Transitioning from crib to a toddler bed.
Witnessing your newborn child become a fully-grown teenager is something so treasurable for every parent. There are, however, a few instances that every parent finds confusing. One of them is the transition from a baby to a toddler. That is exactly the time when you should think about shifting from a crib to a toddler bed. Yes, it’s a big deal.
At first, you may feel like you are simply replacing an object in the room. In reality, though, you are removing the kids from their comfort zone, which is as important as it gets. That is why experienced parents and child psychology experts would unanimously advise you to be careful while transitioning from a crib to a toddler bed.
In this article, we have a super-quick guide on transitioning from crib to a toddler bed. We’ve included a few tips, core ideas and some anecdotes you should consider before making the decision.
#1 It’s all about timing
Out of the hundreds of things you should consider while transitioning from a crib, timing is the most crucial. You cannot choose a random time to shift your kid from the crib to someplace else. Instead, you should be considering the comfort, willingness and the age of your kid.
First of all, there is no universal age for shifting to a toddler bed. Some kids move as early as one and a half years while others take as long as four years to prefer toddler beds to cribs. Many researchers, however, suggest that 3 years is the optimal time to make the said transition. You can consider moving your kid to a toddler bed if they’re trying to climb out of the crib. It’s a can and not a must, please note. Our point is that you don’t have to get your kid out of the comfort zone just because of the tendency to get out.
In most cases, kids climb out of the crib for the sake of attention. If the parent does not pay much attention to the issue, however, kids may get back too. Alternatively, to keep your tensions aside, you can use a crib tent. This would keep your wannabe-toddler safe all the time.
Long story short, wait until your kid is completely ready to move to a bigger bed. Your kid should be feeling more safe and secure even when they’re out of the crib. That’s one great time to begin.
#2 It’s all about excitement too
Shifting to a toddler bed from the crib should be a soothing experience for your kiddo, not something scary. The best idea is to keep them excited about the whole prospect of transitioning. Of course, there are a few Dos and Don’ts you have to follow.
You should never force your kid to move from a crib if something else is happening in their life. For instance, don’t even think about the transition if you are expecting a second child. Similarly, don’t compel them to use a toddler bed if you recently moved to another place. There are hundreds of anecdotes on the internet that tell you the negative impact of transitioning from a crib when another member was joining the family. Now that it’s out of the way, you should make your kid excited about the move.
There are a few methods. For instance, you can read them stories about their own beds and the importance of staying in bed for long. You should also get them involved in the process of choosing their toddler bed. It will give them a positive idea about the next phase.
Long story short, make sure your kid is not scared about the transition. Instead, you should give them enough positive reinforcement to love the next phase.
#3 Choosing the right toddler bed
Now that you have decided to make the transition, the destination should be super-cool. In this stage, you can get your kid involved too. Before that, however, you have to ask some practical questions regarding the quality and comfort of the bed.
As we have said multiple times, comfort is the utmost priority when it comes to the transition. You may even think of keeping the same bedding that the bedding had. However, the real question is can a crib mattress fit a toddler bed in its entirety. In most cases, it cannot, and you will have to look for secondary options from the market. Make sure you go for a toddler bed that is minimal, low to the ground and certified for the use of children.
You can also look for some additional features like rails. Rails would keep your kid safer when they are in the bed. Even if the bed doesn’t come with rails, you should have an option to add them later. Last but not least, the bed should be sturdy. It should be able to keep up with the growing kid.
Long story short, the toddler bed should not only excite the kid but also offer protection and comfort. While decorations are welcome, make sure that they don’t hurt the kid.
#4 Keeping them on bed
This could be perhaps the most difficult task during the transition from crib to a toddler bed. No matter how many precautions you follow, the kid is leaving the comfort space. So, you need to convince your kid about sleeping for the right amount of time.
There are a few things you should do before, and it starts with a good routine. If you were following a simple routine while using the crib, try to stick to it. For instance, some parents read their kids a story and get them a bath before going to bed. This would have, in the course of time, created a biological clock. When you shift to the toddler bed, do not tamper the aforesaid clock. Instead, the bed should take the place of the crib and everything else should be like easing into the new world.
You can also try some positive re-enforcement methods to keep the kiddo in bed. For instance, promise them that you would check back every five minutes if they stay in bed. If you had made the transition when the kid was 3, you would find it easy to explain the rules to them.
Long story short, you should make the kids excited about staying in the bed. Placement of the bed and the way of going to sleep can play an important role here.
#5 The miscellaneous
There are a few other things you should consider as well. Let’s have a quick look.
- Make sure that you re-child-proof your home now that they’re sleeping in a bed. For instance, you’d want to set up a baby gate to stop them from wandering across the home.
- Use techniques like Bedtime Pass to keep your kids in bed. This game works by giving them just one pass to get out of the bed, every night. This is more of gamification if you ask us.
- You can use sleep training clocks to train them to wake up at the same time. This would, in turn, help the kids in staying in bed for a reasonable amount of time as well.
- Last but not least, use as many safety accessories you can to keep them secure at night.
The bottom line
So, this is your quickest guide to transitioning from crib to a toddler bed. As we said earlier, everything we’ve talked about here is individualistic. While you should follow these insights, make sure your actions can keep the toddler comfortable.