The transition from a crib to a big-kid bed may or may not be smooth sailing for toddlers. Most kids make the switch between the ages of 18 months and 3 1/2 years, but there’s no set rule for reaching this milestone. It’s important that your child is ready to move into a bed from a crib because the change can bring with it issues like night wandering and clinginess.
While some toddlers are happy and excited to make the move to a big-kid bed, others may find it difficult and try to resist the transition. Make the process fun and easy for them can include bringing them with you to pick out the new bed and bedding and placing the bed in the same spot as their crib. Above all else, make sure it’s the right time for them to make the switch.
Here are 5 tips for moving your child to a big-kid bed (and knowing when to do it)!
- Don’t rush
If your child isn’t ready to make the switch to a big-kid bed, don’t rush the process. You want the transition to be as smooth as possible, and since kids are constantly going through new changes through the ages of 18months to three years of age, it’s important not to introduce too many changes all at once. The transition to a big-kid bed shouldn’t be made at the same time as another big change in their life, such as starting pre-school or potty training. Do it a few months before or after or you can wait until your child asks to move to a big-kid bed. This way you know they’re ready to make the switch.
- Get to the root of the issue
If you think a big bed is going to solve your child’s sleep issues, that’s not likely to be the case. If your child is constantly wanting to sleep with you in your bed, it’s more likely because they’re attached to you than wanting to sleep in a big bed. If they have trouble sleeping, you should be taking a look at their bedtime routine or other lifestyle changes that may be causing stress and sleeplessness. Moving them before you get to the root of the issue, or thinking a big bed will solve the problem will make the transition more difficult than it needs to be.
- Address sleep behaviours as they arrive
If you notice your child has troubled sleep behaviours, such as separation anxiety or nighttime awakenings, don’t shrug them off. If you don’t address them as soon as they arrive, the behaviours will likely get worse over time. You don’t want to be moving your child to a big-kid bed with these behaviours in full swing. Other behaviours may spring up when you make the transition, and you don’t want to have to deal with a pile-up of sleep behaviours. It’s not fun for you or your kid and you want the process to be as comfortable and seamless as possible.
4. Create a welcoming space
Have your toddler be a part of the selection process. They can help you choose their big-kid bed, linens and décor so they feel included in the decision to transition out of their crib and are more likely to sleep in a bed that they selected. Also, consider adding removable bed-rails to the bed. Some toddlers feel more snug and secure with bed-rails, similar to the feeling of their crib. And you will feel assured knowing that they don’t accidently roll out of their new bed during the night.
5. Select a Supportive Mattress
Although, your toddler is tiny do not overlook the need to provide their growing spines with a supportive mattress. A medium-firm mattress, foam or spring, will provide comfort and support for their little active and busy bodies!
Are you thinking of moving your child to a big-kid bed? What issues have you had, if any?
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