Table of Contents
- How Do You Know When To Transition to a Toddler Bed?
- Signs Your Child Is Ready for a Toddler Bed
- How To Get Kids To Sleep in Their Own Bed
- Create a Countdown Calendar
- Share Personal Experiences
- Let Your Toddler Choose the Bedding
- Read a Favorite Book Together Each Night
- Play Soft Music in Your Child’s Room
- Put Aside a Special Blanket or Stuffed Toy for Bedtime
- Remove Excess Toys From the Room
- Update the Décor of Your Child’s Bedroom
- Use the Toddler Bed During Naptime
- Reward Your Child for a Sleep-Filled Night
- Making the Appropriate Changes to Your Child’s Room
- Be Patient With the Process
Everyone has an opinion. Your neighbor told you she had all six of her kids in toddler beds by the time they were 2. And, last week, your best friend told you her 3-year-old daughter is still sleeping in a crib. So, how do you know if your child is ready to leave the crib life behind? And when it’s time to transition, what’s the best way to go about it?
Discover a few of the signs that your child is ready for a toddler bed. Also, consider some tips to make leaving the crib more appealing to your child.
How Do You Know When To Transition to a Toddler Bed?
According to the Sleep Foundation, 18 months to 3 years is the typical age range for this transition. Of course, this is just a general guideline.
As a parent, you’re the most qualified person to decide whether your child is ready to make the move. You may even have a gut feeling about it. However, if you’re feeling unsure, there are a few common signs to look out for.
Signs Your Child Is Ready for a Toddler Bed
As you study this list, keep in mind that all kids develop at their own pace. Some are ready to transition from a crib to a toddler bed much sooner than others.
Your Child Is Able to Climb Out of the Crib
Is it becoming more common to find your child playing on the nursery floor instead of snoozing in their crib? If so, this can be a sign your child is ready for a toddler bed. Your son or daughter has reached a stage of development where they have the strength to climb out of the crib. Plus, your little one is letting you know it’s much more interesting to be outside it.
Bear in mind that every time your child climbs out of the crib, they run the risk of falling. So, at this point, moving your child to a toddler bed is likely to give you extra peace of mind.
Your Child Has Grown Too Large for the Crib
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends moving a child to a toddler bed when the crib railing hits below nipple level. At this point, the child is able to lean over the railing of most cribs. This increases their risk of falling and being injured.
Is your child too big to move around comfortably while sleeping in a crib? If the answer is yes, this is another sign your little one outgrown crib sleeping. A toddler bed will provide more space to stretch out for a comfortable sleep.
Your Child Is Potty Trained
A child who is potty trained has reached a new level of maturity. This is going to help your child adapt more easily to sleeping in a toddler bed.
Your Child Is Requesting a Big Kid Bed
Is your child asking for a big kid bed? This is one of the more obvious signs that your little one is ready for the switch to a toddler bed. We’ve found that transitioning from a crib to a toddler bed is much easier when your child is the first to bring up the subject.
How To Get Kids To Sleep in Their Own Bed
Maybe your child hasn’t asked for a big kid’s bed. In fact, you may have a child who is very hesitant about moving from the crib to a toddler bed. If so, there are ways to encourage your child to embrace the transition. The goal is to make this change sound as appealing as possible to your child.
Create a Countdown Calendar
Get the help of your little one to make a countdown calendar in anticipation of getting a new bed. Use lots of colors, stickers, and other materials to make the calendar special. Post it in your child’s room so you can keep track of the countdown together. A countdown calendar adds another element of fun to the process.
Sit with your child to talk about when your parents moved you from a crib to a toddler bed. Emphasize how fun it was to have your very own big kid bed. If you have time, look for some photos of you in your toddler bed to share with your child. Talking about this experience, even if you don’t remember all the details, sets a positive tone for the transition.
Let Your Toddler Choose the Bedding
Allowing your child to choose the bedding gives them a sense of ownership. Sheets and pillowcases featuring a beloved cartoon or book character add positivity and excitement to this huge change.
Get your child to help you put the sheets, pillowcases, and comforter on the bed. This may encourage them to establish a bed-making habit. We see this as a definite win-win!
Read a Favorite Book Together Each Night
Make story time in your child’s new bed a little extra special. Give your child the opportunity to choose a favorite book every night so you can snuggle together to read it. Reading with your child in bed is going to reinforce the positive tone you’re setting for this new sleeping arrangement. Reading together is also a relaxing activity in the evening.
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Play Soft Music in Your Child’s Room
Consider playing soft music in your child’s room as they drift off to sleep. Relaxing music sets a soothing tone as your little one gets used to sleeping in a toddler bed. You may want to set a timer on the CD player so it will click off on its own.
