Is it time for your toddler to make the move into a big bed?
NetMums have written a really helpful article help you through this transition time. There are no hard and fast rules but anything from 18 months onwards is usual. You might want to move them out if they are growing physically too big to fit comfortably in the cot or to get them settled in a bed before a new baby arrives. Be guided by your child’s needs and comfort and what you as parents feel comfortable with. The full article is available here but here is a quick precis
Tips for a smooth transition from cot to bed
- Choose a calm time with no other big changes going on such as you returning to work, moving house, or a major developmental phase such as toilet training.
- If you have a new baby arriving try to make the move at least 6-8 weeks in advance so that they don’t feel they have been pushed out.
- Try just letting your little one have naps in their new bed for a while, before you give night-times a whirl.
- Make a big deal of the move, and what a novelty it all is. Impress upon your little one how ‘grown up’ they are now (although don’t go overboard on this if the move is being driven by a new sibling’s imminent arrival, in case it results in resentment). Take them out to buy new bedding, furniture or other sleep-related accessories – you could let them try out a new duvet or pillow (it’s fine to give your baby a pillow after the age of one) in the cot, first. Equally though, letting them hold on to some familiar stuff – toys, a pillow case, favourite pyjamas, for example – is a good idea.
- Stick with old rituals and routines, as far as possible.
- Be positive. Offer lots of praise when they do make the move or at least a step in the right direction.
- Make sure your child’s room is safe in the event of night wanderings: windows should be secure, floors clear of tripping hazards, cords on windows and blinds looped out of reach, and electrical appliances switched off and wires tucked away. If your little one does take to wondering, a stair-gate across their door, or at the top of the stairs, is a wise safety precaution.