Most toddlers are ready to move from the cot to their bed between 2 to 3.5 years of age. However, the timing of this transition has more to do with your child being physically and emotionally ready for the change! Here’s what to keep in mind when moving your toddler into their own bed.
When is the time right?
Your little one will need to be able to climb in and out of bed. Sometimes when they’re potty training, it can be helpful to be in a bed so they can take themselves to the bathroom overnight. However, potty training and ditching the crib can both be challenging transitions, so you may want to stagger them. If your child is climbing out of the cot, this is a sign they may be ready for a bed.
If you have another baby on the way, you may want to move your older child to a bed sooner than you would have otherwise because the new baby will need the cot. Try moving your toddler into the bed a few months before the baby arrives and avoid letting on that they have to give up the cot for the baby; they may resent their younger sibling for taking their cot away.
Keeping your toddler safe overnight
Now that your little one can get out of bed and move around all on their own, it’s time to re-assess any potential hazards. Toddler-proof their bedroom by:
- Keeping chords from blinds or curtains out of reach.
- Being cautious of potential choking hazards a wandering little one may get their hands-on.
- Tidying the floor to remove tripping hazards overnight. Try doing this with your toddler to get them into the habit of cleaning their space at the end of the day.
- If needed, consider a gate to prevent your toddler from wandering around the house unattended overnight.
- Pillows and soft toys can still be a suffocating hazard for children under two, so hold off on the extra bedding until you feel your little one needs it.
Choosing the right bed
Sometimes a ‘toddler bed’ can be an easy transition from the cot. However, this can be quickly outgrown, so some parents prefer to skip this stage and move straight to a single bed, which is usually fine! You may want to use bed rails to prevent falls.
Chat to the bed store experts about choosing a mattress with good spine support. A breathable mattress and bedding material are good investments for your toddler’s comfort.
Letting your toddler help choose their new bedding could help them get excited about the transition! It’s normal for your little one to feel disrupted or confused by the change to a big kid bed.
Encourage them by explaining that they’re too grown up for a cot now, and you’re so excited and proud that they’re ready to sleep in a big kid bed.
Re-adjusting the night-time routine could smooth the process out. Consider choosing a new ‘big kid’ bedtime story or song to soothe them during their first few weeks or months in the new bed. A nightlight could help them feel safe.