Timely transitions are critical when transitioning from a crib to an appropriate toddler bed. A child’s emotional and social functioning, ability to learn and focus, and overall growth all depend on a child’s ability to get adequate sleep. Changes to the bedtime routine of an infant, especially one who is used to sleeping in a crib, can cause anxiety in many parents. A child’s sleep problems and resistance to bedtime can be exacerbated if they are transitioned to their new routine too soon.
It is, nevertheless, an expected part of growing up to transition from a crib to a bed. As they get older, most toddlers are able to adapt to the new environment and often look forward to it. At 18 months, some children are ready to transition to a new type of food, while others choose to wait until they are 2 or 3 years old. Choosing the best time for you and your family can be influenced by a variety of variables.
When Is the Right Time to Switch to a Toddler Bed?
Between the ages of 18 months and 2 years, one-third of all toddlers move to a bed, while the other third do so between the ages of 2 and 2.5. Toddlers often transition from a crib to a bed between the ages of 18 months and three years. There are a few things to keep in mind before making the switch because of the large age range.
Does Your Child Seem Ready?
When a child can climb out of their crib on their own, it’s time to switch to a toddler bed. If your child is a regular climber, a crib can represent a risk of damage.
Even if your child hasn’t managed to climb out of their crib yet, 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 youngster reaches the height of around three feet, it’s time to move them to a bed. A huge bed like yours or that of an older sibling may be on their wish list.
Your child may not be ready to transition to a full-fledged bed just yet if they’re having difficulty mastering the art of self-discipline. Because self-control is a skill that can be developed, sleeping in your own bed may be too liberating for some people. According to some research, you should wait until your child is at least 3 years old before making the shift so that your toddler doesn’t frequently get out of bed and come to your room at night, which could disrupt your sleep.
Are You Expecting Another Baby?
To make room for a new baby in the crib, you may have to shift your toddler from his or her current bed. At least a few months before the baby arrives, begin moving your child to the new bed. This offers your toddler a chance to get used to their new bed without getting jealous or resentful of their new baby brother or sister.
Is Your Child Experiencing Any Other Big Changes?
Toddlers often have a hard time adapting to new situations, and a transition from a cot to a bed is no exception. 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
There are a number of indicators that your child is ready to graduate from their crib to a full-size bed. Starting the transition does not necessitate waiting for every sign to appear. Consider shifting your child from a crib to a full-sized bed if they have the following symptoms:
- In the process of crawling out of their cots.
- Have a height of at least 3 feet, or be able to climb out
- Are between the ages of 18 months and three years.
- Soon, I’ll have a new sibling to play with.
- They’ve made it clear that they’d like a “big kid” bed.
When To Switch To A Toddler Bed?
1. Your toddler is outgrowing the crib
You should check to determine whether your toddler is still able to fit in their crib as their height increases. 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.
A micro crib, which is smaller than a standard cot, may cause your child to outgrow their crib sooner. Get them a better bed sooner rather than later to be ready.
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 may be able to lower the mattress almost to floor level. The new bed for your kid will be ready in no time if you use this strategy. 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
Potty training and making the switch to a toddler bed are important developmental milestones. Attempting to accomplish both milestones at the same time can be overwhelming for youngsters, resulting in regression and delaying both of them.
When the urge to pee strikes in the middle of the night, getting a young child out of bed is both difficult and dangerous. A toddler bed can be used as a starting point for training your child to go to the restroom on their own.
4. They are okay being unsupervised
The act of teaching your child to use the toilet independently is known as 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. As soon as you are comfortable with the thought of them waking up and going to the bathroom on their own, you can move them into a toddler bed.
5. They can understand “imaginary” boundaries
There are rails on cribs, which serve as a fairly distinct boundary. Find out if your youngster is capable of recognizing and comprehending abstract concepts such as imaginary borders. Playing a game like hopscotch with just two or three boxes could help you determine whether or not your toddler is aware of the area and boundaries in which they exist.
