Is my toddler ready? As many topics about early childhood, the central concerns about changing from a crib to a bed are about safety. Is your child trying to climb out of the crib? Then, it’s time. Typically, this will happen around 1 ½ to 3 ½ years old. There is no point in rushing it. The longer you can keep a toddler in his crib, the better.
Once you decide that it’s the right time to make the transition, you can make it happen smoothly by taking your child with you to pick out the new bed, pillows and sheets. Once you have the bed, get rid of the crib, having both in the bedroom may confuse your child. Toddlers are often not sure about giving up babyhood and moving on to becoming a “big kid”, so, they will need some time to acknowledge that this is a big and important step toward his/her development and growing up.
Make sure you are prepared for the falls, either placing pillows on the floor or having bed rails. Toddlers are not used to the freedom in their bedrooms, so they might test it by wanting to walk around. You can try a little gate in the door or placing a door knob protector that won’t let your kid leave the room. Plan extra activities for the first days of the new bed. When children are tired from day’s activities, they will go to sleep easier at night. The key here is to be consistent. If your child leaves the bed, put him/her back in. Having a consistent bed time routine helps too. Talk about “how cool it is to have a big-kid-bed” and “how grown up you are now”. But sometimes “big kids” want to go back to being babies. That’s ok, you can always say “come here and sit in my lap or ask for a snuggle any time!”.
Once they are used to their new bed they will be proud of themselves, and so will you!
wrote by: Marilee Hartling & Paula Boscardin
While mommies were in the group room discussing about their children’s crib adventures; toddlers had a lot of fun playing (and learning) with their friends in the play room.