Transitions are challenging, regardless of age or situation. They can be even more difficult when the one making the transition is too young to understand the need for the change. You are a parent of a toddler now, which means your life is filled with changes and growth, and sometimes it feels overwhelming.
One of the changes you and your little one will soon face is the transition from a crib to a toddler bed. We know there are questions that come with the change, and we want to tackle a few of them.
Please remember to always consult your child’s pediatrician before transitioning them to a toddler bed.
When is the right time to transition a toddler?
Unlike many other toddler transitions, there isn’t an exact “right” time to make the toddler bed change— but there are several safety factors that are important to consider. The general rule is to make the transition before your child is able to climb out of the crib because that can lead to injuries. Typically, toddlers are able to climb out of the crib when they reach 35-37 inches, and most parents choose to make the transition between ages 2-3.
Some parents postpone the transition until ages 3-4 to prevent middle-of-the-night waking and wandering. If you choose to wait, here are a few tips to keep your child safe:
Lower the mattress to the floor.This prevents your child from climbing and falling.
Turn the crib around. Be sure the side with the higher bars faces outward. This makes it more difficult for children to escape.
Baby-proof the surrounding areas. One of the most common issues parents face during this time is wandering. When children are able to climb out of the crib, they will. Make sure their room and the surrounding rooms are safe, just in case.
How can we make the toddler bed transition go smoothly?
Unfortunately, there is no way to guarantee an easy toddler bed transition, but there are a few strategies you can try!
Make it a big deal. Kids are always in a rush to grow up, aren’t they? Use that to your advantage. Play up the fact that this is a step toward your child becoming a “big kid,” and they will be more motivated to make it work.
Emphasize independence. As kids get older, they crave independence and responsibility. Explain the importance of changing beds by stressing the fact that you trust them to be more independent. It’s also a good idea to include your child as you set up a sleep schedule and create bedtime rules. Work together to figure out a time to go to bed. Ask your child which activity they want to do before falling asleep (reading, talking, etc.). When children feel like they are part of the decision-making, they are more likely to cooperate for a positive result.
Get excited! Kids often feed off enthusiasm—if you’re excited, they will be excited! Take your child to the store to pick out new sheets and blankets for his/her new big kid bed.
With the help of these tips and tricks, tackling the toddler bed transition can be fun and simple!