We decided to transition our daughter out of her crib into a toddler bed well before she turned two. It was my husband’s idea, and man, did I fight it hard. I kept pushing it off, but eventually my husband took matters into his own hands. He picked out and ordered a toddler bed all on his own—and within the week we were tackling the transition. It seemed that most of my fears were unfounded, however. In hopes that your experience can be as (relatively) painless as ours, I’m sharing some simple do’s and don’ts for making the big transition to a toddler bed easier—for both you and your little one.
DO make the transition before your little monkey is climbing out of his or her crib. This was the driving factor in our decision to make the change early.
DO place your child’s new bed in the exact same position and orientation as their crib. Our daughter’s crib looked great centered on the wall, but her new bed looked odd in the same place. We dealt with it looking a little weird until she was used to sleeping in the toddler bed. Once she was comfortable, we moved it to a different spot.
DO keep the same stuffed animals, blankets, and routines. Even if you want some new bedding to go along with that snazzy new bed, hold off until your child is familiar with the new sleeping arrangement. Same goes with the routine. Don’t drastically alter any nighttime steps until after your little one gets used to sleeping in the new bed.
DON’T forget to place pillows or blankets along the floor surrounding the bed for the first few nights that your child sleeps in the new bed. I, of course, didn’t think about doing this until after my kiddo tumbled out of the bed on her first night. Don’t be like me.
DON’T forget to take the lightbulbs out of their overhead lighting fixture, or get a childproof light switch cover—because they will figure out that they can turn on their light. And they will do it—at 2AM.
DON’T let them play with toys in their bed during the day. We tried to make it clear that the bed was for sleeping and not playing.
Most importantly, DON’T get discouraged if it takes them a few nights to settle into their new bed! It’s a big change for both of you, and it can really take some getting used to!