At what age do babies transition to toddler bed
It usually starts with your baby starting to climb out of the crib but you may even have a little one that verbalizes their displeasure with their crib and be ready to move. They will say “I want out!” whether it’s verbal or just a message they send in some other way. They are ready to say goodbye to that baby crib and transition to a bed and this is a big deal! They are done with this sleep in a crib thing. This crib to a bed transition is a fun milestone in life comparable to toilet training and potty training.
So, what needs to be done?
The big question is, at what age do babies transition to toddler bed? Most of the experts will say that the time to think about moving to a big bed is somewhere around age 3 but you should keep them in a crib as long as you can. Resist the temptation to move your baby too early. A crib will almost always be safer so unless your baby is crawling out, a crib provides a safe environment.
Also something to consider is that until about age 3, your child may have difficulty understanding instructions and being able to follow directions, such as staying in bed during the night. If your child can’t follow directions very well, it will be challenging to have any sort of great success with a big kid bed. If you try to transition your toddler before age 3, you should probably get used to getting up again during the night and finding your child asleep all over the house including next to your bed, so watch where you step!
To help your child to transition smoothly to that big kid bed, you just need to follow some steps and here they are:
- Create a safe environment for your child: Safety proof pretty much your entire house or any areas that your toddler may wander to during the night. Make sure to secure windows, stairs, doors, and step stools. Sometimes you can simply install a baby gate on their bedroom door to at least keep them them in their room. A night light in the room is helpful as well so when they get up, they can at least see where they are going.
- Let your child pick their mattress: Take your child to the mattress store and involve them in deciding which mattress they like and feel the most comfortable sleeping on. A twin bed is a good size for a toddler and gives them some room to grow into. The lower to the ground, the better and safer so try not to pick a tall frame that gives them a long way to fall if they roll out of bed during the night. Get some fun sheets and a new comforter and you are ready for a new night time routine.
- Disassemble the crib and crib mattress and build the new bed together: Asking your child to help with the take down of the old bed and the building of the new bed gets him involved with the process of growing up and transitioning to the new bed.
- Positioning the bed: Put the new bed in the corner of the room so the head and side of the bed are against a wall. That’s two less sides to be able to fall out of but make sure there is no space that your child can fall into between the bed and the wall which can be very dangerous. Also make sure that the bed isn’t next to a window that your child could crawl out of or even fall through if they happen to be jumping on the bed. You may want to consider a crib rail to make sure they don’t fall out of bed accidentally.
- Go over and explain the new bedtime rules: Depending on how much your child is verbalizing, you should go over the new bedtime rules with him, reminding him that we stay in bed at night within the imaginary boundaries and we don’t get up until the sun comes up, or whenever you think is best. Toddler sleeping routines can be a little different than infant crib routines.
- Time for the bedtime routine: It may take some extra time during your night time routine to make him feel comfortable and ready to take on this new bed thing and fall asleep. Make your child feel safe with some stuffed animals, but excited bout the new milestone in their life. You may get lucky and have a child that is super excited and ready to transition from a crib easily.