Do you think your child might be ready to transition from a crib to toddler bed? I’ve got 5 tips to help you find out if they are truly ready and just how to make that happen in the most pain-free way possible.
Is my child ready to make this step?
Before you ever begin this transition you need to consider if it’s time or not for your child to do so. Only you as the parent will really know, because you know your child best, so listen to your gut!! Some things you might want to consider are:
- WHY are you wanting to do this, do you really need to? (If it ain’t broken, don’t fix it!)
- Has my child gone through a big life change in the last 2 months/expecting one in the near future? For example, has your child just gained a younger sibling (or about ready to), have you recently moved to a different house (or even changed the child’s room?
These things may or may not seem like a big deal to you, but you have to consider how your child might respond to it. Young children are creatures of habit and go through way more than we realize if we stop and think about it! If our bodies, brains, language and fine motor skills were growing and developing as fast as theirs are, we’d probably have our fair share of moments where we JUST. LOST. IT. for seemingly minuscule reasons too.
Okay, it’s time! Now set your child up for success, not failure!!
Get them excited about their new big-boy bed! Talk about it before it happens, make it a positive thing, something exciting, something that you’re so proud of them for accomplishing! As I tell my 5 year old when we’re working on her school work, you just cannot learn something new with a negative attitude, it won’t happen. So set them up for success!! If you exude confidence and a positive energy, your child will notice and absorb some of those happy feelings.
Make their new bed exciting and fun, something they won’t want to get out of! Our son couldn’t get over the cool factor of his new Step2 Corvette Z06 Toddler to Twin Bed. What little boy wouldn’t want to sleep in a giant toy car with working light-up headlights? What is it about boys and their cars?! It really never changes when they grow up, my husband still love to play with his cars… now grown up sized of course. My daughter was surprisingly excited about the arrival of this new bed as well. Which was awesome, it helped that my son not only had the excitement from Mommy and Daddy about his big-boy bed, but also a lot of excitement and encouragement from his big brother and sister.
Safety, safety, safety!!
One of the biggest reasons we decided it was time to move my son to a big-boy bed was the fact that he was climbing out of his crib! Not really safe, right?! But now that he’s in a bed, he can get in and out safely whenever he wants. That’s a double edged sword though, so we needed to make sure his environment was safe with this new found freedom! Here’s a quick safety checklist for your child’s room:
- Make sure they won’t roll out of their bed while sleeping, not having any crib walls takes some getting used to! His new Corvette bed worked safety into its fun design. The windows on the doors double as roll-out protection!
- Outlets seem to be quite the intriguing thing for young children. Make sure they’re covered up and no little fingers or toys can be jammed in there.
- Secure furniture to walls to prevent a tipping hazard. Don’t think your child will climb up that tall dresser in their room just because they haven’t done it before? Hah! Think again!! It’s better to be safe than sorry and with a quick trip to the hardware store, it’s easy to do!
- Windows! This may be a little bit of a worrisome area for me personally, but it’s worth considering if your child’s bedroom is on the 2nd story. Make sure furniture placement is done in such a way to prevent climbing and falling into the window.
Make them FEEL safe! (Boogie monster prevention)
You’ve already gone through the necessary steps to ensure their physical safety, but now you need to make sure they feel safe at home and comfortable in their new bed. Just think about how you feel when you’re out travelling and you get home and climb into your very own bed. Nothing like it, right? Make their new bed feel the same way for them. Our little guy got a stuffed Chewbacca for Christmas from his uncle and now he won’t go to sleep without it. So naturally having “Bah-Bach” in his new big boy bed made the transition so much smoother, as well as his usual bedding.
His new Step2 Corvette Z06 bed’s built-in, battery operated nightlights in the car’s headlights bring him a lot of comfort at night! The soft extra lighting ensured he could get in and out of bed easily and safely in the middle of the night if he needed to come and get us. The extra lighting also ensured no boogie monsters could invade his room. We’ve all been there as a young child, right!? Gotta have that closet door closed and nightlight on, no feet dangling off of the bed, etc.
You may also want to consider having their first experience in their new bed be during the day, at nap-time. It’s funny how if the same issue were to arise at nap-time versus bed-time, bed-time would probably bring on more of an emotional outburst. Give them some time to warm up to their new environment by introducing it to them during the day.
Patience and Persistence
One of the best reasons about waiting until your child is ready to make this change is it really doesn’t take them too long to get the hang of their new big-kid world! With that being said though, give them some patience. Chances are they’re going to have some fun exploring, so set some ground rules for them and be persistent. But most of all, be patient… they WILL get it! Some kids just require a few more reminders than others, eventually it will click.
P.S. If you’re anything like me, you may shed a few tears as you watch your child grow up overnight. So bring a box of tissues.