Moving your baby from their cot to a big bed is an exciting yet daunting time. How do you know when the time is right? What do you need to consider before making the move?
Usually between the ages of 18 months to 3 years old is the time most parents decide to make the move from the cot to a big bed. The move could be for several different reasons:
- Another sibling is on its way and the cot is needed for the new baby.
- Your child is climbing out of their cot so it becomes a safety issue.
- You think your child will sleep better in a big bed.
- Your child has started toilet training and you want them to have access to the toilet.
- You want your child out of your bed and into their own bed
Whatever the reason, make the transition easier for everyone using some of these handy hints.
Toddler Bed or Single Bed?
There is no right or wrong here. It is personal preference. Both beds come with pros and cons so it is up to you to work out what will suit your situation and child best. Bunk beds are not recommended for children younger than 9 years of age.
- Smaller in size than a regular bed give the child a feeling of security
- Fits most cot mattresses
- Lower to the ground to prevent falls
- Makes the transition from a cot to a bed a little easier
- Means you will eventually need to purchase another bed once they outgrow the toddler bed
- Larger bed than the cot
- Higher off the ground so a safety rail is recommended to help prevent falls
- Will need to purchase a single size mattress
- Saves you money and time going straight to the single bed without the toddler bed in between.
Prepare Your Child
To make the move as painless as possible it is best to prepare your child as much as possible.
- Talk to them about moving up to a bed. Tell them about how exciting it will be!
- Read books about moving to a bed. Some good titles include:
- "My Big Boy Bed" by Karen Langdon
- "My Big Boy Bed: A Pirate Pete Book" by Amanda Li
- "My Big Girl Bed: A Princess Polly Book" by Amanda Li
- "Big Enough for a Bed: Sesame Street"
- Decide together when the big move will take place.
- Get them involved in the move. They can help build their new bed and choose their new bedding.
- If your child is a wary of the new bed then just start out with day time naps so they can get used to it.
Making the Move
- Now your child is no longer contained to their cot it is essential you check that the surroundings are safe for your child. Check for potential hazards in particular dangling cords, electrical appliances, poisons, furniture is secure etc
- Ensure stairs and windows are not accessible.
- If your child is still wearing a sleeping bag to bed it may be best to wean them off this or invest in a sleeping bag that has legs. This will prevent your child from tripping over.
- If they sleep with a particular toy or comforter allow them to continue to do so.
- If another sibling is on its way it is best to make the move at least 8 weeks prior or 8 weeks after the birth. This will help prevent your child blaming the new baby for taking their cot away.
- If you don't already have one consider installing a night light in their room.
The Big Day!
So the big day of the move has arrived. It can be an exciting yet daunting time especially for the parents! This is a huge milestone not only for your child but for you too. It is a sign that your little baby is growing up! Celebrate the move with something special such as a family day out or a small present.
Remember it can sometimes take weeks for your child to get used to the change. You may even find that all goes well at first and then 6 weeks later your child has a sleep regression. This is all normal. Don't get angry at your child if they don't sleep as well as you would hope. You don't want your child to associate their bed to a punishment of some sort.
Enjoy this new chapter in your child's life. It won't be long before you will be struggling to get them out of bed as a teenager!
Good night everyone xx