When Should I Shift My Toddler to a Bed?
Your little one will undergo many milestones throughout their childhood, and the transition from a baby crib to a toddler bed is one of them! While some toddlers are able to make the switch to a bed at around 18 months, others may not want to until they’re 3 or older.
(There’s no hard and fast rule for this, so don’t feel like your child is behind if other parents are transitioning their children earlier!)
A toddler bed is a type of bed that’s low to the ground and fits standard crib mattresses.
Usually, the shift to a toddler bed is done when your child starts trying to climb out of his bed when they’re at the height of the baby crib railings. And if you have an active child, this could be pretty dangerous!
Read on to find out when and how you can initiate this transition for your child.
Signs your little one is ready for the shift
1. They can climb out of the crib
This typically happens when your child is around 90 cm tall. Because of their height, they’re big enough to easily climb out of the crib themselves. The crib then becomes a safety hazard as they can fall while climbing out.
2. You’re in the process of potty training
You want your child to be able to get out of bed easily when they need to use the toilet. With a toddler bed, your toddler can get in and out of bed quickly to make those trips!
3. They can no longer fit in the crib
If your child can easily touch both ends of the crib from top to toe, it’s time to upgrade to a toddler bed. This may happen sooner if you opted for a mini crib to start with.
4. There’s another baby on the way
If you’ve got another bun in the oven, it may make more sense to shift your child to a toddler bed instead of buying a second crib. We’d recommend doing this if your first child is 18 months or older.
However, be careful of giving your toddler the impression that you’re replacing them with another child. Begin the transition a month or two before the new baby arrives so that they have time to get used to their big toddler bed.
Tips to make the switch easier
Consider the bed
You want a bed that’s low to the ground to prevent injuries, especially if they’re active sleepers.
You can opt to place their crib mattress on the floor as part of the transition. Or you can choose to also add barriers on the bed to help prevent your child from accidentally rolling off the sides!
Encourage toddler bed nap times
Try easing the transition by having your toddler nap in their new bed to help them get used to it. This helps minimise the struggle of sleeping in the new bed come bedtime.
Stick to a routine
If your child has been going to bed at a specific time while they were sleeping in the baby crib, it’ll help to stick to this routine.
Make the transition exciting
Another way to make the transition process easier is to make it exciting for your child. You can begin by telling them that they’re now grown up and get to sleep in a grown-up bed like their parents.
It also helps to let them pick out the bedding so they feel like they actively chose to make the shift to their toddler bed. You can let them pick their favourite plushies to bring to bed too if it helps!
As with everything new change or development for your child, expect that it may not go as smoothly as you envisioned it to be.
The entire process of moving your little one to his first toddler bed may take 3-4 weeks. It’s normal for them to be a little hesitant with the change or have some middle-of-the-night episodes of waking up and looking for you. When this happens, gently guide them back to their bed and reassure them.
However, if bedtime becomes more difficult and your child starts to throw a full tantrum when this wasn’t the case before, the transition may have come too soon.
What you can do is reassure them and not pressure them into moving so quickly into their new bed.
Things to take note of
When setting up the new toddler bed, take extra care to ensure that there should be no safety hazards such as electrical outlets, stairs, and pointy corners that your child may accidentally knock into if they get out of bed unsupervised.
As mentioned earlier, you may also want to install guard rails to prevent your child from accidentally falling off their bed. Another workaround for this would be to put a soft mat or rug next to the bed just in case they do roll out of it!
Ready for the shift?
Getting ready for this milestone is one of the many bittersweet moments that you and your child will experience. It may not be easy in the beginning, but it gets better as long as you stay patient, positive, and be by your toddler’s side every step of the way.
Begin this journey by getting the tools essential for their sleep training, such as a baby crib. Hatchery carries cribs and other nursery furniture to start your child with establishing a healthy and safe sleeping routine.
Check out the range of baby products on our website or book an appointment to visit our showroom.