The transition from a crib to a toddler bed is a huge one, and timing it correctly is crucial. Children’s emotional, social, and cognitive development, as well as overall growth, are greatly impacted by a good night’s rest. Changes to the bedtime routine of an infant, especially one who is used to sleeping in a crib, can be frightening for parents. Children who are introduced to their new routines earlier than necessary are more likely to experience sleep disturbances and resistance to going to bed at night.
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The transition from a crib to a bed, on the other hand, is a common occurrence during childhood. As they get older, most toddlers are able to adapt to the new situation and even look forward to it. Some children are ready to switch as early as 18 months, while others choose to wait until they’re 2 or 3 years old before making the transition. Your family’s best timing to start a new life together depends on several things.
When Is the Right Time to Switch to a Toddler Bed?
Between the ages of 18 months and 2 years old, about one-third of toddlers transition to a bed, and another third transition between the ages of 2 and 2.5.. Between the ages of 18 months and 3 years, the majority of toddlers make the switch from a crib to a bed. There are a few things to keep in mind when deciding whether or not to make the switch.
Does Your Child Seem Ready?
Climbing out of their crib and into a toddler bed is a sure indicator that your youngster is ready. If your child routinely climbs out of their crib, it could offer a danger of injury.
Even if your child hasn’t yet climbed out of their crib, there are other signals that they’re ready for a bigger bed. You can tell they’ve outgrown their crib if, while they’re standing up, their chest is visible above the rail. When a child is about 3 feet tall, they are usually ready for a bed. A huge bed like yours or that of an older sibling may be on their wish list.
However, if your child is still having difficulties with self-control, they may not be ready to transition to a bed just yet.. There are some people who find the freedom of a bed to be too much for them to handle. As your child approaches the age of three, some experts recommend delaying the change until he or she is no longer frequently waking up and coming into your room at night, which could interrupt your sleep as well.
Are You Expecting Another Baby?
It’s possible that you’ll need to move your toddler into a bed so that your new baby can use the crib. Begin preparing your toddler for the new bed as early as possible, ideally several months before the baby is due. In this way, your toddler will not be jealous of or feel displaced by their new smaller brother while they get used to their brand new bed.
Is Your Child Experiencing Any Other Big Changes?
For toddlers, the transition from a crib to a bed is a significant one, and they aren’t always quick to adapt. Consider delaying the transfer to a bed for a little longer if your child is in the middle of toilet training or another large transition like entering daycare or moving with the family. If you make too many changes at once, your child may become overwhelmed and the transition may be more difficult for both of you.
Signs It’s Time to Switch to a Toddler Bed
When your child is ready to transition from their crib to a toddler bed, there are numerous signals to look out for. Starting the transition does not necessitate waiting for every sign to appear. You may want to consider shifting your child out of their crib and into their own bed if they are:
- They’ve gotten out of their crib on their own own.
- Are at least three feet tall, if not more.
- Are in the age range of 18 months to three years.
- Soon, I’ll have a baby brother or sister.
- Their desire for a “big kid” bed has been stated.
When To Switch To A Toddler Bed?
1. Your toddler is outgrowing the crib
Keep a close eye on your child’s height and make sure they still fit in their cot. As soon as your toddler’s head and feet begin to touch the crib’s ends, it’s time for a change to a “big-girl” or “big-boy” bed.
If you have a little crib, your toddler may outgrow it sooner than if you had a regular-sized crib. As a result, get them a larger and more comfortable bed sooner rather than later.
2. They are climbing out of the crib
You don’t have to buy a toddler bed if your child is attempting to climb out of the crib. With some cribs, you can lower the mattress practically to the floor level by lowering the mattress rails. Your toddler’s new bed will be ready in time for this. Switch them to a more secure bed as soon as possible if they continue to climb out of their current one.
3. They are potty training
Child development is progressed by both potty training and the move from crib to toddler bed. If they are done at the same time, children may be overwhelmed and experience regression, which may result in a delay in achieving both milestones.
When the urge to pee strikes in the middle of the night, getting a young child out of bed is both difficult and dangerous. It’s a good idea to shift your toddler from a crib to a toddler bed before teaching them how to use the restroom on their own.
4. They are okay being unsupervised
As a parent, you are teaching your child to become more self-reliant through potty training. Is it safe for you to let your child alone with a phone or tablet if they wake up in the night?
Keep them in their cot as long as possible, and make sure that your home is child-proofed on all hinges and corners. You may also utilize an alarm system to alert you if your child tries to climb out of the crib. A toddler bed is an option if you’re fine with your child waking up and going to the bathroom on their own.
