Preparing your child for the transition from crib to bed is a scary milestone for many parents and a challenge I am working on with my own child at the moment with this very transition.
I am a very big believer in waiting to transition your toddler until they are 2.5- 3 years. Many people start the transition prior to this for many reasons, including welcoming a new child or having a climber. If you are welcoming a new child I highly recommend if you can just get a second crib. Maintaining a safe place to put your older child can be invaluable for the first months after welcoming your new baby. If you have an early climber (like mine) establish a firm rule of “no climbing” to keep this at bay. If this is happening at night this can also be addressed with a silent return. If they continue than for everyones peace of mind making an early transition might be needed.
My youngest “A” is 2.7 months old now. She is mature enough to understand sleep rules. She is an excellent sleeper and clearly ready to proceed to a bed. “A” is toilet trained, is a skilled crib climber and uses the ends like a ladder.
To prepare her for the transition to a bed have started to introduce a ready to wake clock while she is still in her crib. In addition we will be moving many of her toys and books out of her room. This is two fold. First is to reduce the number of distractions in her room and second to ensure her room is safe for her to roam around in without our watchful eye.t is also recommended to secure closet doors and ensure all furniture is secured to the walls.
Start an open dialogue with your family about sleep rules. Have a family meeting to talk about sleep. What are your family rules. “Stay in your bed until Mom and Dad get you.” “You can always get up to use the washroom” “Allow others to sleep.” Explain why sleep is important to everyone. By 2.5 years a child should be able to understand these types of basic rules.
Start to create excitement for your child in growing up. Let them help you by picking out new big kid bedding, help with decor or even a special new lovey to keep them company. Talk about how this is another step in becoming a big kid. Her new bed is close to the ground so I don’t have to worry about huge falls. Alternatively place your mattress on the floor to allow time for your child to become more comfortable with sleeping in a bed not a crib.
As parents you need to be ready for a few rocky days during the transition. Come up with a written approach of how you will deal with night waking, bedtime pop-ups and the early wakings. All of these are normal occurrences. Your child has a new level of freedom and will your limits. Maintain a clear and consistent approach to all these challenges to allow you to quickly deal with any problems. You know I am always here if you need any additional support.
As I enter this new stage of parenting I am preparing. No Cribs and No Diapers. Wow how did this happen so fast!!!!! I admit to feeling apprehensive but am systematically getting ready as she is ready. Wish me luck as I wish you luck. If you need any additional support during this transition or any other please feel free to reach out. I'm happy to help