Deciding to switch Hudson from a crib to a big bed, for me, was an easy decision. He was starting to climb out of his crib, so I knew he was ready for the switch. This decision may or may not come as easily to you. If your toddler is sleeping great in their crib and they are not trying to climb out, now might not be the time to make the switch — why change a good thing, right?
If you decide to make the switch from crib to toddler bed then continue reading to learn how I transitioned my toddler from crib to bed in four days!
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Switching From Crib to Toddler Bed In 4 Days
By no means is this an easy task. It was a little stressful and very exhausting. But we did accomplish the task! So throughout this process of switching your toddler out of their crib and into a toddler bed you need to remember one thing: CONSISTENCY IS KEY.
On day one I set up the bed up in his room. We put his new bed on one side of the room and left the crib on the other side.
Once Hudson’s bed was set up, I spent a while letting him explore the new bed. I sat with him in the new bed and talked about his new bed and this is where he was going to start to sleep. I figured talking to him about the new bed would get him excited to want to sleep in it.
For the first couple days I wanted to start small, so I thought that only going in the bed for naps would be a good way to start. I felt this was the best way to get him used to the new bed since I could check in on him and guide him back into bed during a nap rather than overnight.
Outcome of day 1
It took Hudson three hours to finally fall asleep for his nap. The first few times he got out of bed he came out of his room. So I guided him back to his bed, tucked him back in and explained that it was nap time and he should be sleeping. Once he realized I was putting him back into his bed, he stopped trying to come out of his room, but then decided to play with all of his toys in the room. I did the same thing, I went into his room and laid him back down. Finally, after three hours he was asleep—phew.
I wanted to continue to let Hudson get used to his bed before I made the full time switch. So again on day two, I only put him down for his nap in the bed. This time I made sure he was really tired before putting him down for his nap. I also moved his bigger, distracting toys out of his room.
Outcome of day 2
This time it only took him 30 minutes to fall asleep. I believe making sure he was exhausted before having him nap helped.
He only tried coming out of his room once, I tucked him back in and explained that it was nap time. He sat up for a little while playing with his stuffed toys in his bed before laying down and falling asleep.
As long as he was in his bed, I decided I would let him play with his stuffed toys, since that is what he does when he is in his crib.
Again I only put him down for a nap. He probably would have been ready to sleep in his bed for the night, but I decided I would keep with my four-day plan.
Outcome of day 3
This time for his nap he stayed in his bed the whole time, but again took about 30 minutes to fall asleep. The consistency of putting him back into his bed every time he would come out of his room helped him understand that this is the new place where he is going to sleep.
Day four we took down his crib, making the final commitment to switching him into a bed. This part was a little sad, something about taking down the crib just made it feel so real that he is growing up all too quickly.
So on day four, he had his nap and he went to sleep in his bed for the night.
Outcome of day 4
Hudson’s napping was really good on day 4, it only took him 10 minutes to fall asleep this time. This gave me hope that he would have a really good night in his crib.
Bedtime was a different story and was nothing like his nap. It took him about two hours to fall asleep and he woke up in the middle of the night. It was a good thing we took down the crib because I would have probably given in and put him in the crib for the rest of the night. But since there was no crib, I went and tucked him back in, and once he was settled and comfortable I left him to fall back asleep. Which he eventually did and stayed asleep for the rest of the night.
Since he only woke up once and slept the rest of the night, I considered it to be pretty successful night!
Points to remember
- Start with setting up the bed and keeping the crib up
- Let them explore the new bed
- Start with naps
- Be consistent with tucking them back into bed, and letting them know this is where they are going to sleep now
- Pick a date, stick with it, and take the crib down
- Don’t get discouraged, be patient
This is definitely no easy task. Some kids will adjust easier than others. If your child is having a hard time adjusting feel free to comment below for more tips/advice.