At what age do babies transition to toddler bed

At what age do babies transition to toddler bed

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.

Having the safety of a crib at night doesn’t take away from the huge developmental leaps that your toddler is taking during the day but gives them a safe space to hang out in at night.

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
Benefits of Cosleeping with Baby

Benefits of Cosleeping with Baby

Benefits of Cosleeping with Baby

If you haven’t heard of co-sleeping, it is one of the most hotly debated topics related to infant sleep. Co sleeping is where your infant is sleeping in the parental bed, sharing a bed, sometimes next to you, sometimes on your chest. This is different than simply room sharing. Lets investigate what makes this topic so controversial and what some of the benefits of cosleeping with baby might be.

Some people think that co-sleeping is the most natural way to raise a child as it is thought to create a stronger bond between parent and child.

The other side of the box are those people that will tell you that co-sleeping is dangerous and can even lead to the death of your baby with risk factors that vastly outnumber the possible benefits. There are documented cases where babies die from co-sleeping but if you take the proper precautions, you can make safe sleep possible. Any time your child is sleeping on a firm mattress with anything else around them, it puts babies at slightly higher risk of injury or death.

So which is right? Lets look at both sides.

First off, it is important to get it ,out of the way that co-sleeping is not going to produce any miracles, although some proponents would disagree. Many people have reported that their babies did not sleep more soundly or longer having their parents close by. In fact, some parents found that once they discontinued co-sleeping and moved them to their own crib, their infant slept longer and even woke up much less frequently.

It is completely up to the parents to decide to co-sleep in an adult bed or have their baby sleep in their own crib. As long as co-sleeping is done safely, and everyone is waking rested and fulfilled, then there is nothing wrong with co-sleeping.

You need to think hard about the commitment required for co-sleeping though and figure out with your spouse what feels right.

Ask yourselves the following questions:

  • Does sleeping together sound like a cozy experience, or does one or more of you sleep “actively”, potentially having a disturbing effect on others?
  • Do you both agree on whether co-sleeping is the right option or do one of you feel more strongly than the other?
  • When you go to bed, to you tend to immediately try to sleep and fall asleep or do you like to watch TV or talk in bed?
  • Will sleeping in the same bed make it tougher to wean your baby off of nighttime feeds, or will it be more convenient?
  • Are you ok with going to bed at your infants bed time, whenever that may be?
  • If you are a working parent, does co-sleeping give you more quality time with your baby?

As mentioned, co-sleeping has many advantages and disadvantages.

Let’s take a closer look at them.

Advantages:

  • The convenience of being close whenever your baby is awake may be a good feeling for both the child and the parents.
  • Being in the same bed means that you can provide immediate support for any sleep problems that may arise.
  • Being in the same bed means that nighttime feedings and nursing may be more convenient since you are already right next to each other.
  • Of course, sleeping in the same bed gives you more time with your baby.
  • Co-sleeping may help both your child and you as the parents to get a better nights sleep.

Disadvantages:

  • Having a child that is an “active” sleeper may mean that you don’t get any sleep. My child is a kicker so I personally cannot sleep in the same bed with my baby.
  • Parents may end up sleeping in separate rooms which may harbor resentment with their child or spouse.
  • If you and your baby’s sleep cycles do not coincide, co-sleeping will not be successful.
  • You will have to go to bed at the same time that your baby does so if you tend to have nighttime time to spend together watching a favorite tv show or just spending time together, it may not work.
  • You will have very little privacy for anything you might normally do in private so keep that in mind and be creative.
  • There may be a slight increase in the risk of SIDS and other risks such as crushing or suffocation from stuffed animals or pillows or even arms if your child is in the same bed as you.

The decision as to whether co-sleeping is the best choice should be made by both parents and based on your own thoughts and ideas, not from your family or anyone else. Another family may have a good experience or a bad experience but it should not influence your decision. You and your family are unique and your families have different needs.

 

Coping with Infant Sleep Disorders

Coping with Infant Sleep Disorders

Coping with Infant Sleep Disorders

You may think that sleep problems and sleep disorders are only for adults but infants can have them as well. Nighttime sleep is very important for us humans so it is good to understand these types of sleep disorders in children.

There are many different types of sleep disorders that your infant can suffer from but of course, only your pediatrician can properly diagnose them.

When your infant is just learning about sleep patterns, they mainly wake up during the night because of their need to eat frequently. Many sleep disorders are a learned behavior and aren’t so much a legitimate disease. Luckily, these learned disorders can be overcome without having to use medications and can usually be dealt with by simply changing the environment that the child is in to help to teach them to improve their sleep habits.

My child is having nightmares!

Some children, as they get older, will go through a period where they will suffer from nightmares or sleep terrors. Your child will usually outgrow these type of sleep disturbances.

Is sleep apnea only for adults?

