One of the most exciting times in a parent's life is the big transition from a crib to a "big kid bed."
Although it's a big step for your little ones, it's definitely not something you want to rush into. There is no perfect age that you should ditch the crib and make the switch, so this is case by case and you shouldn’t be discouraged if your child isn’t quite ready yet.
The average age for children to start sleeping in a bed is usually around 3 and 4 years old. Without the crib, you’re giving your child some extra freedom to run free of any sleep schedule. That means baby on parroll and you might be wrangling them back into bed a few times. This is where some extra patience comes into play, you can do this Mom and Dad.
If your toddler is pulling olympic gymnast routines to get out of their crib it’s a good sign that you’re ready to get this bed transition in the works.
A toddler bed is an easier stepping stone than plopping your child into a twin sized bed. They’ll feel cozier and safer in a “mini bed” and it uses the same size mattress. If your toddler physically outgrew the crib, you’ll have to just head over to a twin size.
Okay let’s do this!
First things first, you’ll need to baby-proof the whole room. It’s normal for your little one to do some exploring when they should be sleeping, they are just taking advantage of all this new freedom. Protect them from nighttime falls with some bed bumpers, they’ll give you some extra peace of mind while your rolly-polly is finally out of their crib.
Remember this isn’t a big surprise. Toddlers love routine and hate surprises.
Let them know about their exciting big kid bed for a week or so before the crib disappears. If you have a child that really loves predictability, it might help to involve them in the process of assembling and dressing the bed. Make it cuddly! Outfit their new bed with all their cuddly favorites and any toy that they can’t part with. It’s their space, so whatever makes them comfortable should find it’s way there.
Once you’re in the front lines of the big switch, expect to see your child at your side of the bed staring at you during random hours of the night.
Instead of getting worked up and drawing any attention to them being out of bed, a calm and silent walk back to their bed and tucking them in will keep the behavior in check.
Don’t expect miracles, stay patient.
Any good night’s sleep is a baby step in the right direction!