Is Your Child Ready for their Big Kid Bed?
Figuring out exactly when to transition your toddler from their cot or from mummy and daddy's bed to their own big kid bed is one of those parental dilemmas that is often wrought with doubt. We turned to paediatric sleep consultant Melissa Brown of Sleep Shop for some answers and recommendations on how to move kids from cot to their own beds.
How do you know when it's time to move your toddler into their big kid bed?
You know it is time to move when your little one is climbing in and out of the crib by themselves, as it is unsafe for them to be doing so! You want to make sure they are either deterred from climbing or move them to a big kid bed. I also encourage parents to move their kids around 3.5-4 years old if they are ready.
What are the downfalls of moving your little one into their own bed too early or too late?
There are a lot! I see babies too young being moved and sleep deprivation ensues. The baby/toddler doesn’t stay in bed, won’t take a nap, roams the house at night, starts getting up VERY early in the morning. You want to make sure they can understand a wake clock so they know when to stay in their bed and when it is OK to get out. If they don’t they will get out at all times of the night once they realise their new found freedom. And honestly I don’t really see any downfalls from moving them too late- I mean when they don’t fit in the cot anymore it is probably time!
And what if there's a second baby on the way? Is that still a good time to transition your child into their big kid bed?
There is so much change going on when a new baby is on the way. People often move the toddler too soon and they do not adjust well to the new bed, new environment and new sibling. Try and keep things as consistent as possible and when it is time to move them help them be a part of the transition- let them pick out bedding and allow them to make the choice to be in a big girl/boy bed! They will love to feel a part of the process!
What about for co-sleeping parents? How is the best way to move your toddler into their own bed?
I would talk about it with them and then gradually build up to them sleeping by themselves. Maybe lay with them or sleep with them a little bit in their bed a couple nights. You can try a transitional item or something in the room that makes them feel safe and secure, like a night light. I would be very open with them and talk about the process. Remember, if a child has been sleeping with mum and dad all night for a couple years, it is a huge change and you want to be gentle and communicative through the process.
Parents love the Grand DockATot to help ease the cot to bed transition. The Grand size can be used for kids up to five years of age!