when is baby ready for toddler bed
Toddler Toddler Development

When Is Baby Ready For Toddler Bed | When To Put Child In Toddler Bed

When Is Baby Ready For Toddler Bed | When To Put Child In Toddler Bed

Learning when is baby ready for 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.

Editorial Pick: How To Discipline A Toddler

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.

When Is Baby Ready For Toddler Bed | When To Put Child In Toddler Bed Tips

  • 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.

When Is Baby Ready For Toddler Bed | When To Put Child In Toddler Bed: 5 Important Factors

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.

Signs Your Child Is Ready For A Toddler Bed

  • 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

How To Get A Toddler To Sleep In Their Own Bed After Co-sleeping

Whether you are for or against co-sleeping one thing is for sure, when its time to get your toddler out of your bed into their own, there’s nothing that will stop you!

Let’s explore the best ways to migrate your toddler into their own bed with the least amount of resistance.

Figuring out how to get a toddler to sleep in their own bed after co-sleeping isn’t as easy as you might first think. It’s a big change for a toddler who has spent all of their lives sleeping in the comfort of company.

1. Communication is key

Start by expressing to your child the importance of sleeping in their own bed and how everyone will get more sleep once it happens. Express that they can have their own bed and it can have their own sheets on it.

Explain the benefits of sleeping in their own bed and highlight the importance of your toddler finally being a “big kid”.

2. Be mindful of a new baby

If you are expecting a new baby then ensure you transition well before or well after the new babies arrive. This will ensure that your toddler doesn’t get the mistaken connection that the new baby is replacing them in the bed.

3. Keep to a routine

Once you’ve agreed upon the new sleeping arrangement try to stick to a schedule that everyone can abide with. Once you get used to the new bedtime routine you can ease yourself out of the equation.

For example, you can keep a mattress on the floor in the new room and sleep on it for half a night for a few nights until your toddler get’s used to their new bed. Or you can gradually migrate away from the bed little by little each night.

In that way, the transition process becomes a lot less scary for your toddler and easy for you to handle.  

How To Stop Co Sleeping With 4 Year Old (Or Up)

By the age of 4 and up you can make the transition much easier by talking about it. At this age, your child will be very able to communicate their wants and needs as well as their fears and anxieties.

However, try to give them a bit of leeway. If they have been co-sleeping with you since birth then you’ll need to remember that this new change will be a bit harder.

Sometimes just setting up a new room and new bed and giving it a few days trial will do the trick. Some parents are anxious about doing it as it may cause friction in their parental relationship, but give it a try before you make draw a conclusion. Some children will react well to change, while others may not.

Small rewards like treats or trips to the local park will work well as incentives for good sleeping practices and try your best to assure them that this treat is for sleeping in your new bed by yourself.

How To Get A Toddler To Sleep Fast

Many parents struggle with learning how to get a toddler to sleep fast. It’s one thing figuring out when to put the child in a toddler bed but quite another to learn how to get a toddler to sleep fast.

Rest assure these habits can be taught and children can learn new sleeping habits quite fast. As long as they have the right structure in place and you follow the guidelines below you’ll be able to get your toddler to sleep fast!

4 Effective Tips To Figure Out How To Get A Toddler To Sleep Fast!

1. Wind down a few hours before bed

Done wait until 30 minutes or 15 minutes before bedtime to start thinking about soothing relaxing activities as it will probably be too late by then. Instead, think ahead and plan relaxing activities that will stimulate the mind, but also help it to relax. A perfect example of this is a jigsaw puzzle.

2. Keep the routine the same each night

This one sounds simple, but with very busy schedules many parents fall into the trap of slipping up which can cause problems down the road. The goal is to create a sense of assurance in a safe calm environment. A good tip is to create a picture chart of the routine and place it by the bed.

In that way, they can see, in plain and simple illustrations, what step of the bedtime routine they are in. Once they understand the process, they can feel safe in the knowledge that everything is being done as promised.

This clarity and routine will help to put them to bed on time every time with less fuss. 

3. Don’t set later bedtimes, set early ones!

Most parents think that by setting later bedtimes their child will fall asleep easier. This is actually not true. Most children that go to sleep earlier actually sleep for longer and wake up less time in the night.

