How do you transition a toddler from their crib to a "big kid" bed? We've provided some tips to help make the change a little smoother.
We should note that it isn't a good idea to transition a child from a crib to their bed while there is another transition taking place, such as starting daycare, or toilet training.
While each child varies, typically most children make the transition between 18 months and 3 years of age. Do they continually climb out of the crib? Are they big enough physcially?
Should you be transitioning your older child to make way for a new baby, giving plenty of time before the baby is due, will help it go much smoother. You don't want to rush them, and also make sure they are comfortable giving up the crib. This can be done by making it "unavailable" through dismantling it or filling it with stuffed toys or animals.
Ease the Transition
Just as you may let them select "big kid" underpants for the start of toilet training, making the transition from crib to bed might roll easier if they allowed to pick out bedding, or pillows for their new "big" bed. If possible, let them choose the bed. A new stuffed animal may do the trick as well.
If you have a routine for bedtime, it is suggested that you keep it the same. An added advantage is they may be more apt to snuggle with you in bed during that bedtime story.
If you are using the same room, put the bed where the crib was placed....if possible. It will be a different sensation going from a closed in sleep area to one that is wide open. Keeping the same nightlights on will further calm the child at night.
Expect that your child will get out of bed at night when they are feeling uncomfortable. So as to not make a habit of this, there are a variety of options to choose on how to keep them in bed at night.
Initially we'd like to stress that their bedroom should be carefully childproofed. They may get up in the middle of the night and want to play with their toys or explore areas they would normally not be allowed to. Dressers should be anchored to the wall.
You could use a positive reinforcement system with stickers for every night they remain in bed the entire night.
You could close the door to the room and put a rubber cover over the doorknob to prevent them from opening it.
You could use a baby gate to confine them to their room. However, older or bigger children will eventually learn to climb over it.
However you choose to transition your child from a crib to a bed, making it a memorable, fun experience will aid in helping it go smoothly.
SafetyNook offers expert advice and high quality products to meet your childproofing needs.