What rules apply when it comes to transitioning to toddler bed at 18 months? Keep reading to find out.
Getting ready to kick the little versions of you out of their crib into a new sleeping environment?
Before you do this, I would recommend you hold your horses because this is definitely a big move, I mean from baby’s crib to big kid bed or toddler bed, that is definitely a big move!
You, therefore, need a firm understanding of how and when to do the transitioning — from the crib to the toddler bed. Watch this video to learn more.
To make the transition smooth, ensure that your baby is well-prepared and there’s some sort of a change in their routine.
Also, make sure they’re healthy, happy, and well-rested for if they are not well-rested neither will your rest.
Transitioning from the crib to the toddler bed is a big milestone in any child’s life — especially at 18 months!
It is an indication of growing up and a time for excitement or it can be a time for a scary and a hard change for kids.
As a parent, it may feel overwhelming trying to determine when it is the right time to move your baby into a big kid bed.
Transitioning from crib to bed should be an exciting time for parents and kids alike.
Using these tips will hopefully help make your transition that much easier, but always remember to listen to your gut and your child’s specific needs to make sure you are transitioning at the right time.
When to transition to toddler bed and the right way to do it
Well, this is one of those milestones that are sort of varied; the period is not fixed as it varies from one baby to another.
18 to 24 months seems right about the perfect time to send your toddler out on to their kid bed as most parents choose to make the switch at this particular time.
Research also says that the perfect period when your little one should be bursting out of the crib is 18 months to 2.5 years as well as 3 years to 3.5 years old and thereabout.
Most kids have their transition into toddler bed around 18 months to 3 years of age yet there’s no age per se as to when this should happen as there are many factors that influence it as it may definitely not be the time to do it if your little one is attached to the crib.
According to Mark Widome, MD, “the one overriding concern is safety, as general rule parents should move the baby from the crib to the bed before they can climb up their crib on their own and possibly hurt themselves.”
That said, do not rush into switching into the toddler bed, wait until the time is right.
If your little one breaks free from the crib by climbing over it for the first time, this isn’t the go sign it may be a fluke as most babies do despite this being a concern.
However, if your baby does climb up the crib and gets free or if this happens frequently or repeatedly then it may be time you do the switch!
Listening to your kiddo is also one way of knowing that it’s time to do the transition especially when they start to complain that they are big and would want a bigger bed.
Make it a special and exciting event
As discussed earlier, moving the kid from the crib to the toddler bed is a kind of a special milestone we as parents need to make it special.
Have a heart conversation with your kids and confess how you feel about the transition
Tell them how excited you are and tell them how proud you are of them on how grown up they are that they can sleep on their own bed.
Tell them how cozy the bed is going be as compared to their previous crib to make them shun away from the thought of getting back to their crib.
However, if the kiddo is enthusiastic about the whole transition funk, involve them in the activities make them develop a sense of belonging and responsibility of the shifting into a new toddler bed.
You can involve them in activities such as putting the new bed together, selecting the beddings probably with their favorite animation characters or maybe Marvel Superheroes, cartoon character and helping you pick out some special toddler room supplies.
Do not remove any of the sentimental aspects that your kid finds comforting
I know exactly what’s going on in your mind! You want to redesign the toddler room and bring in new stuff, right?
Well no, you should reconsider that as keeping the room as much the same as it was this contributes to the kid transitioning smoothly into the toddler Just Keep the room layout the same as much as possible.
Do not shift the toddler bed from where the crib was, the same applies to dressers and toy boxes.
Put the bed where the crib is
This will give them a sense of consistency and familiarity in as much as the bed may change, that is from the crib to the new bed, and the view from the bed should remain the same.
Starting with the mattress on the floor during sleep
If you are worried about your kid falling off from the new bed while sleeping, you can start by practicing on sleeping on the floor during naps.
This will help you monitor how they are doing as you will be awake and this will help your kid get a feel of the new bedding space.
Establish a bed time routine
This should come earlier as a means of introducing the kid into the new kid bed maybe a few months before the transitioning.
These routines should be established and adhered to make the kids get used to the routine.
