Transitioning Your Toddler From Crib to Bed in 5 Pain-Free Steps!

transitioning your toddler from crib to bed

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.



Heather Taylor has written 24 post in this blog.

Hey there, I'm Heather - I'm a stay at home mom to 4 crazy, entertaining, energetic little blessings - Noelle (5) Desmond (4) Sawyer (2) and Wyatt (11 months) Strangers often comment "Oh MY, don't you have your hands full!!" Yes, they're right, happy and full!

99 comments on “Transitioning Your Toddler From Crib to Bed in 5 Pain-Free Steps!

  1. Also letting them pick some of the bedding or something with them helps! My son loved sleeping in his bed after picking his new sheets. He also needs a lamp (something not bright, but more than a night light) to sleep. He hates the dark, even though didn’t need it as a baby. I was surprised.

  2. Thank you for all the tips! My daughter will soon be sleeping on your big girl bed since baby #2 is on the way. This really helps.

  3. I love how you put each step knowing what the child may be feeling, Wonderful and successful way to help
    then, My daughter just went through this with her little girl, she did a wonderful job.

  4. It’s very hard to transition from a crib to toddler bed ! At least it is for moms cause it means moms just realized she doesn’t have a baby anymore and shed tears over that

  5. I need tips to transition from cosleeping to sleeping in their own bed. I don’t really mind them all sleeping with me, although I need a bigger bed. I think my oldest might get a little more sleep without sleeping with the younger ones. Hoping if we can get her a little more sleep she will be less stressed/easily upset at school.

  6. We want to get our son a “fun” bed like this because maybe he will more likely stay in it. That was cute how your other kids were excited as about the arrival of his bed…I’m sure that made him feel special.

  7. Yes. I know my son would live a car bed too. He loves cars and the headlights would help him sleep in the dark. Yeah i dont think he would go to sleep right away but it will help him adjust better. This bed is a good choice espe ially being toddler to rein and having cool featiures, besides being shaped as actual car. Love it.

  8. All so important!! We transitioned my son when he was finally potty trained!! He was sad to see his crib go but so excited for a “big boy” bed!! Thankfully our transition was super easy!! We made sure we attached his crib soother to his nightstand so he still had that comfort. It really helped!

  9. My little one is still pretty little and I am nervous for that transition. I’m glad you are here to help nervous and new mom’s like me. Thanks!

  10. All of these are great tips, and it doesn’t hurt when you have an awesome bed like this for them to crawl into. Thanks for the advice and have a wonderful day!

  11. thanks for the tips. we will be transitioning my 3yo soon and I’m scared. my daughter was a very different kid and the transition was so easy. I don’t think my son is gonna take it well.

  12. These are some great things to think about. We did this with my sons and now my grandchildren. This is such a cute bed. I can’t imagine any little one not wanting to get in this. Thank you so much for sharing

  13. Thanks for all the great tips! Wish I had had them sooner! My older son was a nightmare but he really helped with my younger one because anything Gary did, Tom wanted to do too!

  14. My nephew is at the transitioning stage from crib to toddler bed. Theses tips will come in handy and hopefully it will be a smooth transition.

  15. The same thing happened to my niece when her 2 year old started climbing out of his crib. She couldn’t figure out how he did it, and didn’t get hurt, so she watched him one day at nap time. She saw how he used the dressing table to climb over the end of the crib and go down the front. I told my niece, he either needs a bed or a jungle gym in there, lol His sister got a princess themed bed and he wants a car bed badly; he just got the bed that converted from the crib. Thank you for the tips and safety measures 🙂

  16. This is such an insightful way to think about the transition from a crib to a big kid bed.and the suggestions are so helpful to make the change easier for all.

  17. Another transition, for the parents, is finding out it is easier for your toddler to roam the house! Keep your ears open at least until your toddler gets used to their new bed!

  18. Thank you for sharing this good advice. Although its about transitioning to a toddler bed, I’m gonna use your reference about learning something with a negative attitude, for all my children!

  19. I think keeping bed time routine the same is important. I’ll be transitioning from co-sleeping with a toddler to putting them in their own room and bed. I plan on using a monitor for my own peace of mind.

  20. My son is ready for a big bed. He is going to be 3 in May. He don’t like to be in a playpen or crib anymore. I’m ready for him to have his own bed so I can get him out of mine.

  21. I absolutely love your post. And as a mom of 4 boys. I couldn’t agree more. Our youngest son is in a toddler bed now. But pretty soon will need to be in a twin sized bed.
    He is a MAJOR Car Fanatic. And this amazing Step2 Z06 Corvette toddler to twin bed has had us in love from the moment we saw it. We love that we can easily transition him from toddler to a twin sized bed. And he would be so excited and over the moon with excitement to sleep in an Awesome Corbette Bed with working headlights. I also love the fact that it’s not high off the floor. Because we are also potty training as well. And safety is always #1 to us. This would truly be a dream come true to own. And to see the joy and excitement in his eyes and on his face would mean the world to us.

  22. Thank you so much Heather for your amazing tips and tricks about putting your growing toddler into new bed, I’m recently realize that my baby is not a baby anymore in which he turned 2 🙁 ( They really do grow up soo fast )
    Once again . thank you and will keeps your great tips in mind 😉

  23. We are transitioning from momm’s bed to his bed. It has been super hard but I’m going to utilize these tips and hopefully finally see some success!

  24. I would use this bed to transition the toddler out of our bed into his own! Cosleeping is great, until the new baby arrives, this kids needs to make room for lil bro!

