There is a lot of information out there about how and when and why to transfer your child to a toddler or twin bed. But did you know that your child could be ready to make the change as early as 1.5 years old?! So, what tips do you need to know to make things go smoothly?
1. Change them over when they're ready! Don't wait too long or change too early.
You will know when your child is ready to move over to a big kid bed. If they are on the younger end (closer to 1.5) it may be due to safety issues like them climbing beginning to climb out of their crib. If they are older it may be that they are physically asking for a bed all of their own! Whatever the reason, you will know. And you need to be just as comfortable with it as they are. You know your child and their physical abilities best, so make the best decision for them and your family!
2. Get some fun, new bedding that they'll be excited about.
If you're child is older than this is always a good idea! Moving to a new "big kid" bed with no side railings can be somewhat scary, so making it an exciting new "adventure" is always a plus. Even my daughter at 1.5 loved going to the store with me and picking from a few options that I gave her for pillows, etc. Her (and my, thank goodness!) personal favorites were the Petit Pehr Character Pillows. She may or may not have a slight obsession with animals ;)
3. Get the right sized pillow for their age. (They may need a really flat pillow, or no pillow at all!)
The truth is no matter how old your child is, they actually don't need a pillow! But, to have a hard guideline, it is recommended to not give any child under 2 a pillow, and even then to give them one that is small and firm like an airline or backpacking pillow. Anything larger or made from feathers could run the risk of suffocation or kickstarting some allergies.
4. Let them help you take down the crib and explain what you are doing.
Although little kids may not be able to say a lot of words, they sure understand a lot of what you are saying! Make sure that you are prepping your child for the change before you do it. Let them "help" you take the crib down or move it to another room. Then, let them "help" you set up their new bed & make it. Let them play around and goof off so that it's a fun thing and not a scary thing. It will make the first night so much easier!
5. Keep the bedtime routine the same.
This is a BIGGIE. If you have a set bedtime routine (brushing teeth, reading
five books, tucking them in) then heaven help you DO. NOT. CHANGE. IT. Keeping the bedtime routine is so important for signaling to your child that this is the new place to sleep. So, keep it the same for as long as humanly possible.
6. Don't go with a toddler bed just because you "have to." You can get a twin bed if it fits in your budget!
There is no guideline for having
to purchase a toddler bed specifically. As long as you can get a railing for a twin bed you are good to go. So, don't pigeon hole yourself into purchasing a toddler bed only to purchase a twin bed in the next few years. Go with what you are most comfortable with and what your budget will allow.
7. If they're feeling a little lost in this new bed with no walls, try out a DockAtot to help them with the barrier.
Sometimes children can feel a little lost in their big, new bed. They are so used to having those barriers around them that they suddenly feel very exposed. If that is the case, you can always try out a DockAtot Grand
or something similar. The DockAtot has short barriers around it that will help your child feel less exposed. Make note though that it is not recommended to place pillows or stuffed animals all around them, as this may run the risk of suffocation if one covers their face. DockAtot Grand
Well there you have it, my lovelies! Trust me, don't be as scared of this transition. It's really a bigger deal for you than it is for your kiddos and there is no reason to be nervous! Just go for it when you feel the time is right :) Happy dreaming!