If you’re the parent of a toddler there’s no shortage of things to be worried about. At this age, your little one is getting into everything and you have to have eyes in the back of your head! One of the things which might be worrying you at this stage is whether you should be moving your son or daughter from their crib into a toddler bed. It can be difficult to know when the time is right, so here are a few things to bear in mind before you take this step.
There Isn’t A Single Right Age
Moving from a crib to a toddler bed is a process which has no single right age. Some kids are ready to make the switch from just 18 months, whereas others need to be a bit older before they’re ready to move into a big bed. You’ll need to weigh up your kid’s emotional and physical development and you should also think about your child’s level of attachment to their crib. If your child is already trying to climb out of their crib then the time is definitely right, but if you’ve set the mattress to its lowest setting and your child’s chest can already reach the rail when they stand up you should start the process of making the move now to prevent a fall.
How Does Your Child Feel?
Some children ask their parents for a toddler bed. This is especially likely to be the case if they have a friend or a cousin who has one. If your child is asking for one, this is a good sign that they’re ready to make the move. There’s no need for a rush, though. This is especially the case if you have a new baby on the way – you don’t want your child to feel pushed out of their bed to make way for their new sibling. There are a lot of new emotions for your toddler to go through when a new baby arrives so if you’re going to make the move during your pregnancy make sure to do it a few months before your new arrival is due so your toddler can adjust to their new situation. It’s also wise to avoid moving your toddler to a big bed while they’re going through another major life change such as potty training or starting pre-school.
Toddler Proofing Your Home
Before moving your toddler into a big bed, it’s important to toddler proof any space that your little one can access independently. Make sure to fit stair gates to protect your child from falling down the stairs if they wander around at night, make sure televisions and bookshelves are bolted to the wall so they won’t fall down if your child tries to climb and fit safety latches onto your dresser drawers so your child can’t pull out the drawers to use as a ladder. You could even consider attaching a bell to your child’s door so you can hear when he or she leaves their room.
Consider An In-Between Option
Sometimes, it’s best to go for an in-between option rather than going straight to a big bed. Some cribs are convertible, changing from a crib to a toddler bed if you remove the side. Alternatively, you could put the crib mattress onto the floor then add rails so your little one feels secure. Dedicated toddler beds in the shape of cars or castles are often a good choice. Smaller than a standard bed, they’re comfortable and exciting for a toddler to sleep in.
Involve Your Child
Involving your child in their choice of bedlinen and maybe even the bed itself is a great way to help them to feel positive about the new life change. When your little one helps to choose their own pillow, sheets and comforter, they are more likely to want to sleep in their bed. They’ll get a good night sleep and so will you!
Keep these things in mind when you’re ready to transfer your toddler to their first big bed and hopefully the process will go smoothly. Soon, your little one will be sleeping through the night in their own toddler bed without any problems!