t feel overwhelmed by all the differences. Establishing a strong sleep routine is the best way to ease into the transition period, and of course, praising your little one every time they sleep through the night in their new bed will work wonders too.
Follow these top tips and the transition from crib to bed will be easier than you imagined.