Are you thinking about moving your child from a crib to a toddler bed?  Think again.  We all, of course, have made the transfer at one point or another, but there is a right time and there is a wrong time to make the switch.  Transferring your child before she is ready typically results in the one thing we want to avoid: sleep disturbances.  When making this decision carefully think about the following before making the switch:

  • I need the crib for the new baby.  Many parents move their child out of the crib in order to prepare for a new baby.  However, moving your child out of the crib before she is ready often results in disrupting your child’s sleep patterns.  Suddenly your two year old has the freedom to travel (often times at undesirable times of the night).  When the new baby arrives you will already be sleep deprived; it’s no time for your toddler to add her own “input” at 2am.  Consider temporarily using a bassinet for the new baby or borrowing a crib from a friend.
  • My child is too old for a crib.  Parents often mistake bedtime battles for their children hating the crib and being too old for it and think a cool new toddler bed will fix the problem.  Sometimes it does, but often it is a temporary fix.  Within a few days or a few weeks, the thrill of the new bedroom wears off and parents witness more bedtime battles and night wakings that were absent before.  Children are not cognitively ready to understand “stay in your bed all night long” until they are at least two and a half.
  • My child tries to climb out of the crib.  When a child is large and nimble enough to climb out of the crib, it typically is time to make the transfer to a bed due to a potential safety issue. Having said this, before making the transfer, make sure the crib mattress is lowered to the lowest setting and remove anything like pillows or bumpers that might be used as a launching pad.  Also consider dressing your child in a sleep sack which makes hiking a leg over the rail of the crib difficult.  Think: it’s hard to climb over a fence while wear a skirt.

When the time does arrive to make the switch, involve your child, make it exciting and most importantly, have fun with it.  Bellini has many fun options, but I also love the practical nature of a converting your crib to a bed.  Consider Bellini’s conversion kit http://www.bellini.com/conversion-kit.html.

Little Girl Bed

For more sleep tips, please visit www.sleepytimesolutions.com or contact Cate directly.

Photo Credit: www.letthekids.com

 

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About Cate Mckee

Cate McKee is a certified pediatric sleep coach and owner of Sleepy Time Solutions, LLC. Entire families suffer when young children have problems falling asleep and staying asleep. As a certified pediatric Gentle Sleep Coach®, Cate's goal is to coach parents on how to teach their children (up through age 6) to fall asleep and stay asleep throughout the night.
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