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How to know when it’s time to move your child from a crib to a toddler bed
Most children make the change to a “big kid bed” sometime between 18 months and 3-1/2 years of age. But there’s really no “right” time for doing it.
Some parents feel pushed into making the change when their toddlers first start climbing out on their own. Others feel backed into the change because there’s a new baby on the way that will need sleeping quarters.
Age makes a difference. While an 18- to 24-month old is more likely to resist the idea, an older toddler may be excited with the prospect of moving to the Big Sleeping League.
Here are some ideas for making the transition easier:
- If it seems too early to push your toddler’s transition, and you’ve got a climber, if the crib has a dropside, simply leave the railing down to make getting out safer. Or, if the crib is a convertible, remove one side, but leave the other bars up. Pad the floor underneath with a soft rug or couch cushions so your toddler can exit safely without crashing.
- If you’re buying a new bed for your toddler, consider bringing him along when you shop. Invite him to “help” you set it up. Colorful, small toddler beds are available in baby stores that use the crib’s mattress and offer crib-like bars at one end to help prevent rollouts, or if you decide on a twin bed, consider starting out with the mattress on the floor until he gets used to not rolling out.
- If your toddler’s wandering into your bedroom in the middle of the night is a problem, simply walk him back as many times as it takes with minimal attention and talking. It may take a week or two, but he’ll finally get the point.