When to Transition to a Toddler Bed?

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Are you wondering when it is time to transition your toddler into a toddler bed? Lately, my husband and I have been discussing if it is time to move our youngest into a toddler bed. He has been sleeping in his crib since he was about three months so is it time to move him to a toddler bed or not.

Transition to Toddler Bed

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With our oldest, it was a no brainer that we needed to move him into a bigger bed. We needed his crib for his younger brother. He was eighteen months at the time and he did great.

But not every toddler is ready for the transition. So read on to find out if your toddler is ready and how to make a smooth transition.

What is a Toddler Bed?

A toddler bed usually uses the same size mattress as a crib. Some cribs can morph into a toddler bed by replacing a crib side with another piece. A toddler bed is low to the floor and has side rails to prevent falls.

Toddler Bed

Depending on the reasoning of the transition (like a new baby on the way) it may be time to move them to a twin bed. Make sure it is low or has side rails so they are unable to roll off.

Transition Age

Experts say that most toddlers are able to transition to a toddler bed between the ages of 2-3. Some are ready beforehand and then some are comfortable in their cribs for longer. You know what is best for your little one so follow your momma instincts.

Signs your Toddler is Ready

Although there is no exact age on when to transition them, there are signs that you should look for. Your toddler will tell you when they are ready to move out of their crib.

They are climbing out of their crib

This is one of the biggest signs your toddler is ready. If your toddler is able to climb out of their crib then it has become a safety concern. There may be a possibility that they would fall when trying to escape.

There is another baby on the way

This was the reason we transitioned our oldest child to a bigger bed. We had our second on the way and needed the crib.

Now, this would only work if they are 18 months or older. If they are any younger it is not recommended to transition them.

It would not make sense to purchase another crib, so having a second child is the perfect excuse to move your toddler out of their crib. Just make sure they know they are not being replaced by the new baby. Transition them a month or two before the new baby arrives to give them time to adjust.

You are in the process of potty training

If you are trying to potty train your toddler then a crib just doesn’t help with that. You want them to be able to run to the potty when they need to go but they can’t go anywhere when contained in a crib.

They no longer fit in their crib

This is an obvious sign. If your toddler’s head and feet can touch either end of their crib, then it is time to move them to a bigger bed.

How to have a smooth transition

Plan accordingly. Do not just spring a new bed on your toddler, talk with them, and explain their new bed. Make it fun.

Keep your toddler’s bedtime routine the same. The consistency will help make the transition smoother.

If bedtime in the new bed becomes a struggle, maybe start with just naptime. That way they become used to the bed and associate it with sleep.

Just be patient. Like everything with toddlerhood, things will take time. Allow them to adjust to their new normal.

Why we have decided not to transition

We have decided not to transition our youngest to a toddler bed quite yet. He has not turned two and we believe he is going through the 2-year-old sleep regression.

We are struggling with bedtime and him fighting going to sleep, so we have decided not to add anything new to his routine.


Just like anything else in your child’s life, this is a big milestone. They will exhibit signs to help you decide if they are ready. But you as their parent knows what is best for them, so trust those instincts. Do whatever is best for you and your toddler. Hopefully, you have figured out when to transition to a toddler bed.

Leave a comment below when you transitioned your little one to a toddler bed and what helped with that transition.

If you enjoyed this post also check out “The New School Year” and “Toddler Pool Essentials”.

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