Recently I wrote a blog about transitioning toddlers from the crib to a big kid bed, and emphasized that my daughter Sarah was still sleeping in her crib.
When I wrote this post I was likely closer than I thought to the transition, which is what possibly prompted me to write about it then. Therefore, this should come as no surprise that this past weekend Daniel and I put the toddler bed together to see if Sarah would even be interested. And, interested she was. The great thing is that Sarah is familiar with the mattress from her crib as it's used on the toddler bed too so the transition was somewhat less of a change for her than it was for us. I also chose to add some extra safety precautions (a.k.a – booby traps) considering this new change, just in case.
First, I put pillows on the floor around the side of the bed should she accidentally fall out.
The good thing with a toddler bed is that it really is close to the floor. For parents who choose to transition to the twin bed right away that's fine too but know the distance between bed and floor is much further away. And, if you happen to live in a smaller space like an apartment or a house with a small bedroom then the toddler bed is also a good first option as it doesn’t take up nearly as much room.
Second, I put up a pressure gate outside Sarah’s bedroom door. This was more so because I didn't want to chance her roaming through the apartment at night even though it's also baby-proofed with gates and such. I just wasn’t sure what to expect and didn't feel comfortable with Sarah being out and about our home while we were asleep.
The good news is Sarah stayed asleep all night her first and second nights in her new bed. Yeah!!!!
Now, for the booby traps, or obstacle course, which ever you want to call it, that I added in case Sarah woke during the night and wanted to navigate, play and push past the pressure gate outside her door. These included putting up the pressure gate outside the kitchen area with Sarah’s push car in front (as I would easily hear her moving that it if she tried) and adding her heavy-weight stroller folded up and placed by the front door
I know these measures might seem extreme but with them I felt comfortable enough to sleep through the night as well not worrying about Sarah potentially exploring unsupervised.
Can you tell I am a first time parent?
I do recommend that when it's time for your child to make the transition from crib to their new big kid bed do it over a weekend, a long weekend or a staycation in case there are night wakings or you don't sleep restfully if the transition is not immediately smooth.
At first, when we decided to make this change I wondered if maybe I was rushing Sarah into it as she did stay put in her crib and was not asking to get a new bed. But, I was lucky and hope I am not speaking (writing) too soon.
This weekend in her new bed worked out well. She loved it. She’s so proud of herself too. I have also heard from parents say that other great ways to help make the transition easy include taking your children to help them pick out new bedding, or buying new toy or stuffed animal to ease the new change.
Just remember, age is not a sole indicator as to whether your little tyke will be ready to move out of their crib to a big kid bed. Consider the variables I mentioned in my previous blog post to know when the crib to bed transition is right for your child, and for you. Also know, it is important to keep your child's bedtime routine the same during this time and not consider making the bed change if there are major occurences happening in their lives that might cause stress.
Good luck with your toddler's bed transition.