Your toddler is taking a nap. Suddenly, you hear strange noises, like she’s playing with toys. That’s impossible, through, she’s in her cot! Or, is she? As toddlers grow, it’s not uncommon for them to break free from their cot. This leaves you wondering, is my toddler ready for a bed? The answer? Maybe.
Read on to discover the readiness signs, and how to ensure a cry-free and safer transition.
Most parents think, once their baby breaks free from their cot, it’s time for a bed. Or perhaps, you’ve slept with your baby – and she’s getting older. However, waiting until your child is closest to age 3 is usually best. For a baby crawling out of a crib, before age 3, try lowering the crib mattress; making the rails higher - and difficult to climb over. And, if that doesn’t work, transition her into a bed.
How to Transition from Cot to Bed?
Toddlers love parties. So, make your child’s adjustment into a new bed a “big-kid” party. This makes the process smoother. Let your toddler shop with you, picking out the new bed, sheets, comforter and other items. Talk up the party, weeks in advance. And finally, when the big day arrives, set up the bed.
Invite over grandparents, cousins, aunts and uncles to check out the new bed. If everyone else acts impressed with the new setup, your toddler will be, too.
Sometimes, toddlers enjoy their new found freedom a little too much. Worried? Don’t be…relax. It’s totally normal for toddlers to get out of bed, explore and push the limits. But, if you try to make your toddler “stay in bed” you’ll go crazy. Instead, cover electrical outlets and take harmful items out of reach.
Plus, put a lock on your child’s closet door. Keep favorite toys and other tempting items inside the closet. This encourages your child to sleep, rather than play.
Timing it Right
Sometimes, parents need the baby’s crib for a new baby. This works, as long as you time the switch carefully. Toddlers get protective over “infant babies stuff” with a new sibling on the way. Plan the switch at least 2 months before your due date.
Also, keep this in mind. No child is ready for a “big kid bed” at the exact same time. Ultimately, you know what’s best for your child. Do what’s best for your child - you’ll always make the right decision.
Do you have experience moving baby to cot or a bed? Please share what worked, and what didn’t!
Cot to Bed Resources:
Essential Baby. Transitioning your Toddler to a Big Bed. Retrieved 5/12/12 from http://www.essentialbaby.com.au/toddler/caring-for-toddler/transitioning-your-toddler-to-a-big-bed-20081201-6ofd.html.