If you want to see how much they move around while they sleep, you may also put them in your bed with you and raise a few pillows. Keep an eye on your infant at all times when he or she is sleeping on your bed with pillows. If they’re sleeping soundly, you may want to try a toddler’s bed.
A toddler bed may be appropriate if the youngster isn’t bouncing out of the crib on a regular basis. Before they are aware of their boundaries, toddlers are rushed into the change. This will disrupt both their sleep and yours.
6. They are asking for their own bed
Your toddler may be inspired by their older sibling and ask for a huge bed of their own. Even their crib may be a turn-off for them. They may be ready for the transition and aware of their imaginary bounds as long as they can express sophisticated thoughts, such as wanting a bigger bed. Don’t forget, though, to take safety precautions and exercise caution.
7. A new baby is on the way
In order to make the switch to a toddler bed, most experts recommend waiting until your child is at least two years old. It’s best to wait until your child is at least two years old before moving them into a co-sleeper or a bassinet.
But if your toddler is above two years, warn them about the transition and start the process at least a month or two before the baby arrives. Ensure that your toddler enjoys the transition, but don’t make them feel compelled or coerced to do so. Encourage them to dream about becoming an older sibling with a roomier bed.
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
The toddler’s first experience sleeping in a bed of their own is exciting. Even if they are looking forward to their first big bed, they are still children and want a safe place to sleep.
- Choose a strong and stable JPMA-certified toddler bed.
- Regularly inspect the bed’s joints and safety rails. 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.
- Children under the age of six should not utilize an upper bunk bed or a raised bed.
- Pillows and thick sheets should not be placed in your toddler’s bed.
2. Portable bed rail safety tips
When your child moves from a crib to a toddler bed, portable bed guard rails can be beneficial. The following suggestions may prove useful.
- When putting up and utilizing portable bed rails, follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
- In a crib, do not utilize portable safety rails.
- The guard rails should be tightly attached between the mattress and the frame to prevent gaps.
- Ensure that the product you’re purchasing has a valid certification.
3. Placement of a toddler’s bed
When deciding where to put the bed, keep these considerations in mind.
- It’s best to keep the bed’s headboard away from a wall. Placing a child’s bed next to the wall may save space and appear safer, but there is a risk that a toddler will become injured or even killed if the mattress is not properly secured.
- Make sure there aren’t any gaps if you’re mounting the headboard to a wall. There should only be one pillow and one blanket on the bed at a time.
4. Child-proof the house for safety
Your youngster may be running around as you sleep, and it’s not uncommon for this to happen.
- Check to see if your child’s room is secure now that they can get out of bed without assistance. Make sure.
- You should check to see that all of your bookcases and drawers are safe, as well as your tables and cabinets.
- 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.
- Install safety gates at the apex and apex of the stairwells and all of 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
The transition to a toddler bed should not be pushed on your child. Remember that at this age, your child experiences new things and surprises on a daily basis, so keep this in mind. Anxiety and disorientation are common side effects of rapid, unplanned growth.
- Check your toddler’s cues that he or she is ready for the transfer from crib to bed.
- Children who are too big for their cribs, or who will soon be sharing it with a younger sibling, should be explained the necessity of sleeping in a toddler bed.
- Make the transition from a crib to a toddler bed as smooth as possible for your child. Talk to them frequently about how to use the new bed, and give them a few pointers.
2. Pick out the best toddler bed
The first step is to hunt for the greatest toddler beds online or in departmental shops.
- If you want your child to be able to use the bed far into their teenage years, decide how long it will last.
- Purchase beds that are low to the ground.
- Having safety rails around a larger bed is preferable.
- Convertible cribs are a popular starting point for some new parents. Removable front panels can offer 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
Excite your little one about the new ‘big girl’ or ‘big boy’ bed. Allowing them to add their own personal touches will help them sleep better.
- Pick out your toddler’s new bed online with their aid, or take them to a bed store and let them help you. This can arouse their enthusiasm for the brand-new bed.
