The idea of transitioning to a toddler bed sends shivers down the spines of many parents! Most parent’s aren’t sure when the ‘right time’ is to transition from cot to bed, and they worry about how hard it will be. As with most things there is no one right answer! Don’t worry, there are some guiding principles and tips that will help you move your toddler into their own bed!
For some this doesn’t happen for quite some time, maybe when their child is closer to three years of age or longer, depending on the family sleeping arrangements, values and beliefs.
For others this happens quite early depending on many things one of which is that a new sibling comes along a little earlier than planned and thus their cot is needed for the new baby.
For families who co-sleep, sharing a sleeping surface, a cot may not even feature in their home so this hurdle may never arise. It may simply be a case of sharing beds during the night.
One of my friends with three little boys simply swapped beds all night long. They would move around from bed to bed sleeping with others or sleeping alone for some part of the night until someone came and joined them. These children simply learned to be independent in choosing where they slept – sometimes with Mum and sometimes with Dad. Sometimes all three boys were in the one bed and Mum and Dad in another. For them there was no issue about moving from a cot to a bed because the baby was hardly ever in the cot and got used to being in beds from an early age.I am not advocating this for everyone. Co-sleeping is right for some, not for others. It worked for my friends but does not suit everyone. As always, choose what suits your family.
As a general guide, when your toddler starts to climb out of the cot is a strong signal to move them into their own bed. This is clearly a safety consideration rather than anything else. You might also move your toddler in preparation for toilet training. A toddler in their own bed will be able to get up and go to the toilet. Sometimes toddlers are just too big for the cot any more! You’ll know if this is the case!
A specific ‘toddler bed’ may not be necessary. You can convert the cot into a bed, move straight to a single bed or use a mattress on the floor, Montessori style.
Toddlers who still move around a lot during their sleep may benefit from a toddler bed rail.
If you are moving to a big bed because you have a new baby coming or want to start toilet training make sure you leave some time for the transition. Move your toddler to their own bed and give them some time to settle into that change first.
Be aware that your toddler can now get up and about - possibly while you are asleep! Double check that their room and anywhere else they can access is safe.
Moving your toddler to a bed is like any other transition. It takes planning, patience and consistency. If you’re worried, give us a call! 1800 880 993
At Insync with Infants we are all about YOU. What you need, what you want and what works for you. Stop worrying about what 'they' are saying about your parenting or your baby. Forget all of the 'should's'. Believe in yourself and follow your instinct. It's not a problem unless it's a problem for you!
1800 880 993
Redland Bay, Brisbane, QLD Australia