A scary type of disorder is infant sleep apnea and is defined as an infant that stops breathing for a period of time while they are sleeping. The highest risk factor for having these medical problems is if your baby is born premature.

Usually, simply rubbing your baby or nudge them and they will start breathing again on their own but in very rare cases, infant CPR is needed to revive the baby. Your child may need to have a pediatric sleep study to narrow down the issue.

Having an infant that suffers from sleep apnea can be very scary for any parent. Imagine having to constantly fear that your child has stopped breathing. That could drive anyone crazy and keep parents sitting awake next to the crib every night until they fall asleep from exhaustion.

Parents of infants diagnosed with sleep apnea are required to go through an infant CPR course before they take their little nugget home.

Usually, when bringing home a baby with sleep apnea, you will be given a device called an apnea monitor. These monitors are attached to the baby’s chest with electrodes that monitor your infants breathing. It is tuned to your baby and will only sound if it detects abnormal breathing patterns. You may also be given a CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) device to help with the apnea.

If your baby’s breathing becomes shallow or stops altogether, the monitor will alarm and you’ll hear a loud alarm to alert you of the danger.

This sound can become very scary for parents, especially in the middle of the night.

Your baby will need to be attached to the monitoring device at all times while sleeping.

Sometimes, medical workers will visit your home to take readings from the monitor to make sure it is tuned properly and being used properly. Newer models are connected to the internet so the information can be transmitted without a visit.

Only your baby’s pediatrician can determine when the monitor is no longer necessary. He or she will discuss with you the progress of your baby before any decisions are finalized.

Your pediatrician will let you know when you can discontinue the use of the monitor and will discuss your baby’s progress before any final decisions are made.

Here is a great monitor to help you make sure your child is still moving around in bed. You can check it out here.

Baby Safety When Sleeping

Baby Safety When Sleeping

Baby Safety When Sleeping

Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, or SIDS, is the leading cause of death in children under the age of one. This syndrome is so terrifying because it happens while sleeping and for no apparent reason. To date there is no known cure, or verifiable reason, as to why some children are affected while others aren’t.

But the fact is that over 2,500 babies die in the US each year from SIDS. The number of deaths have been lowered by around 40% by taking several preventative approaches. Incorporating these sleep safety methods can help to safe guard children from SIDS, although there is no known way at this point to fully avoid SIDS.

Baby Sleep Tips to Increase Safety

Here are some tips to increase baby safety when sleeping and reduce the risk of SIDS:

  • Lay your baby nugget in her crib on his or her back. Children sleeping on their tummies appear to be at the most risk of dying from SIDS.
  • Use a firm crib mattress. Most importantly, avoid having fluffy toys or pillows in the crib that may cause suffocation.
  • Don’t wrap your baby nugget in so many blankets that she becomes overheated during the night. Infants have a higher body temperature than adults and don’t require as many blankets. By all means, don’t do the opposite and let your baby freeze though.
  • Before, during, and after birth, don’t drink, do drugs, or smoke. Cigarette smoke is a known contributor to SIDS so do yourself and your child a favor and quit.
  • Make sure to attend all of your parental care clinics, especially if you are a first-time parent.
  • If breast feeding is a possibility, do it. Statistically, babies that are breast fed are, according to studies, statistically less likely to die from SIDS.
  • Only use a pacifier to sooth your infant during the first year of their life. It is not known why but babies that are given pacifiers in the early stages of life are less likely to die from SIDS.
  • Resist the urge to sleep with your new baby in the same bed or let your little nugget sleep in your adult bed with you. The baby has a much greater risk of suffocation when in an adult bed. Sometimes it is more comfortable to lay in your bed while you feed your infant or to comfort them but please remember to put them back in their crib before you fall asleep.

SIDS is unlike any other syndrome or disease. Most conditions surrounding an infant’s death are diagnosed by the symptoms associated with the death. SIDS on the other hand is only given as a diagnosis once all other possibilities are ruled out.

Risk Factors for SIDS

  • There are several specific risk factors that can be seen in data relating to SIDS. These risks should be noted by parents that have infants in that may be in a high-risk category.
  • The majority of deaths from SIDS are boys as opposed to girls. Obviously, there’s not anything that can be done about this factor.
  • The main contributing factors for SIDS is smoking, drinking, and drugs. If you value the life of your child, refrain from smoking, drinking, or using drugs.
  • Young or inexperienced parents are at the highest risk for SIDS. As long as a parent takes the time to get early and regular parental care checks and have the support of family and friends, there is much less risk of this occurring.
  • At the highest risk for SIDS, are premature babies. Premature babies are at a disadvantage to begin with and are usually very weak and their bodies and organs are under developed.
  • New mothers who are younger than 20 years old are at risk of having a baby die from SIDS. This can be for a variety of reasons such as inexperience or unintentional neglect.

By following the above tips and being aware of the risk factors and taking baby sleep safety precautions you can reduce the likelihood of your child dying from SIDS.

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