When is a child ready for a toddler bed?

(April 19, 2010)

No two toddlers have the same time set for switching from the crib to a toddler bed. Some babies are ready for it at the age of 18 months, while some babies take up to three and a half years to graduate to the toddler bed from a crib. Even though three years is just about the right time to make the baby sleep in a toddler bed, you may need to make the transition earlier or a little later depending on your toddler's readiness. It would be best not to rush into making a switch thereby scaring the toddler. You can begin with paying attention to some signs that the baby will exhibit when he is ready to sleep in a toddler bed. If the baby gets too fussy about sleeping in the crib or gets too active to be confined, you can consider moving him out of the crib. He will probably violently shake the railings of the crib or try to climb them and jump out. But, do not try to switch if he jumps out of the crib just once. A better idea would be lowering the mattress so that he cannot climb the railing and jump out. Many babies try to jump out a bit early on and it may not be safe to let them sneak out of the bed in the night. If the toddler is through with his potty training and has started going to preschool, he may be ready to sleep in the bed as he is growing up. Just in case he isn't, you can make the transition easier for him by keeping the bed in the same place as his crib. Using the same bedsheets and cushions will also help. If you are too worried about the baby getting out of the bed at night, you can put a guardrail around it just to be sure.  

If the baby is still unprepared, you can encourage him by telling him that he is a big boy now; but do not pressure him unnecessarily. If you force the toddler, he may have a tough time adjusting and falling asleep and may also wander out of the bed again and again at night. If you let it be the baby's decision to choose his own toddler bed, bedsheets and cushions, he will sleep on it more readily. If nothing works, just give him a little more time and introduce the bed to him subtly.

Submitted by P T on April 19, 2010 at 06:12

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