- Get their aid with the bedding and the sheets, please. Don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it.
- If you’re feeling ambitious, how about a total overhaul of your bedroom? As a matter of fact, you may need a new floor design in order to accommodate the new bed. 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. You can’t force them to sleep on a toddler bed if they’re attached to their crib. One step at a time is all that’s needed.
- When you first put the bed together, resist the urge to shove your child into it. Put their favorite stuffed animals on the bed first, and then invite them to help you.
- The new bed can serve as a reading corner to begin with, or you can have them read aloud to the toys.
- Incorporate the bed into their daily snoozes gradually
- As soon as your child is comfortable with their new bed, gradually introduce them to your child’s nighttime ritual.
- To help your child go asleep, you can use the “fade-away” method and stay there with them until they are comfortable with the idea of going to sleep alone.
5. Establish a bedtime routine
It is recommended that children under the age of three have 10 hours of sleep every night. Even in a new bed, having a set bedtime ritual will help your child sleep better and faster.
- Decide on a regular time to go to bed.
- Ask your children to get ready for bed around 30 minutes before it’s time to go to sleep.
- Take a warm bath, read a book, or sing a song to them to help them unwind.
- At the very least, 30 minutes before going to bed, stay away from things like watching TV or playing video games.
- Make sure the room isn’t too hot or too cold, so that you and your partner can have a good night’s sleep.
- Make your child’s room a peaceful haven. Establish a rule that the bedroom is only for sleeping and not for play.
- Use a bedroom lamp to dim the lights and get some shut-eye.
6. Be empathetic and tell stories
It may appear like children desire to “grow up” and act like adults, but this is not always the case. After all, they are kids.
- The desire for children to “grow up” and act like adults may appear to be universal, yet this may not be the case. In the end, they’re just kids.
- Tell them stories about how you dealt with change as a kid and how you overcame it.
- It’s easy for children to learn from stories since they like them so much. To help your toddlers adjust to life outside of the crib, tell them stories about other children who have done so. There are a plethora of stories and books can be found on the internet.
7. Be Patient
Allow plenty of time for your child to become used to their new surroundings. There will be bumps in the road, and your toddler may wake you up in the middle of the night to tell you that he or she can’t sleep in their large beds.
- Don’t worry about the minor setbacks. Be sure that your children will be able to adapt to the new situation, rather than worried about them.
- Consistency is key. Maintain a consistent bedtime routine and don’t give up trying to fall asleep.
- There will be a two-to-three-week adjustment period. Expect some late-night wake-up calls no matter how well you’ve practiced.
- Don’t stop being a positive influence on your child. If they stay in bed through the night, reward them with modest sweets or an additional story.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is it OK for a two-year-old child to sleep in a crib?
Yes. It is advised that babies remain in their cribs for up to three years, even if they are able to transition to a toddler bed earlier.
Is a two-year-old too large for a full-size bed?
Your two-year-bed old’s size is likely to be determined by his or her weight and height. If your child is in good health and gaining weight quickly, a larger bed can be a better choice. The bed should, however, be bolted down for their own protection.
How long can a kid sleep in a toddler bed for?
CPSC regulations state that toddler beds are designed for toddlers weighing less than or equal to 50 pounds. Therefore, if your child exceeds the specified weight limit, you should move them to a larger bed.
If you’re thinking of moving your kid from a crib to a bed after 18 months, there is no one-size-fits-all answer because each child reaches milestones at various ages. A move to a big kid’s room may be necessary if your child has outgrown his or her cot, is making progress with potty training, and your home has been childproofed. When it comes to your child’s development, patience is key. It’s important to ease your youngster into the idea of change by making the transition as pleasant as possible.
Infographic: Transitioning To A Toddler Bed
When your child has reached specific developmental milestones and has grown taller than a particular threshold, it is okay to move them to a toddler bed. The following infographic will help you determine when it’s time to start looking for a toddler bed.
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