Inside: Find tips to make the transition from crib to bed easier, whether you go with a toddler bed or big kid bed.
We knew that it was finally time to move our toddler out of his crib and into his big-boy bed when he kept finding a way out of the crib regardless of our efforts.
At first, he jumped right over the railing and took a fall. Then he would maneuver furniture to support his escape. Finally, he’d just climb out, balance his body on the very edge, shouting for “mama” or “dada” repeatedly.
So we did some research and made the move. Although the transition wasn’t without issues, there were a few steps we followed that helped make things a little less stressful. Today I share those tips, in the hope that other parents will find some relief in them!
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1. Buy a toddler-friendly bed
First things first. Make sure the bed or bedding set you introduce sparks excitement in your child. Does your child love cars, trains, Elmo? Then make sure the bed you bring stays in line with these friendly faces your child enjoys. The goal is to make it as fun a process as possible to get your child ready to love his bed and start entertaining the idea of sleeping in it. As basic as it sounds, this can play a huge role as to how your toddler reacts to the new milestone.
I’d also highly recommend buying a bed rail like this one to help prevent falls off that new bed!
2. Bring in the bed, but keep the crib handy
Okay, so you’ve made the big purchase and are ready to put it to the test. Great. But not so fast! Moving a kid from a place he’s slept for 2 years or so is a BIG change. So don’t expect it to be without hiccups. When we moved our toddler, we kept the crib in the room and let him get used to the new bed. We knew there was no guarantee he would stay put come nap time, so we had to keep the crib around, as a back-up…for those days we NEEDED him to nap! I recommend you do the same!
3. Baby proof
This is a big one. Now that your child will be allowed a little more independence, make sure his room is completely safe. Get down on your knees and check out the scene from his height. Cover up all those outlets, strap down cords or furniture that could pose a serious hazard. A second walk-through is key because things you might not have worried about before can now be a big issue.
4. Use a gate
Using a gate was a sanity-saver for us when we took away the crib. There was no way to keep our toddler in his room and free from roaming through the house on his own if we just closed the door…he was way to savvy for that. A gate was therefore a must. We purchased one that was specifically made for doors like this one which came highly recommended — so be sure you get one like this to ensure it fits!
5. Tire Your Kid Out
If you can stick to a routine with activities in the morning, it really is your best shot at getting your toddler to nap in this toddler bed. It took us a while to realize that a lot of physical activity with running or moving about was the key to getting our toddler to stick to those naps and then be tired enough to stay in bed without interruption!
Good luck making the big move!
Did you have issues moving your child to a new bed? What worked for you?
Ana, a mom to three rambunctious little boys, has supported hundreds of thousands of women throughout their pregnancy and motherhood journey since 2012 as a blogger and maternal health advocate at MommysBundle.com.