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Going from the Crib to Toddler Bed

24 May 2011 15 Comments

by Ben Wakeling

Young children go through many milestones and as they grow up one of the biggest ones is recognizing when they are ready to move from a crib to a bed.

There will inevitably come a point when your child will grow too big for his crib, and you have to make the transition to a bed. You’ll be able to tell when this is by simply observing your little one when he or she is in the cot. If he’s unable to stretch out, so big he fills the mattress and cannot move, or is telling you in a low voice that he’s 15 years old now and could really do with a bed, then it’s time to dismantle the cot and start the arduous trek around Ikea.

I’m kidding, obviously. But there are a few pointers to look out for to give you an idea as to whether or not it’s time to make the change. If your little one is able to climb the sides of the cot, or is bashing limbs whilst asleep and waking himself up, it’s time to move to a bed. There’s no set age by which your son or daughter must be in a bed – it’s different for everyone – so don’t worry if you haven’t made the switch whilst every other parent you know has.

Moving from a crib to a bed can be a big deal for the child involved, and so it is important that you time it right. Make sure you avoid making the switch when your child is unwell or going through a period of change, such as when a new brother or sister arrives on the scene. Instead, get them as heavily involved as possible: choosing bedsheets, for example, no matter how garish or cheesy they might be. It is also a good idea to position your child’s new bed in the same spot that his cot used to be, to make the transition all the more smooth.

A suggestion that takes a bit more time and organization is to throw a ‘big kid’s bed’ party, where your son or daughter’s friends and family come over to get collectively excited about the new bed. What you’ll often find, though, is that your kid is so excited about having a new bed that everyone who enters your house will immediately be dragged upstairs to ‘ooh’ and ‘aah’ over the new arrival, complete with Spiderman bedsheets – therefore, no need for all the hassle of a party!

Before you know it, your child will be feeling like a ‘big boy/girl’, and will love the feeling of maturity that having a bed brings. Plus, you get to look forward to being woken up in the middle of the night by the crumpling thud of a child falling out of bed.

As well as being a big deal for your child, the transition from a crib to a bed is a big deal for you, too. It’s a sure sign that your child is growing up fast, and a reminder that you should treasure every moment, especially considering the grumpy acne-ridden teenage years will soon be upon you.

How will you help your baby make the move? One person who leaves a comment will win a BornFree Formula Dispenser!






The winner is Katie with the email address kpha*****@gmail.com. Katie, please email moms@newbornfree.com with your shipping info. Thanks for entering, everyone!


  • kirsten connor said:

    We haven’t transitioned to toddler bed yet at home, but my mom has redone a room in her house all for my baby girl who is 18 mos complete with toddler bed, nightstand, bookshelves and dresser, all with the princess and the frog theme. She LOVES her toddler bed at grandmas!! It’s so adorable, and baby girl feels so ‘grown up’ with her own bed!!!We had no problems with her transitoning at grandmas (she would normally sleep in her pack n play, which is now put up and stored away for the next baby). She sleeps through the night (has done so since 3 mos old). When she gets up from naptime there or int he morning, she says to us ‘Im a big girl!’ <3

  • Joyce Purcell said:

    We are on the cusp of a “big boy” bed. I have no idea how we are going to tackle the issue of transitioning or what kind of bed we are actually going to transition to (toddler bed vs. twin bed with rails) for that matter. All I know is that my nights toddler free are slowly dwindling. I can imagine now my precious little bundle of joy in my face at 3AM opening my eyes with his curious little fingers screaming “MAMA! MAMA! MAMA!” Hopefully we can transition smoothly and we aren’t stuck with an 18 year old in a crib!

  • Sunnie said:

    My 2 year old transitioned on his own for the most part…
    One week after he turned two i had put him down for a nap,(in his crib) and about 30 mins later he came walking out of his room into the living room, Im still not sure how he climbed out, but he did, so we made his crib into the toddler bed and he has been sleeping in it since. only thing we have had to do was put up a gate at his door so that he cant go walking threw the house at night. he still doesnt sleep threw the night. i hope that will come soon!

  • Stephanie Perry said:

    i want to move my daughter to a toddler bed but she still fights sleep every night and she just turned two. I am afraid she’ll bang on the door to let her out and when we go up to see how she’s doing later she’ll be asleep in the closet..hehe

  • Stephanie Barrett said:

    We have a long time until we transition our son to a toddler bed. Most people I know with kids moved them to a toddler bed once they turned 1 so I assumed that’s when you did it. But from reading this and the replies I now know there is no set time when you make the move.

  • Kimberly said:

    We are getting ready for the big transition. My 22-month-old climbed out of the crib last night, so as soon as my hubby gets home from a business trip we are converting it to a toddler bed. I’m hoping it will go smoothly because it will still look a lot like his crib. I’m praying he will keep himself busy in his room in the mornings instead of coming to wake us up too early!

  • Christina said:

    I started with my now 10 yr old daughter by having her take naps in the twin bed in her room. Then she picked out her ‘big girl’ bedding and no problems sleeping in it after that.

  • arely colin said:

    my daughter loves her bed, every time i put her in her bed she fall asleep

  • maggi said:

    Hmm Little man is 13 months old..I’m waiting for signs from him. He still rarely sleeps through the night so I’m thinking it’ll be a while. But his crib is a 3 in 1 so hopefully it’ll be pretty easy to do..I don’t want my little guy to grow up!

  • Katie said:

    With our oldest, we transitioned her around age 2, and to get her excited about it, we took her shopping with us. As it turned out, the bed we had decided to get for her, was out of stock. We ended up going back 3 times and by the time we actually bought the bed, she was really excited for it. Her daddy let her “help” put it together and I took her shopping for sheets. She picked Toy Story which is her favorite movie. She slept in her bed without any issues at all. She’s over 3 now and still loves to sleep in her bed. I’m actually a little worried about how she’ll transition from her toddler bed to a twin. She really loves this bed!

  • Kristin said:

    We also haven’t hit this point with our little boy. I love the ideas other mothers have posted. I definitely think we’ll try to get him engaged with the process and excited for the big night. The big kid bed party is a neat idea – I love the idea of making milestones special. Any day can be a special day. As long as it doesn’t end up winding him up too much before bedtime… :)

  • Elizabeth K said:

    We had baby #2 coming when #1 was almost two years old. We decided to move him about 2 months before baby came so we would have time to work out any kinks.

  • Melissa daudelin said:

    Forget the toddler bed and go straight for the twin or full size with safety side rails.

  • louisvuittonuk said:

    Great article. I can

  • Elin Consigli said:

    Twin beds are great because it takes less space compared to regular double decker beds. I always use them in our apartment. :,”;:

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