Switching to a Toddler Bed

Parenting Tips

A Toddler Walking Up Steps
Is transitioning to a toddler bed going to mean more wake-ups and trouble sleeping?. Photo (c) Rose Hayes

Where is your toddler sleeping?

Are you thinking of switching him to a 'big boy bed?'

Switching To A Toddler Bed

Although switching to a toddler bed is a big milestone that many parents look forward to, it is not a decision to take lightly.

Even if you have a toddler that sleeps well in his crib, you can often expect some bedtime battles and more frequent wake ups after you make the switch to a toddler bed.

So you may want to stay in a crib as long as it is safe.

When Should You Switch To A Toddler Bed?

Once your toddler is climbing out of his crib, it is usually time to move to a toddler bed though. You simply don't want to take the chance that your toddler is going to get hurt climbing and falling out of his crib.

Even if your toddler isn't climbing our of his crib, if he is already 36 inches tall, then you should likely move him to a toddler bed anyway. Although many toddlers can climb out when they are even shorter, by the time they are 36 inches tall, they can likely climb out if they want to and it is just a matter of time before they do.

The transition from a crib to a bed may also come sooner than you would like if you have a new baby on the way who is going to need to use the crib. Try to make the switch well in advance of the new baby's arrival though, so your toddler doesn't feel like he lost his bed because of the baby.

Delaying the Crib to Bed Transition

If you notice your toddler trying to climb out, you may make it a few more months in a crib if you can lower the mattress a little more.

You should also remove the crib bumper pads and anything else that your toddler may be using to help climb out of the crib.

Keep in mind that there is an alternative to moving to a bed if your toddler is climbing out of his crib, and that involves using a crib tent.

The American Academy of Pediatrics does warn against there use though, saying that 'these products may be dangerous because, in an emergency, the attachments can be time-consuming to take off. In addition, many children feel uncomfortably confined when their movements are restricted in this way.

Convertible Cribs

Do you have a convertible crib?

Starting with a convertible crib that can turn into a toddler bed may help to make the whole transition a lot easier. Since you are basically just removing the front panel of the crib to make it a toddler bed or daybed, your toddler shouldn't notice much of a change.

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