No More Cribs!
It happened last summer, so seamlessly that I forgot to blog about it. But lately I have had a few clients struggling with the transition from a crib to a bed and was reminded that this can be a big challenge for some families.
Why is this such a big transition?
Toddlers are not built in with a great sense of self-control and don’t necessarily appreciate consequences very well. This is why we want to keep them confined to their cribs for as long as possible. We recommend trying to keep your kids in their cribs until closer to 3 years old. While your child is in a crib they have a built in sense of security which helps them to wind down to sleep. In the crib they also do not have as much space and freedom. Kids in cribs can’t get into their drawers, play with their toys and/or open the door and explore the rest of the house at 3am. Taking your child out of the crib opens up all of these possibilities.
Is your child ready?
- Is my child able to follow directions?
- Is my child already a good sleeper?
- Is my child going to be safe in their room?
If your little one is climbing out of the crib but you do not think he or she is quite ready for the freedom that comes along with a bed see “No More Monkey’s Jumping Out of The Crib”
What can you do to prepare your one for the transition to a big bed?
Don’t just take the crib away, take some time to prepare your child for the idea of moving into a bed. This preparation is key to ensuring they understand what is happening and why it is happening. Talk about sleep rules and what it means to have a “big bed”
Don’t move them until you have noticed they are starting to understand rules. Be firm with the rules – tell them the rules that go along with this new bed and follow through with enforcing them.
Consider using a toddler bed. Big beds can be intimidating. children naturally like to feel cozy and secure. A toddler bed is the same size as a crib and therefore familiar. If you have to move into a bigger bed do your best to ensure it doesn’t feel so big. Place body pillows around your child and use bedrails to help them feel safe and secure.
Remove anything unnecessary from the room and then child proof the room to the best of your abilities. Anchor all furniture and ensure there are no toys or anything to entice your little one out of bed. If your child tries to escape from the room you will have to figure out a system to safely keep your child in the room, such as a gate at the door. I always recommend closing the door at bedtime as well. It helps keep the room dark and blocks out noise from the rest of the house.
Consider a toddler clock – Check here for information on how to introduce a toddler clock to your child.
Finally, be consistent with your bedtime routine and rules. Here are some ideas on setting up your bedtime routine.
Some kids take really well to this change while others have a bit harder time. Be prepared to be a bit more involved in your child’s bedtime routine for the first 2 weeks after the transition has happened to ensure your child really understands all the new rules that come along with the big bed.