My baby just turned 18 months old this month, and we decided to do the big transition from crib to bed. Having 6 kids in 7 years made it so a few of our kids had to make the transitioning from crib to bed early because we couldn’t afford another crib in our earlier years (and didn’t have space for 2 cribs either). Along the way I’ve learned a few tips that I wanted to share with you.
Transitioning from Crib to Bed Easily
1: Do it early. Obviously not TOO early, but before they start climbing out of their crib, or before they can even open the door. 🙂 It makes it easier for them to stay in their room if they can’t open the door. DISCLAIMER: That doesn’t mean you ignore your child when they are knocking or crying at the door. It means that you can go in and help them when you know they need your help. Just like if they were in a crib.
Side note: If you don’t transition until your child is able to open door, or your child needs the door open slightly, I think that’s when you have to be really diligent and follow through with whatever you say So, if your toddler is coming out of their room a lot, then you just need to follow through with putting them back in their bed and helping them realize why they need to stay.
2: Start with Mattress on the floor. If you’re worried about a bed being too high, you could start with the crib mattress, or just a twin size mattress on the floor. It allows your toddler to be able to easily get in and out of bed. That way if they get a little sad at nap time, they can easily go crawl back in bed.
3: Or start with a twin size bed. This is really how I like to do it. We just get a bed side rail and put that up where the toddler is. We’ve also had beds that have headboards and footbaords and up against the wall. That way they can still be a little bit blocked in while they learn the ropes of having a bigger bed. We also have a little stool to put by the bed so they can get in and out safely.
4: The sad toddler: It’s always been a rough day or two when we’ve moved the kids to their beds. They get out, and just come to the door and cry, or knock, or play even. After a minute or two, going in to comfort, help, or remove toys from the situation and then tucking them back in will help. Without fail, with every one of our kids, they fall asleep in front of the door for the first couple of days. At night, my husband would quiet get in, and move them back to their beds. They soon learn that sleeping in bed is much better than the floor.
5: Make it fun! It’s fun to get them a new set of sheets of something they love. You could also get them a special comforter. I have made each of my kids a quilt when they’ve moved into a bed. Not the day they move in, but I try to do it for Christmas or their birthday after they’ve moved. It’s nothing super fancy, just a simple quilt that is made by mom.
What have you found that works when transitioning from crib to bed?