“Mum and Dad, I need space!”
Unfortunately, not all toddlers can communicate this to you. Instead, they will start to climb the railings out of their crib or simply throw tantrums whenever they are placed there.
Making the transition from a crib to toddler bed is milestone kids have to go through. That means they want to explore and do the things they see people do – like using a bed.
Circumstances may differ from child to child because some are not ready to leave their cribs yet. The best way to know if your kid is ready for the bed is to watch out for these signs:
Signs Your Child Is Ready For The Toddler Bed
There is no specific time or age when your child must make the transition from a crib to a toddler bed. It’s best to watch out for the signs they are ready for the change:
- Your toddler is 89 centimetres tall,
- they try to jump over the crib railings,
- they are agile and adventurous
- they are in the middle of or completed potty training
- the length of the crib cannot accommodate their height
How To Switch From Crib To Toddler Bed
Some kids like the adventure to feed their curiosity of leaving their crib but they cannot get used to sleeping in a new bed. Sometimes, the longer a child stays in the crib, the clingier they get to it.
These tips might just help you guide your toddler through the transition:
- Getting a bed with a low stand might help if you’re worried about your child’s safety. Some parents consider a floor bed frame to make sure their child gets off the bed with no problem, and add in the frame’s legs as they grow up.
- Get a simple design that would suit your child’s preferences. This way, you can ask them what they would like for their bed. For example, bed accessories, plushies, how soft their mattresses and pillow should be. This will give them extra confidence in sleeping in their new bed.
- Even when they’ve grown up, it’s better to make sure their bed is toddler-proof. The corners are still sharp and painful. It’s best to have silicon or foam bumpers attached to them. Ask your child to help you toddler-proof it, this way they understand that it’s a safe bed for them to sleep in.
- Make sure that the bed is easily sanitised and made of chemical-free products. Toddler or not, kids have a habit of tasting and nibbling on random things. It’s better to make sure your child is safe.
- Ask them where they would prefer the bed to be put. It could be in the same place as their old crib or a position in the middle of the room. They will learn to adjust to their preferences and where they feel safest.
- Give them time to adjust to the new bed. Start by making sure you tuck them in bed every night to assure their comfort and safety. Check on them every night. When they get used to their bed, you will see how sleepy they get once they get under the covers.
Crib To Toddler Bed Transitioning Barriers And How To Handle Them
While it seems easy for your child to go through the transition of moving from the crib to toddler bed, it’s not the same for all parents. Some kids love the change now, but they eventually want to go back to the crib or develop resisting behaviours.
Below are the most common barriers parents and kids face when it’s time to move from the crib to the toddler bed:
From the security of a crib, it is just right to worry about the accidents that may occur if your child moves to the bed. Most of the accidents that occur when a child moves to the toddler are;
- rolling or falling out of bed,
- bumping the foot into the corners or legs of the bed,
- injury due to sharp edges and corners of the bed
To avoid accidents, it would be best to have secure and floor bedframes when transitioning your child from the crib. For visible bed legs and sharp, pointed edges and corners, there are cushions that can be used to child-proof them.
Toddler Has Grown Clingy To Crib
The longer a child stays with their crib, the clingier they become to it. It may be a challenge to move them to a bed since a child may develop separation anxiety. This would lead to;
- sleep deprivation
- rebellious behaviour
Make the transition to the bed gradual. Give them a chance to contribute to the decisions that need to be made in choosing the toddler bed and its accessories.
Sleep Deprivation Due To New Bed
Not being accustomed to certain things around the house is normal, especially if it’s furniture you used to sleep in. It will take a child a lot of getting used to if they’ve been in the crib all their lives only to be moved to a bed.
It is normal for anyone, even a child, to fear insecurity being in a new bed and face discomfort from a new perspective when going to bed.
Help your child appreciate and love the change of being in a new bed by giving them plush toys and bed accessories that can help them feel more comfortable.
Another comforting accessory would be a cute night light. Help them see that their crib just got bigger – instead of the railings, their room is the new crib.
Too Much Freedom
Without the security of the railings, the child can come and go from their toddler beds as they please. It could get quite annoying when they keep waking up in the middle of the night to play or wake you up, too.
It’s good to set rules for bedtime when this happens. Not only will it promote better sleep for you and your child, but it will also help keep them out of trouble.
In A Nutshell…
Your child’s transition from a crib to the toddler bed is part of their developmental milestones. It’s teaching them courage and independence from their comfort zone.
Help them understand that this transition is something that is essential to their growth and that you will be there with them every step of the way. Hold their hand until they’re ready to sleep in a bed on their own.
What’s your child’s crib to toddler bed story? Tell us your story!