So you’re thinking it’s time to make the leap from a crib to a bed? To make the crib to bed transition, preparation is key! Follow these steps and you’ll be ready to go!
Timing is Everything
When it comes to the crib to bed transition, timing is truly everything and I’m not just talking about age but that is one factor. Get your money’s worth out of that crib and wait until your little one is at least 3 years old to make the crib to bed transition. Before age 3, kiddos do not understand nonphysical boundaries (i.e. an open bed) or have the self regulation to keep their bodies in bed.
Next, consider what’s going on in your little one’s life. Are you expecting another baby soon? Did they just start a new preschool? Did you recently potty train or move houses? If your little one is going through any big life transitions, now is not the time to switch to a big kid bed. It’s too much change all at once. Wait until life is calm and everything is stable.
Now, ask yourself this, “Is my child sleeping well?” And by sleeping well, I mean consistently able to fall asleep independently and sleep through the night. If the answer is ‘no’, now is not the time to make the crib to bed transition. Do not try to fix a sleep problem by transitioning. Trust me, it’s a recipe for disaster. Instead address the sleep issue while your kiddo is still in their crib and reach out if you need support.
Skip the Toddler Bed
I know. I know. You already bought the side rail to convert to a toddler bed. I find that simply taking the front of the crib off and putting up a rail isn’t enough of a transition and actually makes it more enticing to get out of bed.
Instead opt for a brand new truly big kid bed. Twin, full or even queen. Whatever fits the size of the room works!
Instead of surprising your little one with a new bed, involve them in the process. How would you feel if you came home and the safe cozy sleep space that you’d loved for years was gone? Icky, right? This will be fun for both of you and will get them excited for their new bed.
A day or two before you plan to make the transition talk to them about it. You can even make a countdown. If you talk about it too early it is too much of a waiting game, but a couple of days is good so your little one isn’t surprised. During this time, you can take them to the store to pick out a new blanket or sheets. This was my favorite part of the crib to bed transition with my daughters. I took each of them to Pottery Barn Kids on a ‘mommy and me’ date. We picked out their bedding and had a lunch date. It was super special and got them so excited for their new beds!
Also, let them see their crib being taken apart and their big bed being put together. Let them take part in the process by putting in a screw or helping to wash their new bedding. Kiddos this age love to be helpers!
Think of the room as a giant crib. Now that your kiddo is in an open bed it’s important to double check that everything in their bedroom is super safe. Is furniture bolted to the wall? Are there any objects that could be dangerous like breakable decor, wires or cords?
I also love these bumpers to ensure your little one doesn’t fall out of their new bed.
Don’t Make This Mistake
For most kiddos, it has never even occurred to them that they can get out of bed let alone come out of the room so don’t give them the idea! Don’t say, “Goodnight. Stay in your bed.” Likely the thought never even crossed their mind and you just gave it to them!
Give a Little Extra Support
For some kiddos they’ll need a little extra reassurance during the crib to bed transition. A few minutes of cuddles or going in to check on them a couple of times will do the trick. Be sure not to start any habits that you don’t want to continue with though.
The good news is most kiddos make this transition with ease as long as we make it at the right time and have prepared them well! If not, I’ll be here to help you troubleshoot. Wishing you and your kiddo a smooth transition!