Monday, January 2, 2017

Tips For Transitioning Your Toddler From a Crib to a Bed



On Thanksgiving night last year we decided to make the leap and put our two-year-old into a "big kid" bed. It was honestly one of the best decisions we have ever made. Our daughter went from having trouble sleeping every night to sleeping through the night. Moving our daughter to a big bed has been such a good experience that I wanted to share the things that we did that made it so wonderful!

Toddler Proof The Room- Make sure the room is safe for your little one if they get up and wander the room. For us this meant outlet covers and making sure that older sister picks up smalls toys before bed and naps.



Skip the toddler bed- With our older daughter we transitioned her from a crib to a toddler bed and then eventually a twin. With our younger daughter we went straight from the crib to a twin mattress. It was amazing.

Her mattress is right on the floor so we don't have to worry about her falling off and the best part? We often climb into bed with her to read stories or snuggle. Since our toddler has always been a rough sleeper I assumed that going to a big bed would make it worse but it actually helped most of our problems. If she wakes up scared in the middle of the night, instead of pulling her into our bed, we climb into her bed. We snuggle until she is a sleep and then slip out. If it is particularly bad night, I will just stay in her bed with her and since it is a twin instead of a toddler bed we actually both get a pretty good night sleep.

We were sent this Juniper mattress from Brentwood Home for our daughter and I really think making sure she had an excellent mattress has helped her sleep better. We picked this one because it is made with organic cotton and free of toxic flame retardants. It has a gel memory foam layer to help cradle her when she sleeps. Choosing a good mattress has helped make this transition easier.  I have a awesome Brentwood Home Coupon for Housewife Eclectic readers, use the code: OURHOME to get 10% off.



Make it fun - I wanted my daughter to be excited to go to sleep in her new bed for the first time, so we bought her Finding Dory sheets and decked out the bed with her favorite fish friends. She was so excited to climb in bed the first time she could hardly stand it.



Keep the same routine while adding big kid bed friendly elements- We didn't want to shake our daughter's entire world with her new bed, so we kept her bedtime routine almost completely the same. We did change a couple of things like now we read bedtime stories in her new bed instead of on the couch.

Put both beds in the room for a couple of nights- We left the crib up for a few days after we introduced the new twin bed into our daughter's room. We let her make the decision that she wanted to sleep in the new bed instead of the crib and I think it really helped that it was up to her.

Encourage nap time- One of my biggest fears about switching our daughter to a twin bed was that it meant nap time was over. She definitely isn't ready to give up her nap and neither am I. For nap time every day I would tuck her into bed and put on a CD of lullabies. I usually tell her she doesn't necessarily need to sleep but she needs to lay down and rest while the music plays. She falls asleep every time.

Don't give in- The first couple of nights and nap times might be a little bit of a battle. If you child gets of a bed, immediately walk them back and tuck them in again. The first couple of nights is the time to set a good example of how nights need to go, the first night you might have to tuck them in 20 times, but you are setting a precedent for future nights so keep at it.  I have a video monitor in the room so I can check in on her even if she is having a hard time falling asleep.



Try a night light- a night light might help your child sleep easier or it might be something that lets them see enough to play instead of sleep. Try it both ways and see what works for your kids. We have a pink lava lamp in our girls room because the soft pink light doesn't keep them up.

Make a big deal of successes- The first couple of nights that my daughter stayed in bed and slept we told her over and over again in the morning how proud we were that she was such a big girl! It made her excited to do it again.

I have been so happy with how the transition has gone in our family. What have you tried that worked?
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28 comments:

Karen Morse said...

My cousin's daughter is 2 and they are in this process right now. I am totally emailing her your tips, as I think she could use them!

Julie Porter said...

These are all really great tips! I really like that you left her crib in the room for a bit and let her make the choice of sleeping in the big girl bed. It always seems to go better no matter what it is, when they have a choice. Skipping the toddler bed was a great idea too, especially on those nights when you need to comfort her since you can get into bed with her instead of taking her into your bed!

charlotte ratcliffe said...

