Successfully transitioning from a crib to a bed can be overwhelming not only for your toddler, but for you as a parent. Some children show clear signs they are ready and can make an easy transition, others can have a more challenging time. Every child is different and does things at his or her own pace; and that is normal.
Your child’s crib is their calming space. It has kept them feeling a sense of safety for many months, however, there comes a point when we need to transition from a crib to a bed. Whether it is a toddler bed, big bed or even putting a mattress on the floor, always do what’s best for YOUR child.
5 Tips for Transitioning from a Crib to a Bed
1. Let your child help.
They can help move the crib out and say goodbye. In addition, set out their wooden tool box to help build the new bed. It is also so much fun to let them help pick out their own big kid bedding, pillows, and even wall decals! Make this a fun memorable experience for them.
2. Childproof the bedroom.
Safety, when transitioning from a crib to a bed is a BIG one. Now you need to think of their room as a big crib. How can you child proof their room? Remember it is now a free for all for your child. These things are most likely already done in their room, but if moving to a new space be sure to check the following. Having the room safe will help ease your nerves a bit!
- Outlet covers
- Anchoring big furniture to the wall
- Put away any toys that are a choking hazard
- Window locks
- Window blind cord safety wrap
- Removable bed rail
- Door Knob covers
3. Start the transition at bedtime.
Your child is more tired at bedtime than nap time. They will be more likely to stay in their bed after a long day. Throughout the day talk about the change and answer questions openly. Continue to show your pride that your child is such a big kid now!
4. Be sure you stick with your regular nighttime routine.
With the transition from the crib to a bed it will change the bedtime routine a bit. Your child may have a hard time settling in; it could be overstimulating for him or her. They went from this tiny crib to what now feels like a HUGE space. They will be tempted to get out of bed and come get you, or even look at books and explore their room. I always felt when my kids were small it was best to keep overstimulating, noisy toys out of their room for this exact reason. We stuck with books, puzzles, dolls, and stuffed animals. Let them have a little independence; they will figure it out. As long as they are safe, let them grab a book or play for a bit before falling asleep.
5. Be Consistent!
If your child gets up and calls for you, have a phrase that you say as you place them back into bed. Perhaps you’ll say, “I love you; now it’s time to sleep.” Do not interact past that. Stay patient, overtime your child will get used to the new routine and gain success!
Be sure all childcare providers, nannies and both parents, are on the same page so your toddler has a consistent routine. Sending you lots of luck in this transition! Your child will do great and will love being such a big kid!
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About The Author
Jaclyn Capilli has over 10 years experience working with children. After graduating from Curry College with her Bachelor Degree she worked as a paraprofessional in a special need’s classroom. Then while in Graduate school at Cambridge College she nannied for a local family for 3 years. After moving back to the South Shore she worked for Head Start for 5 plus years while nannying for a local family. She is now a mother of two and is working for Boston Baby Nurse & Nanny. She owns Jaclyn Nicole Photography, a photography business in the South Shore. In her free time she likes reading, going for hikes and making memories with her daughters.