How to transition to a big kid bed. Moving your toddler from their crib into a big bed can be tough on you and them. Making that transition smoother will allow you and your kiddo a good night’s sleep.
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Whether your toddler is 18 months or past 2, you can transition them out of their crib whenever it is best for you and your little one. Keep in mind some of the growth and developmental phases that your toddler is going through. Then, decide on the best time for you and your family to make the transition. If you need more help deciding if it is best to move your toddler from their crib click the link below.
Related: When to transition to a Toddler bed?
Tips to Transition to a Big Kid Bed
1. Make sure your toddler is ready
There is no need to rush your toddler out of their crib. Unless you have another one on the way and you need the crib for them. It is best to let them decide when they are ready to make the move.
With our first he as 18 months when we moved him to a big kid bed because we needed the crib for his brother. Our second is now 2 and we have decided to move him to his own big kid bed. He started lifting himself up and I was worried he might fall out.
Realize each transition will be different for each child. Make sure you plan ahead and have a game plan to make the transition smoother.
We personally skip the toddler bed and move them to a full-size bed. My boys like to sleep together so this way if they decide to sleep with their brother they can.
2. Make sure they can’t fall out
Safety is a big concern for most parents. Going from a crib that has walls on all four sides to a bed that has space for your toddler to roll out can be scary. There are multiple ways to help keep them from rolling out.
We personally put the box spring and mattress on the floor, so if they happen to roll out it is not that far to fall to the floor. If you do not like that look and want the bed off the floor you can use bedside rails to stop them from rolling off. I have also heard of putting pool noodles under their sheets on the sides to act as a bumper.
3. Have a bedtime routine
A bedtime routine is helpful for all ages. If you think about it I am sure you have some form of a bedtime routine. The bedtime routine will change as your child grows and it will also change once your toddler is in a big kid bed.
Find what works best for you and what your toddler likes. Our boys enjoy bath time, storytime, hugs and kisses, prayers, and then being tucked in. Our oldest will usually go right to sleep, but our youngest usually cries a little until he settles down. We are still working on the transition to his big boy bed.
4. Make them comfortable
Make sure their big kid bed is comfortable. Give them the stuffed animals or blankets they like to sleep with. If your toddler still has a bink make sure they have that to soothe them to sleep. If you are ready to cut out the pacifier click here for some tips.
Our kiddos like their “warmies” animals. They are microwavable animals that have a scent of lavender to help your toddler drift slowly to sleep.
5. Make it a “big deal”
Just like with potty training it is a good idea to talk it up and make a big deal about it. If your toddler thinks that sleeping in a big kid bed is the best thing in the world, it will make the transition easier.
Let them pick something out and get them involved. If you are buying new sheets or a new bed entirely allow them to pick out what they might like, of course, you have the final say.
6. Use a sound machine or Wake-up clock
Both boys use a sound machine and it helps them fall asleep. Sound machines are a great way to drown out noises that may startle your little one awake. Our youngest has a machine that sings a lullaby and turns off after about twenty minutes.
Our oldest has a wake-up clock that plays a noise all night and when it is time to wake up in the morning it turns another color. It is great to help keep your toddler in bed until you are ready for them to get up. No more early morning wake up calls that you did not ask for.
7. Expect a sleep regression
There are multiple sleep regressions your baby will go through while growing up. Toddlerhood is no exception. Depending on when you decide to transition to a big kid bed it might be before or after a sleep regression. Or transitioning may start a sleep regression. Just be prepared for a couple of long nights and remind yourself that it is only a “short” phase.
8. Stick to your guns
No matter what you may face during the transition make sure you stick to your guns. Set some boundaries and maintain them. A big kid bed allows your toddler to get out and possibly make their way into your room. It is best to return them to their own bed unless you want little feet kicking you in your back while you are trying to sleep.
I have nothing against sleeping with your kids. Everyones parental journey is different and if you sleep your kids thats great. I have never been one to do it and thats ok too. Parenting is all about doing what is best for you and your kiddos.
Each toddler will handle the transition to a big kid bed differently. If you as a parent are not ready to move them, then it is ok to keep them in their crib. Unless they are climbing out of their crib then it is most likely time to transition them.
Hopefully you found something helpful to transition your toddler into a big kid bed.
Leave a comment below of some tips that helped your toddler transition to a big kid bed.
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