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Our children will undergo many transitions throughout their entire developing lives. Whether it’s crawling to walking or mumbling to talking, these stages of growth are what make them more capable of caring for themselves as they age. But one transition is particularly difficult for many children to make, and it can be the first key step toward your child’s blooming independence—the move to the toddler bed. Since the bed can be a very jarring environment for a child who has always slept in a crib, it’s crucial that you know how to successfully acclimate them to this change.
Here are a few tips for transitioning your child into a toddler bed and ensuring they’re comfortable there.
Time the Move Carefully
The early toddler stage is a hectic time for a child. Between potty training, weaning, and starting preschool, there’s so much already occupying their minds. As such, broaching the subject of switching their beds can be the final straw that causes them to become overwhelmed. Because of this, it’s best to wait for them to get a handle on these things before you push another thing onto their plate. They’ll be ready for this step sometime between 15 months and 3 years of age, so you’ll have some time to think about this process.
Use a Convertible Crib
Once you do decide they’re ready for the switch, the easiest way to make this transition comfortable is to keep the same mattress they’ve always used. Convertible crib models are a key reason to choose cribs over bassinets for your infant’s sleeping needs, as doing so provides you with both a crib and a future bed. Since your child is already used to the support that their crib provides, they’ll receive the same level of comfort after switching over to the bed. This will make the new environment feel less foreign and put them at ease—helping them to fall asleep much quicker. It’s also important to note that, even if you don’t purchase this crib until later, they still offer ease of transitioning back and forth, effectively accommodating your child’s comfort level.
Keep Your Bedtime Routine the Same
Keeping bedtime similar to how it was before is another essential tip for transitioning your child into a toddler bed. Though their sleeping space is changing, children take some solace in the fact that everything else is staying the same. It’s these consistencies that allow them to feel more secure in their environment and more confident as a result. So when going through the transition process, it’s vital that you keep the nighttime routine on the same schedule.
Patience Is Key
Most importantly, you need to stay patient and understanding throughout the process. Moving over to a toddler bed can be just as challenging of time for your child as it is for you, so if they see you getting upset with them, it’ll only make the transition harder. It’s a fact that your child will get out of bed in the middle of the night and possibly refuse to stay in a setting they no longer recognize. However, if you keep your cool and tell them that this is where they need to sleep now, they’ll eventually understand.