How to Turn a Toddler Into a Bed for a Big Child

So, your little one is on their way from crib to bed. This is both an inevitable transition period and one of the clearest signs that your child is no longer your child; they become your big children (and how dare they!). However, knowing when and how to make the transition can be tricky, so let’s talk about it.

How to know when it’s time

While every child comes to this point sooner or later, the decision about when to turn off the crib can be influenced by many factors, including their age (most babies go from 18 months to three years old), their size and disposition. to get out of the crib. Ideally, you should make the transition before they start to climb, but some children recover sooner than others. Once they start running – or try to escape – it’s time to switch.

You may also be planning a transition due to the upcoming arrival of a brother or sister who will need this crib. If you’re taking a toddler out of its cradle to free it up for a toddler, make a transition for your big baby with enough time to prepare so he doesn’t feel crowded out by the baby, Dr. Mark Widom, Professor of Pediatrics at Pennsylvania State Children’s Hospital , tells Parents.com :

“Start the transition one to two months before the new baby is due, assuming your baby is at least 18 months old,” says Dr. Vidom. By tucking your older baby more comfortably in his new bed, he will think of the crib as neutral territory rather than his sleeping place when the baby is born. If possible, disassemble the crib or store it in a room out of sight, suggests Dr. Vidom. Or try to make the crib “unbearable” by stuffing stuffed animals, toys, and blankets.

Finally, try not to take them out of the cradle if they are already going through another important life transition, such as starting babysitting for the first time or starting potty training. If possible, it is enough to see them through one big life change at a time.

Let them help you choose something

Just like letting young children choose Toy Story briefs when it’s time to start potty training can help them get excited about the challenge, and give them a say in some aspects of setting up their new bed for big kids is a good idea. If their crib doesn’t convert to a toddler crib, or you want to go straight to a bed they’ll use for a long time (and you don’t mind if they choose, say, a race car bed ), let them help them choose a real bed. …

If you already have a bed on hand (or prefer to make a choice), let them decide what kind of bedding they’ll use, or let them pick a new cuddly cuddly toy to snuggle with at night.

Let them “practice” while they sleep.

The transition from sleeping in a small, semi-closed fixture to a wide open surface during the longest and darkest hours of the day can be daunting for them for obvious reasons. If you think they are ready to move, but doing it at night is too scary for them at first, allow them to “practice” while they sleep.

This will only work if the crib and the crib are separate pieces of furniture (obviously you don’t want to convert the crib to a toddler bed and back multiple times a day) and if they both fit in the room. But if you can turn it over for a few days, it will help the bed-wary toddler get used to the new sleep pattern.

Maintain the same daily routine before bed

If there ever was a time to stick to a consistent bedtime routine, now is the time. If you were a parent who slept in a crib, when he slept in a crib, pajamas, songs, songs, and lights off, follow the same routine when they go to bed. You might now want to snuggle up together in bed with books and songs instead of in a rocking chair, but keep things as close to their daily routine as possible.

Also, if possible, place the bed in the same place as the crib so they don’t feel disoriented by the change of location, and keep using night lights or noise devices that helped them calm them down on the days they slept. in the crib.

Make them stay in bed

If you’ve waited as long as possible before making the transition, it’s probably because you’re enjoying the main benefit a crib has over the bed: it holds them in place. Nobody likes the idea that a toddler will have access to not only their entire room, but possibly their entire house in the early morning hours.

Here’s what Dr. Harvey Karp , author of The Happiest Babies on the Block and the Happiest Baby on the Block , says that:

You need to (1) keep the room well protected from children (including electrical outlets, curtain cords, and sharp corners) and (2) prevent it from wandering outside the room at night.

Use the gate to keep her in your room. If she climbs over it, you may need to spend a little time teaching her to stay in the room or even close the door. Say something like, “Honey, this is Mr. Gate! Mr. Gate will help you stay in the room … so before bed, after we sing, read and say night-night … then we will close Mr. Gate … and he will help you stay safe and happy in my room all night. “

If your little gymnast climbs over a wicket, you may need to close the door and place the doorknob on the inside of her room door.

What to Expect Writer Amy O’Connor also suggests trying a sticker sheet to offer positive reinforcement every night they stay in bed. Offer them a special treat, such as an extra bedtime story or family outing at the end of the week, as a reward for not sitting still.

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