Love these tips! we were very lucky that ours didn't make a fuss and it helped that we bought a lightening Mcqueen bed that was just what he wanted so he was happy to move, he was a little escape artist so was definitely time to make the transition

Catherine said...

These are great tips! We did a lot of these when we moved our kiddos out of cribs. I agree, skip the toddler bed (it's a waste of money in my opinion) and make their new "big kid" bed be fun!

Theresa's Reviews said...

These are great ideas! We use a toddler bed, but my girls seem to outgrow them so fast, and they are hard to get rid of afterwards.

Heather said...

My youngest will NOT stay in bed for anything. I have essentially given up and will just lay with her until she falls asleep rather than her surprise us repeatedly throughout the evening :-)

Bianca Jenson said...

Totally agree on skipping the toddler bed. We went from crib to full size bed best decision ever.

Krystel Seijo said...

This is so interesting. I don't have kids so these types of things are always interesting. Your tips make a lot of sense and I'm excited to use them.

Angela Tolsma said...

I love that you made it special. It's great that it's easier for both of you if she gets up and you can just line down with her.

GingerGoose said...

I love the tip of just putting the mattress on the floor and skipping the toddler bed. These are great tips!

ana de jesus said...

I think it is definitely a good idea to skip the toddler bed as well. It makes it far easier to transition.

Reesa Lewandowski said...

Both of my kids climbed out of their cribs at around 18 months old and we quickly had to make a new plan. At that time, I was just not ready to put them into big kid beds and the toddler bed was a good transition for us for a few years.

Kecia said...

My youngest didn't want to change beds for the longest. He was finally ready about 4 months before his 3rd birthday. We went with a toddler bed to get more use out of his crib mattress, but it would have been a good idea to put the mattress right on the floor like you did!

Joanna Brittain said...

Great tips! We never had a toddler bed because our daughters crib turned into one. However, she much preferred the big girl bed to that.

Brandi Puga said...

I have managed to transfer four kiddos so far without much chaos and i still find these tips helpful! My 18 month old will probably be transferring soon, and it's amazing how each kid has their own little idiosyncracies that make them different from all the others!

Jennifer (JenuineMom) said...

The transition from crib to bed is a big one! We took the side of the crib down for one month, and then got him a toddler bed. In retrospect, I would have just gotten him a regular bed and skipped the toddler. These are great tips!

Debra Schroeder said...

These are great tips. I think going straight from crib to bed and making it a fun experience is definitely key.

Amanda Love said...

I'm glad things went well for you and your daughter as you transition her from her crib to a big kid bed! I love the look of the room afterwards! Her bed suits her well!

Living the Sweet Wife said...

I think switching right to a twin is a great idea! It also saves you the cost of buying an in-betweener bed.

Heather said...

That was a great idea to leave the crib in the room as well so that your daughter was comfortable in the transition.

Wow Di said...

Great tips! I don't have kids but one of my clients will be transitioning her son this year so I'll share this!

Brittany Muddamalle said...

Oh man I'm about ready to have to do this with my youngest son. He has been asking for a big boy bed like his big brothers, but it seems too early!

Stephanie Lee said...

Great job mama! It sounds like you really did everything right here! In a few months when my son is ready I'll be following all of your tips. I love that the mattress is on the floor and the big praise for successful nights.

Vaishnavi said...

Sound tips to make the transition smooth. I found this particularly challenging with my girl. I'd love to spread these tips to my friends and family.

Katya Bychkova said...

I don't have kids, but I remember that my mom used similar strategy when my little sister was a baby. Loved the images in this post! So adorable!

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Anonymous said...

This is such a nice detailed list of suggestions for transitioning your child from crib to bed! I love how you kept the crib in the room and let her choose where to sleep. I'm sure it made her feel big and independent. Really great post!

Amanda Rosson said...

I don't have kids but I still found this post very interesting and insightful for one day when I do! ^^

June Martin said...

Some great tips here. We have recently made the transition from cot to bed. We started by doing naps in the bed as an in between transition so she could get used to it. We also went for a cotbed, our daughter loved picking her own out, I think it was important she had a bit of control over the experience. Thanks for sharing your experience. goo.gl/mZdyQp