#1 Let them choose
If you can, bring your toddler to the bed store or let them help you browse online. If your toddler chooses their bed or even just the bedspread, they could feel more excited by and attached to it.
To make sure you purchase a bed you’re happy with, try narrowing it down to a few options you like before offering your toddler the choice. Or, just stick to letting them pick their linen pattern or a new toy to join them in their big bed.
#2 Decorate it
When you first set up your toddler’s big kid bed, make a big deal about it! Try using some blankets to turn it into a fort, set up their favorite toys in there, use some streamers or other fun decorations. Remove any streamers, extra blankets, or other hazards before your little one gets into bed to sleep.
#3 Make them want what they can’t have
Once you’ve put together the bed (and maybe decorated it), don’t let your toddler sleep in it yet! Wait for them to ask to sleep in there or show some kind of interest. Then say, ‘Maybe not tonight’ or ‘Not just yet!’. After a few nights of being denied their new bed, they’ll be desperate to get in there (and out of yours)!
#4 Act envious
Make your toddler think you would sleep in there if you could! Talk about how excited you would be and how comfortable the bed is. If you’re excited, your little one could be more likely to jump on board.
#5 Point out role models
Leading up to the transition from cot to bed, start drawing attention to role models who sleep in a big kid bed. Perhaps your friend’s toddler, or your child’s favorite TV or book character. Explain that cots are for babies, and they aren’t a baby anymore.
#6 Be supportive
The change from cot to bed can be confronting for some kids. If they are reluctant to stay in their new bed, they could be experiencing anxiety. Acknowledge your child’s feelings without making them feel silly or frustrating. Explain that it is ok to be scared of sleeping in their new room or worried about losing the cot. These feelings are normal, but with some reassurance that they are a brave big kid now, your toddler might feel safer to try sleeping in their new bed.