Putting your child to sleep after 9pm, for example, leads to them being over-tired and allows for the stress hormones of adrenalin and cortisol to kick in.

All this just keeps them going for longer and ensures they have a more problem-filled night. Try to avoid late bedtimes and get their mind in the right mood by dimming the lights from 7 pm onwards

4. Try putting white noise on in the background

Most toddlers can sleep with lots of noise in the background, but that is when they get into a deep sleep. If you want to learn how to get a toddler to sleep fast then you’ll want to keep the noise to a minimum. You can try a white noise machine or play some water sounds in the background. This will soothe his mind and can even improve his brain activities while he is sleeping.

Remember, If you want to learn how to get a toddler to sleep fast they need to be tired.

The more active they are in the day time the more rest and recuperation they will need.  Try to have a more active day with your toddler to get them more tired at the end of the day.

Being outside in the day time will also stimulate the hormones to reduce stress and facilitate better sleep at night.

What about sleep oils?

There are child-friendly oils for sleep that support toddlers natural sleep patterns by helping release melatonin. You can try cedarwood and lavender oils.

If you use oils for sleep aid, make sure you find ones that are in the purest form so they don’t cause any skin issues.

How To Get Toddler To Sleep Through The Night

Learning how to get toddler to sleep through the night is an essential part of a complete sleep routine for your toddler and for you. Remember, sometimes toddlers will wake up during the night for reasons other than sleep problems.

For example, physical pains (teething or infections), sleep apnea, or fears anxiety and stresses. Ensure that none of these is the primary reason for their sleep interruption first.

How To Get Toddler To Sleep Through The Night: Practical Strategies

  • Keep the room cool, overheating will disrupt your toddlers sleeping process
  • Keep the room dark and use night lights to light it. A rule of thumb is that you should be able to read in it. The dimmer the better. Artificially light will stimulate the ‘play’ side of your toddler’s brain which will keep them up for longer.
  • Limit screen time directly before bedtime. All electronic devices impact our body’s biological signal to stay awake. This is more so in toddlers so try to limit all screen time at least 1.30 minutes before bedtime.
  • Get the sleep routine correct. Try to strategically set up a bedtime that allows you to utilize nap time in the day as well. For example, if nap time is in the middle of the day, leave around 5 hours either side of it to go to sleep and wake up. i.e. Wake up time 8am, nap time 1 pm – 3 pm, bedtime 8 pm.

Child Refuses To Go To Bed

If your child refuses to go to bed then you need to pinpoint where this behaviour is coming from and nip it in the bud. Most children try to extend the bedtime curfew as much as possible, but with some persistent, they will usually fold and end up sleeping.

If your child refuses to go to bed for longer durations then you may have to think outside the box.

Here are some reasons why a child refuses to go to bed and what you can do about it.

1. Different sleep expectations

Some children can operate on 9 hours of sleep a night, while others need 11 or more to feel well-rested. Try to understand how much sleep your child actually needs by keeping a sleep diary.

2. Too excited to sleep

This is common amongst all children and happens when they are so enthralled with the fun that they don’t want to leave it, especially when the family from out of town are here.

Try to take this one with a pinch of salt. It’s only temporary and sometimes pushing too hard will just trigger even more anxiety and make it more difficult for them to go to sleep.

3. The transition to bedtime isn’t right

If they have been watching TV for hours and then have to turn it off and go to bed it’s unlikely they will be able to go down without a fight. TV signals, computer and anything that puts out radiation interferes with the natural body signals for rest and relation.

Try to limit screen time before bedtime.

4. They are too tired

Being too tired can have just as big an impact as not being tired enough. If your child has had a very impactful day and has had to carry several stresses through the day they may be unable to sleep as they have so much on their mind.

5. Showing more Independence

They may feel as if they are old enough to go to bed later or that they don’t need as much sleep as you think they do. Power struggles happen amongst children of all ages and to combat them you’ll need to adopt effective discipline strategies.

Learning When Is Baby Ready For Toddler Bed and When To Put Child In Toddler Bed takes time and patience. Remember to check for the signs they are ready to transition into a big bed and give them a good sleeping routine.

This will help them to sleep easy and more stress free in their new bed!

Ava Miller

Mom of 2 who enjoys blogging, travelling, cooking and spending time with Taylor & Olivia

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