Is your child finally ready to graduate from that little old crib to a big kid bed?
Making the switch from the crib to a toddler or big kid bed is one of the biggest steps during toddlerhood. Not only is a toddler bed new and exciting but it can also mean more freedom and even comfort for your child.
However, many parents struggle to figure out when is the best time to make this switch.
And while there is no clear time or age in which you should make the switch with your growing tot, there are a few surefire signs that your little one may be getting ready for the big change.
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1. Signs that Your Toddler is Ready for a Big Kid Bed
Parents often gauge whether their child is ready to be moved to a toddler bed is by their age. Most children are moved to a big kid bed between the ages of 2 and 3 ½. But there is really no need to rush until your child is truly showing signs that they are ready.
One of the most obvious signs that your toddler might be ready to make the transition, is if he or she climbs out of their crib during naps or throughout the night.
My 2-year-old son Owen starting doing this recently which was one of the biggest reasons we decided to consider making the switch to a toddler bed. And after speaking with our pediatrician about him climbing in and out, he brought up the fact that he would be concerned about our son falling and landing the wrong way and possibly injuring himself.
However, if your child is not showing any of these signs of readiness, I would suggest waiting until they are closer to the 3 ½ age to make any changes.
2. Involve Your Kids in the Decision
When you do notice that your child is ready for their first toddler bed, try to make the transition as smooth and comfortable as possible. A great way to do this is by involving your child in the decisions of choosing the right bed for them.
For example, if you have a little boy that is truly obsessed with Hotwheels like mine is, then letting them choose to have a bed that has cars on it or is shaped like a car might be a good choice.
3. Picking out a Bed
Choosing which type of bed your toddler will be sleeping in is also an enormous decision. There are a few things that you must consider before making your final decision.
Such as if you want your child to sleep in a toddler bed, a twin bed, or even if you crib happens to have a convertible option where you might not need to purchase a new bed you might want to let your toddler pick out a new comforter set.
Here are all of the differences.
A Convertible Crib is basically a baby crib that has the option of leaving the front railing off of it and is still sturdy on its own to be a bed just with the freedom of getting in and out. Some convertible cribs even offer a railing that fits perfectly at the top of the bed to keep your little one from falling out of the open side. However, you have to purchase them separately most of the time.
And although we tried using our convertible crib with the front railing off with our son, he decided to become a crazy wannabe gymnast and liked to use the sides of the bed to make flips over into his bed. I was concerned that he would eventually hurt himself.
This is the reason why we opted to choose a toddler bed for him.
A Toddler Bed is often the same size as a crib but in the shape of a normal bed frame. They also almost always fit a crib size mattress as well.
We were so happy to come across one that is in the shape of a car that our little boy absolutely loves.
A Twin Bed is just a basic small twin bed frame and twin mattress.
Although many smaller toddlers may not be big enough for a bed of this size and height, there are some who may be closer to that 3 1/2 age range or might be a little toddler than my little munchkin and do perfectly fine in a twin bed.
4. CHOOSING A MATTRESS
After using a plain old polyester fiber batting mattress with an innerspring unit for just over a year, I realized that it was time to find a better quality mattress to help Owen sleep better in his toddler bed.
I was so lucky that Newton Baby sent me this crib/toddler mattress to try out and give my honest review. Especially since the waterproof lining had cracked and seemed to have lost its firmness over time.
Ultimately after sleeping on the Newton Baby mattress for about two weeks, my 2-year-old son seemed so much more comfortable and rested every single morning. And because of this, my husband and I were able to sleep better as well.
With all of its amazing features including the fact that it is 100% recyclable, washable, and breathable, the Newton Baby mattress is the best choice for your baby to sleep on. The Newton Baby mattress also reduces allergens, bacteria growth, overheating, and the risk of suffocation.
In fact, my husband and I took the Breath to Believe Challenge by putting our faces in the mattress and trying to breathe through it. We both were extremely surprised to find it very easy to breathe through.
5. ENSURE SAFETY
You should always remember to take safety measures, even when they are getting older.
Even if your child doesn’t seem like the type to fall out of the bed, I would highly suggest investing inside rails for the bed if they are not already built-in. Remember if your child is used to the crib like mine was, they are very likely to roll over and expect the railing that has always been there to catch them.
Another suggestion is to have some type of nightlight in their room to add comfort. I know I wouldn’t want to be in a pitch-black room if I was making a huge transition to a new type of bed.
6. FAMILIAR ITEMS
Even if your child has picked out their own bed and all new bedding items, it is still a good idea to have those same old comforting items in their bed as well.
Anything from favorite blankets, to stuffed animals, and books can make a huge difference.
7. KEEP THE SAME ROUTINE
No matter what always keep the same bedtime routine.
Although your child is making a transition, keeping the same bedtime routine adds comfort to them. Children always thrive when they know what to expect.
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8. BE UNDERSTANDING
Just try your best to keep in mind that your child is making a huge transition by switching from a baby crib to a toddler or big kid bed. And that it is normal for them to be a little nervous, especially the first night.
Be sure to comfort them when they need some added love and extra hugs and to remind them that even though their bed may be different, everything else is the same.