Parents are the best source for knowing if their toddler can handle the transition from a baby bed to a toddler bed, but if you have any question, we have five things you should know before you decide if it is time to move from crib to toddler bed.
Is my child ready for a toddler bed?
Here’s what you need to know to make that decision.
1. Many toddler beds take the same floor space as a crib, so there may be no change there, but toddler bed rails are much lower than crib rails and are there to simply help stop a toddler from rolling out of bed. Toddler rails are also sometimes only on the upper part of the bed. Can your child handle the toddler rails, or might the rails be problematic?
If the older-child-sized bed rails might be of concern, wait on the transition to a toddler sized bed, or have both crib and toddler bed out for a while, and use the bigger bed just for reading or napping until your toddler is ready to move on.
Of course, sometimes parents opt for a bed made for a toddler simply because their child is big enough to climb over the crib rails anyway, and lower beds and fewer rails are a good thing at that point anyway, they feel.
2. Many toddler beds use the very same-sized mattress as a baby crib. If your toddler can use the very same mattress used in his or her baby crib for their new toddler bed, that will make an easier transition for your child.
3. Toddler bed furniture is built for toddlers, and that includes a toddler’s short legs. Therefore, a toddler bed height will be built closer to the ground than most baby cribs. That knowledge should provide a bit of comfort.
At the same time, toddlers will sometimes jump in and out of their beds (and ON their beds sometimes too). Make sure your toddler bed is put together well and strong enough to handle those kinds of moves.
Even if your toddler is ready to transition to a toddler bed, it won’t be a good experience if you find your toddler’s bed collapsed on the floor and your child laying there in tears, wondering why their bed “made them fall down”.
4. Does your toddler show an interest in beds other than their own crib? If so, this might be a clue that you are at least close to your child being able to transition from crib to toddler bed. If not, keep an eye out for when your child does seem emotionally ready.
If your toddler seems to have some concern for moving into another bed, sometimes it is good to wait. Sometimes though, it works to ask your toddler to just “give it a try”, and then tell them they can go back to their crib then if they really want to.
You can easily see many toddler bed readiness signs by watching how your child responds to the new bed!
If your child isn’t quite ready yet, but you can make the case to him or her to at least see how it feels and give it a try, make sure you use his or her favorite baby crib bedding, bed sheets, pillows, bed toys, and so forth with their new bed so it will not be completely new to them.
The opposite sometimes helps as well, depending on your son or daughter’s personality. New toddler bedding sets, fun toddler furniture, or a new toddler sleeping bag with matching pajamas can be just the thing to prompt some other-wise cautious boys and girls.
Putting the big boy or big girl bed where the baby bed HAD been can help too.
Be prepared to get the crib back out for just a while longer if needed, although your toddler will probably be happy to move on once they realize their new bed really isn’t that scary after all.
5. Do you want to move your toddler to a toddler bed just to free up your baby crib for a newborn baby? If that is why you are considering moving your child from crib to toddler bed, that is not the best reason to move your child.
If you have a baby coming and need the crib but do not whole-heartedly feel your toddler is ready to move on, consider other options such as using a bassinet, borrowing a crib for your newborn until your toddler is ready, or looking for a a good buy on a used crib so your toddler can stay in his bed until he or she is ready to move on.
Getting used to a new baby brother or sister is enough work for a toddler without adding the burden of moving to a new toddler bed before ready to do so.
Determining your child’s readiness for a toddler bed isn’t that hard if you watch your child’s reactions and respect their concerns as well as abilities. With a healthy combination of understanding and encouragement, you’re little boy or little girl will have a great foundation for stepping out as they can and growing up as they always do.
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