  25. I know how hard it can be to transition a toddler to big kid bed, I thought your comments about making it a positve experience and telling them how proud you are of them will really help. But most of all “Safety” carefully reading instructions about the bed is a must! My grand loves race cars and I would be thrilled to win this for him.

  26. My nephew just got a new baby sister. She’s in the bassinet while her Mom is trying to transition her son to a toddler bed. If he saw this Corvette bed by Step2 I think he would gladly give up his crib to baby sister. I love that he can’t roll out of this bed and the headlights are night lights to help him get over imaginary monsters. My nephew could enjoy this as a toddler bed and later as a twin bed.

  27. My son is three years old and I had a convertible crib that I made into a daybed for him and it went great but two months later he won’t sleep in it and nothing in his routine had changed so I’m thinking maybe a brand new toddler bed would be a start to help I’m out of other ideas right now: (

  28. Thanks for the useful tips on transcending to the bed. With this bed, I think all little toddlers would be soooo excited to transfer. So much fun for them in their dream car! 🙂

  29. Great advice! We followed all of this when our oldest moved from co sleeping to her big girl bed at 2. She was ready and it was super easy! My second is 2 and isn’t as ready. Having an awesome bed to transition too would be super helpful and exciting!!

  30. Great tips! I’m sure having a fun bed like this really helps with the transition of moving into a bed. I love how it has nightlights as the headlights. Cute. cute! 🙂

  31. These are great tips! It was harder for me than it was my son because I felt he is just growing up too fast! My daughter still Co sleeps with us, but I will soon move her too.

  32. Thank you, Heather! Great tips, I really like your approach to this question. I will share this information with my readers. Sandra

  33. I love all the great tips! I love how it’s a toddler bed and later as a twin bed. I love how it has nightlights as the headlights. Super cute!!!

  34. My son still seems pretty content in his crib, he turned two on 02/06 and he got the Hot Wheels car bed for his birthday, but doesn’t seem in any hurry to leave the crib and neither are we. 🙂

  35. I would have loved to have had this help when my son was ready for a toddler bed 🙂 now it’s my niece’s turn lol & she has been needing help with two little ones. Thank you for all the positive feed back

  36. Awesome advice. Thanks for sharing such great tips. On sure they’ll help make the transition easier for our son

  37. Great advice!!! I always slept in my kids rooms and bed so eventually I just moved myself out, when they told me to leave!!! LOL! Worked for me!!

  38. My son is 22 months old. He will be switching into a toddler bed very soon! I will definitely keep these tips in handy. My main thing I’m worried about is getting out of bed constantly. I hope these help with an easy transition .

  39. My 1st one was so easy to get into a big bed. She never got out of bed. My 2nd love to explore so Im betting the experience is going to be interesting for us! Thanks for the advice. I also will be letting him pick out a couple of sets of sheets for his new bed.

  40. My son finally started sleeping through the night when we moved him out of his crib into his toddler bed…which was in another room.. and not the master bedroom! Thus, my husband and I got more and better sleep too. We made if fun for him by having fun colorful sheets on his new bed, we put fun things on his wall and always had a night light on at night. The first three nights one of us had to stay in the room with him.. just sitting quietly in the chair…in the corner.. after that he got into the routine and the new bed and room and went to sleep very easily on his own. He was 20 months old .

  41. We are transitioning right now and it is tough. Thanks for the tips…especially the one about tissue. It is so bittersweet watching them grow!

  42. This is a fabulous article. As a mother of 4 I can share the importance of letting them pick out sheet, pillows etc. This is where and when their individualism come into play. Anything they can contribute to a big boy bed or big girl bed and still feel safe is important for their growth. Fabulous article and giveaway ~

  43. We transitioned our boy at 26 months… we did a new house, new bed deal. He did awesome! We figured if we were already doing a big change, might as well go big. Plus his baby sister really needed to start sleeping in the crib and not the rock and play. May have to utilize these tips for her though 🙂

  44. I love your tips, you are right and involving them in the process is a big help to. A new bed for them can be like a new house to us. So talking about how great it is, that really helped my daughter. Now she has kids, it does bring a tear to my eyes because they grow up so fast and I want to keep them young as long as I can. Thanks for your tips I will be passing them along.

  45. Let your toddler have a say in the bedding. Give him or her several options to pick from. Spend some time during the day sharing a story in bed. Make it fun and let the child know they are a big boy/girl now.

  46. Such a cute baby! It’s so hard to transition them. These are useful tips to help them feel safe and like their new bed.

  47. I am so dreading this transition phase. These tips, though, did show me a good place to start. I will be bookmarking this article to come back and refer to it when its time to push little man out of my room and into his own big boy bed. He just turn one, so it won’t be next month or anything, but hopefully before he is two we can start working on it. Thanks again!

  48. Great advice! Having 4 of my own I know how hard it can be to transition and these are all wonderful ideas to help. I appreciate you taking time to share with others and hope you have an amazing day!

  49. My daughter was super easy to transition! She switched from a crib in my room to her own room and big twin sized bed at a year old. She was way too big to fit in a toddler bed. That went super smooth… my boys on the other hand, it was a nightmare with my middle child and my youngest is transitioned to a toddler bed, but he’s still in my room.

  50. These are great tips. I have a 2 year old so transitioning to the bed will be in our near future. Hoping to keep him in his crib for a while longer but reading this I now feel like I have a bit of a heads up on how to do it. Thanks 🙂

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