You lay your child down in their crib, say goodnight, and leave the room. Then, ten minutes later you hear the door open and the pitter patter of little feet coming down the hallway…it has happened, your baby is not so much of a baby anymore and they’ve climbed out of their crib. It’s time for the big move, from crib to toddler bed. This can be a challenging time for both child and parents but I am giving you 5 tips for a smooth transition from crib to toddler bed so you can be successful with the switch.
Okay, so maybe not all children climb out of their cribs – my youngest actually didn’t want to give her crib up at all! But either way, eventually they do grow up and you will have to switch them from crib to toddler bed. Here are my 5 tips for a smooth transition.
From Crib to Toddler Bed: 5 Tips for a Smooth Transition
1. Don’t move them unless you have to – Seriously, don’t. I know the toddler beds are just adorable but this is a big transition. If they are still sleeping soundly in their crib and fit fine, then there is no need to move them. Now, when they start climbing out of the crib, all bets are off and you will need to move them for safety reasons.
2. Bedtime Routine – I cannot stress enough how important a good bedtime routine is for the children. Kids need routine throughout their day and going to sleep is no different. If you haven’t already established a bedtime routine, then start one now. Some suggestions that we use are; bath time, book, song and drink of water. Then we say goodnight and leave the room. The bedtime routine will help to normalize this switch from crib to toddler bed so they can still feel in control.
3. Keep them Safe from Falls -The big difference between a crib and a toddler bed is the open space and chance of falls so be prepared. Most toddler beds have railings built on them but if you are transitioning to a larger bed there are a few ways to can protect them from falls. With my oldest we transitioned to a twin sized bed and instead of putting the full bed together, we started with her just sleeping on the mattress. Then we moved the mattress to the box spring, and finally the full frame. When transitioning my son, we moved him to a full sized bed and added a removable guard railing that slips under the mattress.
4. Make it a Big Deal – Make this transition a positive experience and make it a big deal for the child. Create a sleeping space that they are proud of and are comfortable with. To do this you can allow them to pick out new sheets, add a new blanket, or a fun character pillow. If they love it, then they will feel comfortable and want to sleep in it.
5. Add a Comfort Item – If you haven’t already introduced a comfort item, now may be a good time. A favorite blanket or stuffed animal can go a long way in comforting a child while you are not there. A night light is another great comfort item as this may also be the time that new fears pop up and they object to sleeping in the dark.
If you’re having a hard time with your child sleeping through the night, then you will definitely want to check out this post from B-Inspired Mama: 25 Tips to Help Your Kid Sleep Through the Night.
Looking for tips to get your BABY to sleep through the night? You will want to check out how the Imperfect Homemaker gets her baby to sleep.
Do you have any other tips for bedtime success? Share with us how you’ve transitioned your child from crib to toddler bed.