Is it time to switch your toddler from their crib to a toddler bed?
There is no specific time or age when you should make the switch, but there are some signs to look out for that say “Hey Ma, I think it’s time to transition me into a big kid bed.”
- If your toddler is climbing out of their crib or even attempting to climb out, it is a good sign that they are ready for the switch.
- They start asking to sleep in a big kid bed
- You feel it’s time to make the switch.
For us, we knew Hudson was ready for a big kid bed when he tried climbing out of his crib and made a not so graceful landing.
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Tips for Switching Your Toddler from Crib to Toddler Bed
Pick a date and stick with it
When you decide that you want to switch your toddler from their crib into a big kid bed pick a date and stick to that date. This will force you to go through with the switch, instead of going back and forth between the crib and the bed.
Bouncing back a forth between crib and bed will not only will that create more stress for you, it will also confuse your toddler and they will have a harder time adjusting to their new routine.
When I was switching Hudson into his big kid bed I told myself I would make the permanent switch in four days. On the fourth day, I took down the crib, forcing myself to not look back.
Get them excited for their new bed
If your child is old enough to understand that they are going into a big kid bed, then get them excited for it!
Here are some ideas to help get your toddler ready for their toddler bed.
- Read them books about sleeping in a big kid bed
- Let your child help pick out the bedding for their new bed
- Ask them what they are most excited for about sleeping in their new bed
- Tell them how excited and proud you are of them that they are growing up and get to sleep in a big kid bed
If your child is still a bit to young to understand, that they are switching from a crib to a toddler bed, you might not be able to get them as excited about the switch. But you can still help ease the transition by:
- Allowing them to explore their new bed a few hours before they sleep in it
- Read them books about sleeping in a big kid bed
Create a bedtime routine
A bedtime routine is a great way to help with consistancy. With a good bedtime routine your child will learn what to expect when it is approaching bedtime.
Get your free bedtime routine check list through this link. You toddler can check off their tasks as they complete them and see what they are supposed to do next.
It’s not going to be easy, but consistency is key. The first couple of days/nights your toddler is probably going to keep getting in and out of bed. You’ll want to pull your hair out and question why the heck you wanted to switch them to a toddler bed in the first place.
Take some deep breaths, maybe have some wine. Work through the frustration and keep tucking them back into bed every time they get out. Try not to get discouraged or give in and put them back into their crib. Consistency is key to help them transition into their bed easily.
Make their room safe
Since your toddler is going to have free roam of their room make sure it is safe by childproofing.
- Make sure your outlets are covered. I recommend these outlet covers. If you need to baby proof a power strip I recommend this power bar cover
- Any furniture that can easily tip over either bolt it to the wall or take it out of their room. By doing this you won’t have to worry about your toddler climbing on the furniture and it tipping over on top of them.
- If you have blinds on their windows, make sure they cannot reach the cords.
- Put a bed rail on their bed if their bed is higher off the ground. I found for my family it worked best to make a floor bed for Hudson instead.
- If you do not want your toddler to be able to open their door to have free roam of the house either put a door knob cover or a baby gate outside their door.
- Another neat product is the Ok-to-wake clock which lets you toddlers know if its time to get up or stay in bed. You can program the clock to turn green (for when its time to get up) for whichever time you would like them to come out of their room in the morning. If it before that time it wont be green, letting your child know its still time to stay in bed.
Let them sleep on the floor
If you find your toddler sleeping on the floor when you check on them, let them stay there. They will be fine on the floor and this way there is no risk of waking them by moving them back into bed.
Start with naps
You might find it easier to start with naps. This way you are awake to see what is happening their first time in their toddler bed. Instead of being woken up a few times during the night with your toddler adjusting to their bed.
This, for some, is probably the hardest part. The first couple of nights might be rough, but it will get easier with time and consistency. Patience is key to keep the transition smooth and enjoyable for both parent and toddler.
There you have it, six tips to help transition your toddler from crib to toddler bed.