With a second baby on the way, and more toys than we know what to do with, we have been trying to sort Max’s room and make some more space. There has always had a guest bed in his room, to use up the space really as he has a big room, so now seemed like the perfect time to get Max into a proper bed and move the cot into what will be baby girls room.
I know it was what we wanted to do and he always wakes up happy on a morning so knew it would help us all if he could just get himself out of bed, but I was SO dreading the whole thing. I just thought he would be constantly trying to get out of bed and it would be a nightmare. Turned out, he is just like me and loves his bed and loves his sleep! He adapted to it really well.
Here are some of my tips for the change:
- There is no set age to make the move from cot to bed but I think if they are starting to climb out of their cot then it’s definitely the right time to make the change. You know your toddler best.
- If like me you are doing it because of a new sibling coming, try to make the change at least two months before so there isn’t lots of change all at once for them.
- Don’t attempt the move if there are lots of other things going on – for example if you are moving house, returning to work or they are potty training, I think it would be best to avoid until after these changes.
- Have a bedtime routine in place. With Max, he knows as soon as we say ‘teeth’, then it’s upstairs to clean teeth then into his room where we read him a story in bed and then have prayers. This has been going on for a while now and we have carried it on as he’s changed so he knows as soon as story and prayers are over it’s time to sleep. It’s worked well for us so far!
- Be positive and offer lots of praise. Equally, if they do get out of bed, I’ve found not saying anything works best, just put them straight back in. They will soon realise it’s not party time downstairs and they aren’t missing out on anything.
- If you are not going down the toddler bed route, make sure you use a bed guard or use something like dream tubes, for your peace of mind if nothing else. No one wants to be woken in the middle of the night to a large thud and a massive cry. We got a bed guard in fab condition from eBay for £1 – bargain!
- We took Max’s cot out of his room straight away, but if you don’t want to do it so ‘cold-turkey’ then keep both in the room for a while and perhaps give them the option of where to sleep at first. If lots of praise about being a big boy or girl helps, you will find that they will choose the bed over the cot in no time.
What has worked for you and your little ones? Good luck if you are making the change soon, it’s not as bad as you will anticipate.