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Put Aside a Special Blanket or Stuffed Toy for Bedtime
Allow your child to choose a stuffed animal or blanket to sleep with in the toddler bed. Be sure to use this item only for sleeping in the new bed. Don’t allow your child to carry it around throughout the day. This special item makes sleeping in a toddler bed all the more appealing.
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Remove Excess Toys From the Room
Take a look around your child’s room. Do you have toys piled on the shelves or the floor? If so, remove most of them from the room and place them in the family room. The goal is to show your child their bedroom is a place for sleeping. Lots of toys and games can distract your child, keeping them from falling asleep.
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Update the Décor of Your Child’s Bedroom
Is your child’s bedroom still decorated for the infant you welcomed into your family? We understand that parents have busy lives and don’t always have the time to focus on decor. But updating your child’s bedroom can play a part in the transition from crib to toddler bed.
Let your child choose some new artwork or even a fresh color for the walls. While making the changes, emphasize that your child has a big kid room now, complete with a big kid’s bed!
Use the Toddler Bed During Naptime
Make the toddler bed a part of naptime as well as nighttime sleeping. This gives your child another opportunity to become accustomed to a bigger bed. Plus, a child who spends a couple of hours at naptime in the toddler bed can build on that success at night.
- Fits full size crib mattress (mattress, bedding, and pillow not included); Strong & sturdy wood construction
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- Assembled Dimensions: 55.25 inch W x 30 inch D x 27.75 inch H
Reward Your Child for a Sleep-Filled Night
Come up with a reward to give your child for successfully sleeping in the toddler bed through the night. A toy, a sweet treat, or a trip to the playground are some potential rewards to consider. Once your child begins to sleep through the night in the new bed, you can decrease the rewards.
Making the Appropriate Changes to Your Child’s Room
The process of transitioning your child from a crib to a toddler bed involves making some changes in their bedroom. After all, your child will be able to get out of bed and move around the room without your supervision. Learning how to convert the crib to a toddler bed is just the first step in preparing the room.
Check the Curtains in the Room
Toddlers sometimes grab hold of curtains to pull themselves up from the floor. So, it’s a good idea to check the condition of your curtains. Is the curtain rod securely in place? Are the curtains firmly attached to the rod? This is probably something you didn’t think about when you had a less mobile child in the nursery.
If you have blinds on your nursery windows, check the cords attached to them. Hanging cords can be a safety hazard to an active toddler. It’s best to secure the window blind cords, putting them out of your child’s reach.
Utilize Electrical Outlet Covers
There’s a good chance you covered all of the electrical outlets while baby-proofing your home. But it’s a good idea to check that all of the outlet covers in your child’s room are in place. There are plastic covers available that close over an electrical outlet with a plug in it.
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Check Electrical Cords in the Bedroom
Are there any lamps in your child’s room? If so, take steps to ensure the cords are not hanging loose where your child can pull them. An electrical cord shortener is a helpful device you can attach to the cord to prevent safety issues. You can even secure the cord to a table leg to keep it out of the hands of your child.
Install Window Locks
If the design of your windows doesn’t include a lock, purchase an attachable one. The best thing about these locks is that you can detach them when they’re no longer necessary. Installing a window lock gives you valuable peace of mind when your child is in the bedroom alone.
- Size: volume approx. 3 x 2.4 x 2.4 cm/ 1.18 x 0.94 x 0.94 inch(LWH), apply to track heights more than 1.5 cm/ 0.6 inch,track thickness no greater than 1.6 cm/ 0.63 inch (not applicable to the middle track of the window, please check your window track before buying)
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- Quantity: 4 pieces sliding window locks with keys; Note: multiple locks can be apply to heavy doors or windows to increase safety
Evaluate the Furniture Items
Part of being the parent of a toddler is developing the ability to envision potential scenarios. If you have heavy pieces of furniture in your child’s room, you may consider relocating them. Remember that toddlers like to explore their surroundings by pulling on bookshelves and other furnishings. Remove any heavy furniture you think your child may try to pull on or push over.
Be Patient With the Process
Sometimes, despite all your encouragement and preparations, your child just isn’t ready to make the move to a toddler bed. That’s OK. Try waiting six months, then reintroducing the toddler bed. You want the transition to be a positive experience. By the way, having a crib that converts into a toddler bed makes this change a little easier.
Finally, we understand that moving your child from crib-sleeping to sleeping in a toddler bed is a big step. Be sure to take your time and rely on your own intuition. Remember that you’re the best judge of when to move your toddler out of the crib and into a bed.