MontBlanc
0
No products in the cart.
Transition

How to Transition Your Toddler from a Crib to Bed

June 11, 2019, Author: Tamra Cater

how to transition from crib to bed

This post contains affiliate links, so if you click on them and make a purchase, I may make a small commission at no cost to you.

Most children transition from a crib to a toddler bed between the ages of 18 months and 3-years-of age. There’s no set age, per se, on when this transition should happen, as there are many factors that will influence it. For example, it may not be time yet if your child is still very attached to their crib.

We wanted to keep our daughter in her crib until she could crawl out of it. She was able to do this a few months after she turned 2, so it was definitely time to transition to a “big kid bed.” One night she climbed out and couldn’t figure out how to get down off the crib, so we were afraid she could wind up hurting herself if we didn’t make the transition.

When you do make this transition, ensure that your child is happy, healthy, and well-rested. As with most big changes in routines, this will make things go more smoothly.

transition your toddler from crib to bed

What kind of bed should my toddler transition to?

1.Convertible crib: We chose a crib that can be converted into a toddler bed. For example, we chose a crib such as this one:

transition your toddler from crib to bed

So, this crib can be converted into a toddler bed, as well as a full bed (but the bed frame for this is not included). This allowed us to get more use out of her crib as she kept growing. We hope to eventually use it as a full bed.

When you do convert this to a toddler bed, you may consider adding a bed rail, so your child won’t fall out of the bed. You might go with this one-

transition your toddler from crib to bed

This one has steel clamps that can be used to anchor the bed rail to the bed itself. This helps keep the bed rail from slipping out of place (and in turn, a little less stress for you that your child will fall out of the bed!).

2.Toddler bed

transition your toddler from crib to bed

My husband’s godparents have a bed like this for my daughter to sleep in when she visits. This was actually where she spent her first night in a “big kid bed.” This works just as well.

3.Put a mattress on the floor

You may also choose to put a mattress on the floor, so your child won’t roll out of a bed.

I would advise against using bunk beds, as these are not safe for children under the age of 6.

What Safety Issues Should be Considered when Making the Transition to a Toddler Bed?

1.Keep the bed away from drapes, blinds/cords, heat registers, or wall or floor lamps.

2.Place a soft rug or even pillows next to the bed in case of falls. When my toddler slept in the toddler bed (the second bed listed above), she fell on the floor. It still can happen even with those side rails that are attached to the bed.

3.Check for any loose screws or hardware on the bed.

4.Keep any dangerous items out of reach of children in case they do get up out of bed at night.

5. Bolt book shelves and dressers to the wall.

6. I was a little worried about my daughter leaving her room at night and possibly even going outside. She never did, but if you think this might be a concern for your child, there are alarms and things you can get to help this.

How do I Make the Transition from Crib to Toddler Bed go More Smoothly?

I would start by exploring their feelings. Are they excited about it or do they still seem attached to their crib?

I would also have a conversation with your child about how excited you are that he or she is growing up and making the change to a big kid bed. If they seem a little resistant to it, try putting the new bed in the same place as the old bed and assure your child that it will be just as cozy. If, however, your child is very enthusiastic about it, involve your child in putting the new bed together. This may involve picking a stuffed animal or 2 (or 10 in the case of my daughter) to put on the bed or even picking out some new bedding together!

Spend some time with your child cuddling and reading in the new bed. Keep in mind that transitions take some time, so continually reassure your child that he or she is doing great!

Bed Transition Challenges and How to Handle Them

It was only day 2 when my daughter started getting up out of bed at least 10 times. I would keep guiding her back to the bed. Unfortunately, I got to the point where I didn’t know what to do, so I let her watch cartoons until she feel asleep. This, honestly, was a mistake I made. Eventually, she was staying up way too late!

One option for handling this is to use a sticker chart for rewards for staying in bed. Also, I should have been more consistent. It would have been better if I stuck to just taking her back to her room and reminding her that she needed to stay in bed. In time, I think she would have gotten the point!

At the same time though, ensure your child is not sick or needs to use the bathroom. If you can rule that out, remain consistent in helping your child get back to bed! But, get out of the room as quickly as you can without engaging in much conversation. This also  helps children learn that this is bedtime and not playtime.

In time, it would become routine for your child! 🙂

If you like this post, please subscribe to my newsletter to get blog updates and access to my freebies page! 




