Toddlers grow so fast and with no time, they’ll be ready to stop sleeping in a crib but on a big kid bed. While your baby may not say it directly, he/she will use other signs that will tell you that they’re ready for this move. Babies can either verbalize their displeasure or climb out of their crib. So, when this happens what should you do?
Well, first we discourage parents from moving their babies too early. The recommended age for this is 3. If your child isn’t climbing out of their crib and doesn’t need more space than what his/her crib offers, that is, their body isn’t growing very fast, experts advise that you keep them in their crib as it makes them feel safer. This way, children can comfortably take developmental leaps during the day and go back to the security of their crib at night. In case you have decided to co-sleep with your child, please make sure to read our co-sleeping Pros and Cons short guide.
Plus, toddlers are usually impulsive until they’re three years. Therefore, it’ll be difficult for them to understand or follow rules or directions like staying in their bed the whole night, which makes sleeping in beds real hard for them. But, if your baby is ready to sleep in a bed, follow these steps to ensure security and comfort.
Create a safe environment
Parents can safety proof their children’s room and other areas that they’re likely to visit at night. You can even have a safety gate installed at your kid’s door. Additionally, one can install a night light in the room to help them with orientation in their new room.
Choose a Good Mattress
Take your child with you when shopping for a mattress or bed and ensure that they’re involved in the selection. A twin size mattress, box spring, and safety rails on the side will be an excellent choice. But, you should adjust this bed’s height since it needs to sit low on the floor until your kid gets used to it. You also should buy sheets and special pillowcases.
Take Down the Crib
When your child’s new bed arrives home, ask him/her to help you disassemble the crib. This helps them feel like they’re part of the transition and it’ll also be easy to adjust to their new bed.
Set the Bed
Place it at the corner of your kid’s room with its head and side flushing against the wall to ensure safety. Then, to its exposed side, add a safety rail. This ensures that your child feels safe as he/she did in their crib.
Explain Bedtime Rules
If your child can speak, you should explain the rules of bedtime to him/her during the first night of sleeping in their bed. Make sure that he/she understands that they can only wake up when the sun is bright.
Have a Bedtime Routine
During the first times, parents can ensure that they make their children feel comfortable with their new environment. You can read them a story or stay with them until they’re asleep. The following infographic shows the 4 steps for setting up an ideal bedtime routine.
Tips for Helping Your Baby Sleep
Parents should pay attention to how their children sleep. It’s wise that you put your baby to bed when they’re sleepy rather than asleep as this will help them fall asleep quickly and they’ll learn to sleep by themselves. Sleep is essential for mental and physical development in children. If you’re having problems getting your child to sleep, there are books and programs which can help you with that: as an example you can have a look at Mary-Ann Schuler’s Baby Sleep Miracle method which is based on ground-breaking research done by Harvard Medical School and the Stanford Center For Sleep Science and Medicine, along with her over 20 years of experience as a clinical psychologist.
Transitioning your child from their crib to bed isn’t difficult, especially for kids who’re excited about sleeping in a bed. But, you should follow the above factors to ensure that you create a comfortable and safe environment for them.