From Crib to Bed: Making the Transition Easier

kid in bedMost parents move their child from crib to bed between ages 18 months and three years old. However, there is no standard rule regarding the right time to put your child in a bed.

When to move from crib to bed?

Switching your child from crib to bed must be done properly. Many parents move their child to a bed when they have outgrown the crib. However, the arrival of another child is the most common reason for making the move. If you are having another child, then make the switch at least two months before your due date. This allows your child to get familiar and comfortable in his new bed. Another option is to switch your toddler from crib to bed when your new baby is at least three months old. Prior to this time, your new baby may sleep in a Moses basket or co-sleeper. This allows the older child to get used to seeing the baby, making the transition faster and easier for him into his own bed.

If your child tries to jump out of his crib, this might be a good time to switch him to a bed. Using a bed minimizes the chances of your child hurting himself and allows more movement during sleep at night. You may want to look at getting a safety bed rail to avoid any accidental rolling out of bed.

Another good indicator that its time to move to a bed is when you are potty training your child. Your child requires the freedom to get to the toilet when needed. Hence, moving him to a bed is best during this time.

How do kids react to the transition?

Every child reacts differently to the transition from crib to bed. Some negatively, some positively.
In most cases, firstborn children are most likely to resist the transition while second or subsequent children have an older sibling to look up to and might think of a crib as a place for “babies” to sleep in. You might have an easier time with later-born children.

First borns may feel “forced” out of their crib for a new baby. If this happens during toilet training or starting daycare the pressure to “grow up” might be protested.

Tips when switching from crib to bed

When you are ready to switch your child from crib to bed, it is helpful to put the bed in the same place as the crib was located. Also, let the child use his old crib blankets in his new bed, even if they’re too small. Your child may find it soothing to see the same things in the same spot as his bed was.

Throw a “Big Bed” party for your child. Let your child accompany you to shop so that he can pick out his new bed. On the day of switch, throw a party and invite friends or family to attend it. Having a party will excite your child to get into his new bed and make the transition a lot smoother.

Above all else, realize that growing up is the goal that every child has. Make it a positive thing by acknowledging when they do “grown up” actions or milestones such as crawling, walking, running, talking, reading, etc. As much as you might like to have your little baby forever, it’s all part of growing them towards being a successful and happy adult. Moving into a bed from a cradle is just one of many changes in your child’s life.

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