Move your toddler into a big toddler bed with these 5 easy tips

If you’ve got an escape artist on your hands, it’s probably time for the legendary “big crib.” The transition from a cradle moving to a toddler bed is a time of change – for both of you. Also, it can be difficult for your little one to adjust to their new bed. So how do you make sure your child is safe and the transition goes as smoothly as possible? This can be a bit tricky; that’s why we’ve put together a list of tips to help you through the process.

When is my toddler ready for a big toddler bed?

Most experts recommend changing beds after age three. Three-year-olds typically have the behavioral control and communication skills to handle change. Every child is different, so there’s no magic date when you should move them to a big toddler bed. When you choose to replace the bassinet depends on your child’s development.

One of the most significant signs that your child is ready for their next bed is if they can get out of their crib. This usually happens when the height of the crib railing is less than three quarters of its height. Once they can get out, it’s impossible to hold them back. Another marker you can look for is whether your toddler can sleep on their own at night or if they request a large toddler bed.

5 tips for moving your toddler into their big crib

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 freedom found. If they aren’t ready for this, it will be a headache for you in the long run. They need to understand the boundaries of the new bed, and you need to be consistent in enforcing them.

You don’t want to switch beds during big changes, like potty training or the start of daycare. If your child has trouble sleepingtry to solve these problems before introducing other modifications.

If there’s a sibling on the way, that introduces a kind of timeline. We understood; the last thing you want to do is buy another crib. It’s best to start the transition about two to three months before the baby arrives. That way, they settled into their new big kid’s bed before the newest one joined the family.

2. Secure their room for children

Your child’s bedroom is probably safe enough already. The new freedom they have without your watchful eye can introduce new security risks that you may not be considering. A good trick is to think about things from the perspective of a wandering toddler.

Things to watch out for:

  • Toddlers are curious: Things like drawstrings and curtains are like a magnet for toddlers. Make sure they are out of their reach to make sure they don’t shoot them.
  • Toddlers like to climb: Whether it’s a chest of drawers or a bookcase, they’ll try to climb it. It’s important to secure all furniture to make sure nothing falls on it. Also make sure the windows are locked to prevent falls.
  • Toddlers touch everything: Make sure the sockets are covered so that little fingers cannot get into them.

3. Stick to the same bedtime routine

You probably already have a bedtime routine with your toddler. The good news is that you’ve already done the hard work. Now the only thing you need to worry about is keeping things consistent. By making sure their bedtime routine is the same, you prevent things from becoming overwhelming for them.

Two fathers tucking their daughter into her toddler bed

Getty Images/10,000 Hours

4. Train at nap time

No toddler is perfect for sleeping in a new bed. They may be nervous about their new bed or wander when they should be sleeping. Practicing sleeping in her big crib at nap time is a good way to help her adjust to her new environment without fear. Rewarding them for their good behavior is also a good idea. Try a sticker chart that shows how many days they slept in their new bed.

If you’re not ready to buy a new bed for them again, you can remove the front wall of their cradle. This will give you time to decide which bed is the best option for your child and will help them practice staying in bed without walls.

5. Expect it to be a process

You need to anticipate setbacks during this process. There will be times when they won’t stay in bed or cry because they’re scared. Patience is everything. Talk to your toddler about what’s going on to help him understand.

Including them in the process will help them feel in control of the changes. To help them take ownership (and excitement) of the process, you can let them choose something for their new bed, like a blanket, pillow, or stuffed animal.

The information in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended to constitute medical or health advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have about a medical condition or health goals.

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