5. They can understand “imaginary” boundaries
Rails on cribs provide a distinct line of demarcation. See if your child is capable of recognizing and comprehending fictitious boundaries. Playing a game like hopscotch with just two or three boxes could help you determine whether or not your toddler is aware of the space and boundaries in which they operate.
When they’re asleep, you can put them in your bed and plop some pillows on top of them. When your baby is fast asleep on your bed with the pillows, make sure you’re always nearby to keep an eye on him. If they’re sleeping soundly, you may want to try a toddler’s bed.
A toddler bed may be appropriate if the child isn’t bouncing out of the crib on a regular basis. Toddlers’ sleep will be ruined, as will yours, if you force them to make the transition before they know their limits.
6. They are asking for their own bed
The older your child gets, the more likely it is that they will beg for their own big bed. Even their crib may be a turn-off for them. It’s a good sign that your child is ready for the transition and aware of his or her imaginative boundaries if he or she can articulate a complex concept, such as desiring a bigger bed. Don’t forget, though, to take safety precautions and exercise caution.
7. A new baby is on the way
Toddler beds are normally recommended for children who are above two years old. You may want to consider letting your toddler sleep in their crib a little longer while you shop for a bassinet or co-sleeper for your infant if they aren’t quite old enough.
In the event that you have a child that is over two years old, begin the transition at least a month or two in advance. Don’t let your youngster feel pushed or pressured; instead, make the adjustment exciting for them. Get them excited about having a bigger room and a better bed as an older sibling or sister.
Let them sleep in the crib if they aren’t ready to make the switch.
Safety Tips For Toddler Beds
When your child is old enough to sleep in his or her own bed, you should take the following procedures to ensure his or her safety.
1. Bed safety
For a toddler, sleeping in their own bed is a novel experience. A new huge bed might delight them, but they are still children who need a safe place to sleep.
- Consider purchasing a JPMA-certified toddler bed that is both stable and durable.
- Keep an eye on the bed and safety rails’ joints. If you do this every night, you’ll be more likely to remember to tighten any loose screws in the morning.
- As a precaution, make sure that the bed is as low as possible.
- Under no circumstances should a youngster under the age of six sleep in an upper bunk or on a raised bed.
- The bed of your child should not have any pillows or heavy sheets on top of it.
2. Portable bed rail safety tips
When your child moves from a crib to a toddler bed, it’s a good idea to have a set of portable bed guard rails handy. The following advice may be of use to you.
- When putting up and utilizing portable bed rails, follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
- In a crib, do not utilize portable safety rails.
- Make sure the protection rails are securely fastened between the mattress and the frame to eliminate any gaps.
- Ensure that the product you’re purchasing has a valid certification.
3. Placement of a toddler’s bed
Here are a few things to keep in mind while deciding where to put the bed.
- It’s best to avoid positioning one side of the bed up against an outside wall. As convenient as it may appear, setting your child’s bed against the wall may actually put him in danger because of the distance between the mattress and a child’s room wall.
- Make sure there are no gaps between the headboard and the wall if you plan to use it as a headboard. Avoid placing more than one pillow and a blanket on the bed.
4. Child-proof the house for safety
There is a good chance that your toddler may be up and exploring while you are asleep because they are curious creatures.
- Keep your child’s room safe now that they can easily climb out of bed.
- As you go through the house, look for loose or broken locks on bookcases, tables, and other storage areas.
- Maintain a safe distance between your youngster and any potentially dangerous goods in your home. This includes everything from electronic equipment and switchboards to cleaning products and medicines.
- Safety gates should be installed at the top and bottom of the staircases and the windows.
- However, if you want to be notified if your child wakes up, invest in a baby monitor.
Tips To Make An Easy Transition To A Toddler Bed
1. Know your toddler’s readiness
Let your child decide when he or she is ready for a toddler bed. Keep in mind that your child’s sense of wonder and wonderment will only grow as he or she grows older. It can be upsetting and stressful to experience too much change at once.
- Look for signals that your child is ready to go from a crib to a full-size mattress.
- A new baby brother or sister will need the crib, and your child will be too large for a crib, so explain to them why they need a toddler bed.
- Begin by making it as easy as possible for your child to make the transfer from the crib to the toddler bed. Give them a few pointers, and chat to them frequently about how to use their new mattress.
2. Pick out the best toddler bed
Look for the greatest toddler beds online or in local department shops to get started with your search.
