Big-kid Bed: When is Your Toddler Ready?

Clues your toddler may be ready to move to a big-kid bed

Sleeping in a big-kid bed
Sleeping in a big-kid bed
 

Whether your toddler has been sleeping in a crib or sharing a bed with you, at some point he’ll to move into a regular bed. But how do you know when it’s time to make the move? Here are some clues that your toddler may be ready for the transition into a big-kid bed

Has the crib become dangerous?

If your toddler can climb out of the crib, it’s probably time to put that crib away and get a closer-to-the-floor bed for safety’s sake.

Are you expecting another baby?

If you’re planning to put the new baby in the crib or in your bed, it’s probably better to shift your toddler to his own sleeping space during the pregnancy. That way he’s less likely to feel he’s been displaced by the new baby.

Is your toddler generally sleeping through the night, most nights?

If you are sharing your bed with a toddler who wakes frequently and needs to be nursed or soothed back to sleep, putting him in a separate bed may mean getting up several times a night (or being woken as he tries to climb into your bed). If he’s in a crib, and waking up but putting himself back to sleep, he may start getting out of bed and coming to you for comfort in the night once he can. It doesn’t mean you can’t move a night-waking toddler to a big kid bed, but be prepared for midnight visitations.

Other changes are happening

Are there other changes going on – such as a change in daycare providers – that are already adding a little stress to your toddler’s life? If so, it may be better to wait until things settle down.

She asks for a big-kid bed

Has your toddler shown interest in having her own space? Is she a little jealous of her cousin’s fancy princess bed? You might want to capitalize on that.

Sharing a room with a sibling

Do you have an older child willing to share a bed or at least a room with your toddler? That often makes the transition much easier.

Even with all the signs pointing to “big kid bed time” don’t be surprised if your toddler takes some time to make the change. Many toddlers have been all excited about getting a new bed and picking out Dora bedding, only to beg to get back into bed with Mom and Dad or have the crib set up again when night-time falls. It may help if you lie down with your child in his bed (or sit beside the bed) as he falls asleep for at least a while. A mattress on the floor of your room can also be a step towards sleeping in his own bed away from you.

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