Monday, March 22, 2010

Transitioning from Crib to Bed - Part 1

There are many milestones our little ones experience in their lives, and especially in their first few years. One of these is the transition from the crib to a big kid bed – toddler or twin-sized.

My two-year-old still sleeps in a crib.

For a while I was somewhat embarrassed to share this information thinking that she should easily be in a toddler or twin bed by now, especially as many other children her age have done so. Also, I felt it was a reflection of me as a parent that this milestone had not yet been achieved. Then, trying to give myself a break, I also realized that with us living in an apartment and a somewhat smaller space than a house, we had to use our space more creatively and; therefore, use some of Sarah's room for current furniture such as a futon couch for guest visits and over sized chair which she LOVES to read on, and an armoire for all her clothes due to our limited closet space.

We have made our space efficient and safe for our growing toddler. However, I have even heard and read about kid’s rooms that have even had very little furniture but still the possibility of injury is high due to curious minds and their active bodies.

Like many amazing developmental milestones our children will experience in their lives, some talk sooner, others faster and many transition from crib to bed sometimes before the age of two.

I say, unless a child is ready to be in a big kid bed and has the ability to stay there, they may still need the constraints of a crib to keep them safe and stable for a little while longer especially if they are not complaining about it.

My daughter would likely love to be in a big girl bed that she can get in an out of independently but right now since she is comfortable in her crib, not complaining of coming out of it, has not tried to climb out, and is also a monkey who loves to climb all over everything else, I have more peace of mind with her staying put in her crib and not rushing her to the next stage of sleeping arrangements if not absolutely necessary.

My recommendation regarding timing on bed transition is that safety is the most important concern. If your child is climbing out of their crib and falling on the floor, clearly there is a need for a change. If your child is comfortable, happy and sleeping well in a crib, I say the movement to a bigger kid bed can wait just a little bit longer.

We have a toddler bed all ready for when this transition happens and have been looking for the right opportunity to make the switch when we all feel it is right. Assess your living accommodations and even consider hiring a child safety expert to come to your home to confirm that your environment is safe. Also, consider the disposition of your child before determining whether to move them sooner rather than later from the crib to a toddler or twin bed.

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