- Decide if you want the bed to last for a few years or until your child reaches puberty before purchasing it..
- Consider purchasing low-lying mattresses.
- Having safety rails around a larger bed is preferable.
- Convertible cribs are a popular starting point for some new parents. Removable front panels can give your child the illusion of a larger bed while still being able to sleep in a crib.
- Consider purchasing a certified safe bed.
3. Allow your child to accessorize
Encourage your child to look forward to their new “big-girl” or “big-boy” bed. To make them feel at ease, allow them to bring anything they need to the bed.
- Pick out your toddler’s new bed together by taking him or her to a furniture store or having them help you choose online. This can pique their interest in using the new mattress.
- Get their help with the bedding and the sheets, and thank them. Don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it.
- The bedroom could use a total overhaul if you’re up for it. After all, a larger bed may need a rethink of your floor design. Decorate around your child’s favorite theme, whether it’s Disney, Frozen, or Paw Patrol.
4. Introduce the bed in stages
Children form a strong bond with their surroundings at a young age. When a child is in love with their crib, it’s inconvenient and impractical to expect them to switch to a toddler mattress overnight. You can’t do it all at once, so start small.
- Set the bed ready, but don’t force your youngster to climb in right away. Once they’ve picked out their favorite stuffed animals, you may begin by laying out all of their bedding.
- Start with the new bed as a reading corner, or have them read to their toys.
- As they get older, gradually incorporate the bed into their daily naps.
- As soon as your child is comfortable with their new bed, gradually introduce them to your child’s nighttime routine.
- You can use the “fade-away” approach and stay with your child until they feel comfortable falling asleep on their own.
5. Establish a bedtime routine
Toddlers need at least ten hours of sleep each night. Even if they’re sleeping in a new bed, a consistent bedtime ritual will help them get to sleep faster.
- Decide on a regular time to go to bed.
- Set an alarm for 30 minutes before bedtime to remind your children that it’s almost time for bed.
- You may take a warm bath, read a book, or sing a melody to help them rest.
- At least 30 minutes before night, refrain from activities such as watching television or playing video games.
- Make sure the room isn’t too hot or too cold, and that it’s just right.
- Make your child’s room a place of peace and tranquility. Ensure that the bedroom is used for sleeping and not for any other activity
- Use a bedroom lamp to dim the lights and get some shut-eye.
6. Be empathetic and tell stories
The desire for children to “grow up” and act like adults may appear to be universal, yet this may not be the case. They are, after all, children.
- While your child adjusts to sleeping in their new bed, show empathy for their feelings.
- Tell them about your own childhood experiences and how you dealt with the transition.
- When children hear stories, they are able to learn quickly. To help your toddlers adjust to life outside of the crib, tell them stories about other children who have done so. There are many stories and books to be found on the internet.
7. Be Patient
Give your child some time to get used to the new surroundings. It’s not uncommon for your kid to wake up in the middle of the night clinging to your leg or screaming for attention.
- Don’t worry about the minor setbacks. If you’re worried that your children can sense your stress, reassure them that they will be fine.
- Consistency is key. Don’t give up on your usual nighttime routine.
- A two- to three-week adjustment period is typical. Even if you’ve rehearsed extensively, expect occasional nighttime awakenings.
- Encourage your child at all times. If they stay in bed through the night, reward them with modest sweets or an additional story.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do children under the age of two still sleep in cribs?
Yes. As early as six months is OK for making the change over to a toddler bed, although it is suggested that kids remain in their cribs for up to three years.
Does a full-size bed fit a two-year-old comfortably?
Your two-year-weight old’s and growth may influence the size of their bed. If your child is in good health and gaining weight quickly, you might want to consider getting a bigger bed for him. However, to protect their safety, make sure the bed is secured.
How long can a toddler sleep in a crib?
Toddler beds are designed for toddlers weighing less than or equal to 50 pounds, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). Because of this, if your child is beyond the suggested weight limit, you should upgrade their bed.
The ideal time to transition your infant from a crib to a bed is around 18 months, but there isn’t a set age at which all children should make the step to a toddler bed. When a child has outgrown his crib, is on the verge of potty training, and your home has been thoroughly child-proofed, it may be time to make the switch. As a parent, you must be patient with your child as the process progresses. Change is a normal part of a child’s development and should be introduced to them in a positive manner.
Infographic: Transitioning To A Toddler Bed
You can safely convert your kid to a toddler bed once they complete specific milestones and reach a certain height. Use this simple infographic to see if it’s the correct time to buy a toddler bed for your child’s room.