Posted by TinyTotties on March 21 2009
Most parents ask themselves this question sooner or later. I know I did. Unlike other milestones such as “when should I introduce solid food,” there really is no set time for when you should move your child to a toddler bed. However, most children make the transition sometime between the ages of 1½ and 3.
credit: Jessica Merz
The best strategy: watch your child and determine if she’s ready to make the transition. For my husband and me, it was easy enough to identify the right time with both our kids. We transitioned our firstborn to a toddler bed a couple of months before her sister arrived. She was almost two years old, and the transition went smoothly. Experts suggest to make this transition at least 2 months before the new baby arrives, to allow the toddler plenty of time to adjust to the new bed and prevent feelings of jealousy over the baby taking over “her” crib.
With our second child, we thought there was no rush since we knew she would be our last child, but she had plans of her own. She started climbing out of the crib when she was just 1½! She would climb to the top of the rails, look down, then simply let her little body slide to the (thankfully carpeted) floor. Lowering the crib mattress to the very lowest position bought us a couple of months, but eventually we gave up and moved her to a toddler bed.
Although there are no set rules, once your toddler is around 3, you should definitely consider making the transition, since at that age he could be too big for a crib. In addition, if he’s potty trained, a crib will make it harder for him to use the bathroom at night.
Once you decide to go ahead, you may be in for a fight. This depends, of course, on your child’s personality. It also depends on whether she is your firstborn. While younger siblings often look forward to being just like their older siblings and moving to a “big-kid bed,” firstborns tend to become attached to their crib, especially if they sense that they are being pushed out of it in order to accommodate a new baby.
To help your child adjust to his new bed, try to make the new bed look as much as possible like your child’s old crib. It’s a good idea to place the new bed in the same spot his crib used to be. Making a big deal out of his “being a big boy” that is moving to a “big boy bed” might help, but with some kids it could actually backfire because they don’t want to be big – they desperately want to hold on to being your baby.
A small toddler bed might seem friendlier than a “big” twin bed. It’s also helpful to purchase bedding sets that are as similar as possible to his old crib bedding sets.
Purchasing Sweet Jojo Designs bedding sets will make your life easy because the company offers crib bedding sets, toddler bedding sets, and children’s bedding sets (available in twin and queen sizes) – many of them in the same designs.
The Pink Zebra Bedding Set for girls is my favorite example, because in addition to being simply gorgeous, it is identical to the pink zebra crib bedding set, which can make the transition so much easier on your little girl.
Purchasing twin or queen designs that are similar to your crib bedding sets also mean you can use the same accessories you already have, such as a lamp or a hamper.
Another beautiful style for little girls is the Pink & Chocolate Mod Dots Bedding Set. For just $89.99, you get a comforter, a fitted sheet, a flat sheet, a pillow sham, and a pillowcase. The style is very clean and ultra-modern, yet has a wonderful appeal for little girls.
For your little boy who is ready to move to a big-kid bed, try the All Star Bedding Set. It’s a fun, clean design, and again, if your child used the same design in his crib, the transition would be so much easier on him. Another great design for little boys is the Wild West Bedding Set. This design is especially fun, because it features exclusive western-themed prints such as a cowboy, a red bandanna, horseshoes and sheriff stars.
No matter what bedding you choose, just remember to be patient with your little one. It’s a big change in their world, and before you know it you’ll be wishing you could go back to the days when they were small enough to sleep in a crib.
TinyTotties is an on-line baby store where parents, friends, and relatives of tiny tots can purchase high-quality, unique baby items, such as crib bedding and room accessories, at a great price.