Crib to Bed Transition

Any clues on how/when to transition kids from their crib to a toddler bed? Ben (21 months) climbed out of his crib the other day. I'm hoping that the fall scared him enough not to do it again, but I'm starting to think toddler bed now especially since his little brother will be wanting the crib in the next few months anyway. Also, have you ever used a crib tent? What do you think of those?

Timing is hard to answer. Because the answer is - when both your child and you are ready. Just because he's ready, doesn't mean you are.

So, if he's climbing out of a crib - he's really getting close. But, if you aren't ready, then you can always lower the bar so that its simply safer to get out on his own. As for the crib tent - I have no idea!! It sounds like a great fix to prolong crib time and keep your little one safer - but I have no first hand knowledge - I don't even know who to ask. Sorry, I'm letting you down.

You have to be ready too, because transitioning takes a lot of effort.

So, first start talking about it. Start pointing out friends that sleep in beds. Talk about your bed and how much you love your bed. And after a week of "prepping" conversations - ask if he wants one.

Then I would start with a trip to buy sheets (of course you need to decide if twin or toddler bed is what you want ahead of time and I don't really have an opinion). You want your child to be so excited about the transition. And if you aren't really keen about Transformer sheets then get a Transformer pillow case at least. You want them to feel like they have made the decision - not that it is thrust upon them.

Now, you probably know if your child is good at change or struggles with it - how does he do when you leave him with a babysitter? or at nursery? If he isn't great at it, then you will really have to ease him into the new bed. You will have to camp out on the floor the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th night (but let him try the first night - who knows it could be great!)

The hardest thing about a real bed is the freedom. The freedom to get up and walk around. The freedom to come and get you. So, just be prepared for two weeks of pushing the limits. He'll test you. And I would suggest...that every time he gets up - you immediately take him right back in. No words, not really warm, just the action. It may take 15 times. But, if you stick with it, he'll learn. But, try whatever system for a good two weeks before giving in!

What am I forgetting?

Painting: detail of Starry Night over the Rhone by Vincent van Gogh

1 comment:

Eva's Mom said...

When my daughter needs comfort at night, I drag my down comforter into her room and wrap us both up in the rocking chair. She started calling it the "mama blanket" and would ask for it at bedtime, when we were reading stories.

When the time came to transition to a big girl bed, I bought her a "mama blanket" just like mine. We talked about it and used it at story time. Once we got the twin bed, "mama blanket" stayed on my bed until bed-time. Then, she could get it and take it with her to bed.