Most toddlers can physically climb out of their crib by the time they’re 35 inches tall, although some adventurous toddlers master crib escape sooner. Dr. Mark Widome, professor of pediatrics in Hershey, Pa., encourages parents to transition climbing toddlers out of their crib and into a toddler bed for safety reasons. You’ll also want to move your growing child out of the crib when his body grows too long for the crib or when you need the crib for a new baby. No matter why you need to make the transition, remember these six tips that help your toddler adjust to the move.
Let your toddler wipe off the crib mattress before storing it or prepping it for the new baby. He can also assist you in assembling his new bed. As he helps participate in the transition, he gains a sense of accomplishment. Those feelings encourage your child to embrace his new big-boy bed.
2. New Sheets for His New Bed
Choosing a mattress is an important step of this process. If you choose to do a twin bed, your child will likely be sleeping on it for years to come, so it needs to be able to stand the test of time. After examining Macy’s mattress selection, buy a comfortable one and let your child choose new bed linens. You can easily find a selection of character toddler bed sheets for under $20 at your local department, baby or consignment store. In addition to new sheets, a light-up or musical stuffed animal provides comfort as your child adjusts to a new sleeping environment.
3. Follow a Relaxing Bedtime Routine
That first night in his toddler bed sets the stage for future nights, so ensure its success by placing the toddler bed in the same spot where the crib used to be.That’s where your child was conditioned to sleep. Then, follow a relaxing bedtime routine as outlined by the whattoexpect.com.
- Give him a filling snack
- Provide a warm bath
- Read a quiet story
4. Prevent Falls
Active sleepers do face the risk of falling out of a toddler bed when first adjusting. Arrange pillows on the floor or install an adjustable bed rail to promote safety and prevent deadly injuries.
5. Block the Bedroom Door
You don’t want your active toddler roaming around the house if he wakes up, so keep him safe when by blocking the bedroom door. Never lock the door, though, because you must be able to access the room in case of an emergency. Instead, close the door to comply with ready.gov fire safety guidelines and place a baby gate on the outside or a door knob protector on the inside of the door so that your child doesn’t go missing in the middle of the night.
6. Stick With It
Despite all the preparations you make, your toddler may resist sleeping in his new bed. Make it a habit to sit near your child’s bed or check on him every few minutes until he falls asleep.
Moving into a toddler bed is a big deal for your little guy. Every child is different, however, and yours might take to his new bed right away or he may need a bit of encouragement to embrace the change. Take his personality and these six tips into account as you make the transition from crib to toddler bed.