The routines may include let’s say taking a bath, brushing the teeth, no play 30 minutes before sleeping — taking vitamins, putting on pajamas, singing a song, watching TV for an hour then going to sleep, reading a bedtime storybook, and lights out.
Good morning world
Establishing a routine will help the kids stay in the new kid bed and going to sleep on their own and sleeping easily.
Make sure that you stick to your regular bed time routine as it does not only reinforce the sleep habits but also helps your child feel the same security as before in their crib.
Check your emotions
Be careful when to not lose it, basically keep your cool especially when the transition doesn’t turn out as expected when your kid leaves their room multiple times.
Try not to lose your mind!
It is a transition; it will therefore not happen overnight so just have patience.
Make sure you baby proof — do not forget
As much as you may have practiced by making the kid take naps on the floor mattress before shifting to a bigger kid bed, the kid may fall out of the bed at some point along the way.
To help minimize such occurrences because you may not like a scenario whereby you are awoken from sleep by a loud scream accompanied by an ear-splitting scream, add some bed rails which you can order and get them delivered to your place on Amazon hat can really serve the purpose though they are quite pricey.
Your little one will have the freedom to explore every nook and cranny of his room.
So if outlets were not covered and blind cords were not tied up before may be now it’s time to do that!
Safety is paramount during this transitioning time from the crib to the toddler bed.
As discussed before, most parents do the transition to the toddler bed due to the fears, worries and safety concerns from the child crawling out of the crib and maybe falling off.
Parents should, therefore, be prepared for new safety challenges, for instance, the use of bed rails, in the beginning, to help protect from the falls.
Alternatively, you can put a pool noodle under the sheet on the edges of the bed you may tape them to get them reinforced in place but for the most part, I found that they stay in place on their own without being taped down.
The pool needle under the bed creates a bumper that prevents the kids from rolling off the bed. In fact, they are far cheaper than bed rails.
Celebrate the milestone
Just take it one day at a time. When your kid learns how to sleep in a big kid bed, it is a big deal, so celebrate it.
You deserve to sit back enjoy the moment and be proud of yourselves and your little one.
Don’t be afraid to start over
If you give the big kid bed a shot and it’s just not doing well, do not be afraid to put your child back in the crib for a few weeks and try again later.
Keep in mind that it is highly likely that the first few nights with the new toddler bed that your little one will try or may try to test his new boundaries.
Parents need to be prepared to repeat the bedtime routine a few more times just to get them used to the new lifestyle and new horizons to pursue. Just be consistent
Bed transition challenges and their remedies
If your kid regularly stays out of bed or gets out of bed regularly making them stay up late, you can keep on getting her back to bed and being consistent.
And getting her back to bed whenever she walks out of bed to give them an impression of how important it is for them to stay in bed.
Alternatively, you can use a sticker chat for rewards for staying in bed, get out of their room as soon the same time ensure your kid isn’t sick or needs to use the bathroom.
All this will help the kids learn that playtime is over and that its bedtime.
Safety issues to be considered when making the transition to a toddler bed
- Installing alarms and systems to monitor your kid in case you are worried they may leave the room at night and go outside.
- Keep the bed away from drapes, heat registers, wall, and floor lamps.
- Place soft rugs and pillows next to the bed in the case of unprecedented falls.
- Check for any loose screws and bolts or hardware on the bed.
- Keep any dangerous items out of reach of children in case they do get up out of bed at night.
- Bolt book shelves and dressers to the wall.
Perfect bed for your kid to transition to
A convertible crib. Choose a crib that can be converted into a toddler bed as well as a full bed.
Knowing when and how to transition a baby from the crib to the toddler bed is very important especially to both the parents and the smaller version of them like sleep, sleep is very important.
A small mistake in the transition might affect the baby’s sleep and yours too.
Perhaps, you’re moving the baby too early before they are ready — so parents need to be patient in the transitioning of their babies into their kid beds.
Inasmuch as we are quick to send our kids into their own beds, yeah, we as parents are excited to see our kids grow — but this is really one of those times when parents to stay put for a bit longer.
For instance, if you’re not ready to have a kid who will come from their bedroom whenever they please — then I may advise you hold off for a bit.