I want out! That is the message you will receive from your toddler and there might be many ways he will tell this to you when he is ready to wave a good bye to the crib and say hello to the big-kid bed. This might be indicated when your child shows a verbal displeasure or more likely he would start climbing out of the crib.
So, What is the next step now?
First, you should resist your own desire to move him too early. Most experts recommend doing so at the age of 3. You should not take this step unless your child starts climbing out of the crib or needs more space than given in a crib. His body is growing at a notable rate- it’s better to keep him in the crib which allows him to feel safe.
By doing this, your child will feel comfortable taking giant developmental leaps during the day but still come back to the security of his old crib at night.
Moreover, until the age of 3, toddlers are very impulsive. It will be very difficult for your child to understand and to be able to follow the directions or rules like staying in bed all night and it will make sleeping in a bed a real challenge for him. If you transition to a bed before the child reaches the age 3, plan on waking up to a little visitor next to your bed every morning you wake up.
So, there are few steps to follow to shift the transition of your child from crib to bed. These are:
1 Create a strongbox environment:
A proper attention should be paid to the safety of your child’s room as well as the adjacent areas that he may be able to visit in the middle of the night. All the windows should be secured, the stairs and any step stools that can fall or are dangerous to the child’s safety. Installing a safety gate to your child’s door can also be done adding up to his safety. You can even install a small light to direct him in the night so that he can orient himself and avoid hurting himself in the night.
2 Choose a suitable mattress:
Visit a mattress store or any other store that sells the mattress and let your child help you choose the mattress of the bed. All the key safety features should be kept in the mind like it should be a twin size mattress and box spring. Also, there should be safety rails on the sides. It should be height adjustable so that you can keep it low to the floor until your child gets used to the bed. Choose fun sheets and nice vibrant pillow covers that adds up to the liveliness of your child.
3 Remove/dismantle the crib:
Once you are done purchasing the new bed and it comes home, ask your child to help you dismantle the crib. This way, he will feel himself as part of the transition process and he will be able to say a bye to the crib.
4 Setting up the new bed:
Important thing thing to keep in mind while putting the new bed in the room is to put the bed in the corner of the room so that two of its sides remain safe as the back part and one side would be stuck to the wall when kept in a corner. Add up the rails to the exposed side of the bed. This way your child will feel safe as he used to feel in the crib.
5 Explain your child the bedtime rules:
If your child is verbal or he has not slept before in the bed, try to talk and explain to him the rules of bedtime. Tell him that he is a big boy now and he needs to understand when to go to sleep and only wake up with the sun nice and bright outside.
6 Make an extra bedtime routine for your child:
During the initial days, when your child just starts sleeping in his new bed, take an extra 10 minutes of reading time together to make him feel comfortable in his new environment. By doing this, you will make your child feel safe. If your child shows excitement about the new bed from the very start, you’re one of those lucky people who has done a good job and made this transition look easy.