Whether your child is an adventurous 2-year-old or a 3 1/2-year-old completely content in their crib, making the decision to transition your little one into a toddler bed can come with unexpected frustration and even dangers. You have to get yourself and your little one ready for the big move!
Don’t worry, we created the ultimate check list to help you with your journey.
4 Tips for a Smooth Transition from Crib to Toddler Bed
1. Timing really is EVERYTHING!
When it comes to successfully transitioning your toddler to a bed, the right conditions really can make a difference.
Pick a time you can truly commit to the process.
Summer time tends to be better as schedules are more flexible, and your toddler is typically out of pre-school. But pick a time that won’t be distracted by travel, house guests, or life events.
If your toddler is about to embark on a new adventure, such as a new sibling or new school, it probably isn’t the right time to introduce this change. Many parents reuse their crib for their second child, which is completely fine! But you want to make sure to do it 6 months before the new baby comes, as you don’t want your oldest thinking they are losing their room/bed to the new baby.
2. Preparation is KEY!
I suggest starting to introduce the concept to your child about a month before actually transitioning them into a toddler bed.
Read books about big kid beds, and see how they respond.
If you receive negative feedback from your child, consider waiting a bit. I have learned if they aren’t ready, they just aren’t ready, and pushing them might lead to a more stressful experience.
Many people ask me at what age they should be transition from a crib to a toddler bed. Generally, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends making the transition from crib to toddler bed sometime around the age of 2, but every child is different.
Waiting until the time is right for your child will make the move a smooth one!
3. The right mattress makes ALL the difference!
Children and adults are just built differently. So why put your child on a mattress made for an adult? Ideally, you need a mattress that is made with your little one’s size and comfort in mind.
But mattress safety is also important!
That’s right – your child’s mattress can actually be dangerous!
Most children spend 8-14 hours a day sleeping face down on their mattress. So it’s really important to know what exactly they’re sleeping on!
Many mattresses today are imported or assembled with imported materials, often leaving you sleeping on low quality, potentially dangerous materials.
Luckily for you, I researched options and found one that is safe and affordable.
The Affordable AND Safe Option
Little LUFT is a fantastic option for parents on a budget who are looking for safe mattresses for their kids. Little LUFT is Oeko-Tex certified. This designation is one of the highest independent ratings in fabric for babies and children and guarantees the materials contain no harsh chemicals or carcinogens. The mattresses are also Certipur Certified, meaning all of the foams are certified through a third party for quality and safety.
LUFT guarantees the following of all of their mattresses:
- Made with no ozone depleters
- Contain no heavy metals (including mercury and lead)
- Made without prohibited phthalates
- Contain low VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds)
- No BPDE (Polybrominated Diphenyl Ethers) in fire retardants
- Made with no formaldehyde
In addition to the fantastic health benefits of sleeping on LUFT mattresses, Little LUFT mattresses are designed to support smaller bodies. The individual coils contour to your child’s pressure points during sleep.
So your both child’s comfort AND health are top of mind with LUFT! And it doesn’t get any better than that!
4. Safety is the priority!
When you transition your toddler into a bed, it is so important to not only safety proof the bed but the entire bedroom, as well.
Many times, a toddler’s newfound freedom leads to late night exploration and escape routes to their parents’ bedroom.
Unfortunately, if your child’s room isn’t child proofed, you can be left dealing with serious injury.
Here’s a great check list of safety precautions every parent should take before the big moving day:
- Anchor all furniture to the floor or wall.
- Install baby gates, especially if you live in a 2-story house.
- Put all blind cords out of reach of toddlers.
- Put lamp cords out of reach of your child.
- Place all diaper creams and wipes out of reach of toddlers.
- Remove all medicines from the bedroom.
- Cover all outlets in the room.
- If there is art hanging above the bed, make sure it is out of your toddler’s arm’s reach.
Final Thoughts on Transitioning from Crib to Toddler Bed
So now you have done it all – checked off everything on the list…the bed is perfect, the room is safe, and it is go time!!
The first night goes great, and you’re pumped! But it was something fun and new. That newness quickly wears off for many toddlers. So then you’re left scrambling to make it work.
The next few days, you may spend the entire night trying to keep your child in their bed.
And that’s okay!
Before waving the white flag and reassembling the crib, try these tricks:
- Keep the same bedtime routine from crib to toddler bed.
- Try keeping bedtime charts to show good nights vs. bad nights.
- Get a sleeping buddy or lovey to help with the transition.
- Try a toddler sleeping clock to show when it is time to get up or stay in bed.
Hang in there – your kids will NOT go to college still sleeping in a crib! The transition may take some time and a little extra effort, but you’ve got this, mama!
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