Around 3 years old, your toddler will transition out of their crib and into a toddler bed. Learn 4 tips that will make this toddler transition easier for you and them!
How your child takes to their new toddler bed largely depends on their age and temperament. Ideally, we want them to make this transition as close to age 3 or older as possible, but some children begin climbing out of their cribs and posing a risk to their safety or a new baby is arriving soon and they will need the crib, so upgrading to a toddler bed is the best option for some families!
If your child is ready to ditch the crib, let’s talk about 4 tips that can help them through this transition and ways we can make it fun for them!
Tip #1 – Talk about it prior to the toddler bed transition
Start a conversation about the new change coming! Let your child know they will have a new big kid bed soon and answer any questions they may have about it, evening letting them pick out the bed themselves.
Tip #2 – Encourage their independence
Plan a day to take your toddler out to pick out a new comforter and sheets for their new bed. Maybe even a few bedtime books, nightlight, or an okay to awake clock if you feel like your toddler will struggle with staying in their bed (this is great to start introducing around 2-2.5 years old).
Tip #3 – Create a reward system
Some toddlers need incentive to achieve their goals, so I recommend introducing a reward system of some type, especially if you know your toddler is reward-driven! It can help to start with small goals at first, so if your toddler woke up only 2 times instead of 5 times, go ahead and reward them for their small, but amazing progress. I will share a few of my favorite reward system ideas!
- A sticker chart – easy and simple! Put a sticker on their chart each morning they slept well through the night.
- A snack/toy bin – another easy and simple idea. Fill the bin with small snacks and/or toys. Let them choose one item from the bin each morning they slept well through the night.
- Other options: Extra amount of tablet/tv time, gets to choose the location of the next family outing, etc. Get creative!
Tip #4 – Start with Naps.
If your toddler prefers to go slow when making big changes, start by having them take their nap in the new toddler bed and return to the crib for night sleep until they are comfortable sleeping in the new bed and then you can begin having all sleep happen in the new bed!
While our babies might have outgrown the crib, they are still very curious and learning! Now they are in their own bed with free range of the whole room, we need to be treating the whole room as if it is a giant crib! Secure furniture to the wall, cover outlets, window shades and strings should be out of reach, etc.
Need help with the toddler bed transition? Book a 15-minute consultation to discuss how we can help you navigate this big change!
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