 

References

Hargis, A. (2018). Toddler discipline for every age and stage: Effective strategies to tame tantrums, overcome challenges, and help your child grow. Rockridge Press: Emeryville, CA.

https://www.whattoexpect.com/toddler/crib-to-toddler-bed

https://www.fatherly.com/health-science/sleep/get-toddler-stay-bed-night/

 

Follow me on social media:

comments (21)

  • avatar image
    I just realized our crib can be transformed into a full size bed and I'm over here like *smack forehead* I completely forgot and bought a toddler bed instead. Thanks for the reminder!

    Main Mom

    June 12, 2019 Reply
    • avatar image
      Lol, oh no. Well, in some ways, I like the toddler bed better.

      Tamra Cater

      June 12, 2019 Reply
    • avatar image
      I like the idea about toddler bed! Interesting and very useful post!

      TopBeautyWoman

      June 13, 2019 Reply
    • avatar image
      Such a daunting task! I'm hoping we can hold my 2 year off a while. It depends on the child but can be very stressful if they don't understand staying in the bed. Great list of suggestions!

      Melissa

      June 13, 2019 Reply
      • avatar image
        It definitely can be! Thanks!

        Tamra Cater

        June 13, 2019 Reply
  • avatar image
    I bought a convertible crib with the full intention of turning it into a bed, bit when the time came, I bought toddler beds. Just because they are so stinking cute lol! Great ideas

    Elena

    June 12, 2019 Reply
    • avatar image
      They are cute!

      Tamra Cater

      June 12, 2019 Reply
  • avatar image
    This is a great post! We bought my boy a toddler bed and he took forever with the transition. Consistency is key and we definitely did not do that as well. Thanks for sharing!

    Lina

    June 12, 2019 Reply
  • avatar image
    Oh man! I HATED the transition to a big boy bed! Both of my kids resisted it so badly.

    Mama Writes Reviews

    June 12, 2019 Reply
  • avatar image
    One thing that has helped us curb our son getting out of bed is by gently but firmly bringing him back to bed, without speaking to him. If he comes out, I take his hand, walk him back to his bed, tuck him in, and leave. By not interacting with him, he's getting the idea that it's not time to play or talk, but time to sleep. It's not foolproof, but it seems to be cutting down on the times he gets out!

    Amanda | Pinwheels and Piggybanks

    June 13, 2019 Reply
    • avatar image
      This is a great idea! Glad it has worked!

      Tamra Cater

      June 13, 2019 Reply
    • avatar image
      I’ve recently moved my 2 1/2 year old out of her cot into a bed and we’re having not too much trouble adjusting. She has given her cot up for her new brother or sister who will be here in a few months so we have made a big fuss over her letting her choose all her new bedding etc. Been a bit of a rocky week but I agree with consistency is key x

      Claire Roberts

      June 13, 2019 Reply
  • avatar image
    I like the idea about toddler bed! Interesting and very useful post!

    TopBeautyWoman

    June 13, 2019 Reply
  • avatar image
    I love furniture that will adapt as a child grows - such a smart choice to make when you're first putting the nursery together!

    Britt

    June 13, 2019 Reply
  • avatar image
    I am coming to the point of this transition. My 11 month old is crawling but not walking. We also probably at the same time want to move him in with his brother so they share a room. Getting the perfect timing is rough. With my older son we were kind of forced to make the transition because I broke my foot and was no longer able to get him out of his crib.

    Cousett @ Techie Mamma

    June 13, 2019 Reply
  • avatar image
    We're about to enter this stage and I am so curious how this transition will go. Thanks for the insight!

    Lenee

    June 13, 2019 Reply
    • avatar image
      You’re welcome! Good luck!

      Tamra Cater

      June 13, 2019 Reply
  • avatar image
    Very informative post! Our oldest was difficult to transition and he even climbed out of his crib the night we decided to buy a toddler bed lol.

    Tricia

    June 14, 2019 Reply
    • avatar image
      Thank you!

      Tamra Cater

      June 14, 2019 Reply
  • avatar image
    Oh, I remember those days! It felt like such a big step!

    Elease Colcord

    June 14, 2019 Reply
  • avatar image
    Thankfully we have awhile as this sounds tough!

    Bethany

    June 14, 2019 Reply