Learning the Signs Your Child Is Ready For A Toddler Bed can be tricky. There are guidelines that most parents follow but every toddler is unique.
Most children make the switch between 1 and 1/2 and 3 ½.
As a general rule knowing when to put child in toddler bed can take a bit of time to get right and there is no one size fits all.
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Transitioning To Toddler Bed At 18 Months
Over 90% of 18-month-olds tend to sleep in a crib, but this does slowly drop to around 80% at 2 years and roughly around 40% by 3 years of age.
It’s best to wait until your child gets a little bit closer to 3 as many toddlers just may not be ready to take the chance just yet. By 3 years old they are vocally able to express what they do and don’t’ want and you’ll be in a better position to understand why that is.
It’s also advisable that you wait until your toddler is both emotionally and physically capable of handling their own bed as they will be climbing in and out of it by themselves and sleeping in it unaccompanied.
Overall if your toddler seems like they are toying with the idea of an escape plan soon then it’s probably time to move them to a bigger bed.
How To Get Your Toddler Ready
- Put the bed in the same place as the cot
- Use the big bed first in the day for day time naps and then at night
- Stick to a predefined routine and be patient
- Get your little one involved, they can pick out the new bed, a new toy and some sheets
- Keep the routine the same, just change the bed! (read stories, white noise playing in the background etc)
- Make it a big deal, but don’t go overboard.
Signs Your Child Is Ready For A Toddler Bed
1. Climbing out of the crib
Many parents make the decision to switch to a toddler bed or decide on co-sleeping with a toddler as they are worried about their toddler climbing out of the crib. Try not to rush out and buy a new toddler bed on day 1 of the crib escape.
Instead, take some time to see if they are actually ready for their own bed or if you prefer co-sleeping with a toddler. Remember you can also lower the crib mattress as far as possible to make it more difficult for them to climb over.
2. Arrival of a new baby
If you are planning on having a baby soon then you will need the crib to be used for new baby. Try to make the switch between the old crib and a new toddler bed at least 6 weeks before the new baby arrives. This will allow your toddler to settle in well and allow him to not see the old crib as his own anymore.
Remember, you may have alternative sleeping arrangements for your new baby (like a bassinet) so your toddler will have extra time to adjust. Try to plan everything around the readiness of your child. If they are showing signs of being ready to move out of the crib then follow through, if not they may be better to just pick up a new crib (or borrow one)
3. Give the switch time
Toddlers are going through a variety of milestones fast and by the age of 2 – 3 they will be going through potty training and may even be starting preschool.
Factor this into your plan and try to be as empathic as possible.
4. Bring the excitement levels up!
Having a big boy or big girl bed is an exciting time. Emphase this point by bringing your toddler with you to buy the bed. Make them sit on it, test it, lye on it etc. Give them power of attorney and let their imaginations run wild.
This is their chance to start their grown-up life and it’s a great way to get them involved and excited about their new purchase.
5. Be prepared to take a step back
Some toddlers will take to their new bed, without any complications but others may take more time to adjust. This includes finding it hard to fall asleep, waking up more frequently, constantly falling out of the bed and wandering around the house for other places to rest their head.
If this is the case then you may have to bring the old crib back and give them a bit more time before the big switch.
Looking for the signs your child is ready for a toddler bed is a great way to guarantee that you are making the right decision and it’s happening along the correct developmental path.
When To Switch From Toddler Bed To Full Size Bed
Your child is ready for a toddler bed if:
- Your child doesn’t kick up a fuss when you aren’t around.
- Your toddler understands imaginary boundaries and won’t try to constantly jump out of bed the minute you turn your back
- They specifically ask to sleep in their own big bed!
- They constantly climb out of their crib even after all the safety precautions you take.
- They hate being in the crib at bedtime and want to come to sleep with you in your bed
Those are the main Signs Your Child Is Ready For A Toddler Bed. Ultimately the decision is up to you, but this usually takes place after 18 months.