I‘ve seen this asked time and time again in online mama groups. “When should I move my toddler into a big kid bed?” Or, “I’m having a baby in “x”, should I get another crib or transition the older sibling now?” The vast majority of responses are to go ahead and buy a second crib and to wait on the transition. I, however, am the ‘crazy’ mama that advocates for the transition. The truth is, I’ve transitioned both of my children into ‘big kid beds’ at the age of 13 months. Usually when I tell people that they smile, but behind the smile, I can see them thinking, “She has lost it.“. However, it has worked SO WELL for us, and here are three reasons why the early transition really isn’t that big of a deal:
- There Is Very Little Pushback.
Of course there are exceptions to the rule, but generally speaking, the willpower of your child gets stronger as they get older. At least, that is for sure the case with my two. Therefore, I like to make this transition when my children are just past the baby stage but haven’t quite met up with the terrible two’s just yet. 🙂
- It’s Safer.
I have seen desperate posts from mamas pleading for ways to keep their adventurous toddlers in their cribs. Suggestions included, but were not limited to:
- Turning the crib around so the low end faced the wall.
- Lowering the mattress to the ground.
- Putting them in a sleep sack.
- Putting the said sleep sack on backwards so they can’t reach the zipper.
While I know that the above suggestions are given out of kindness, I can’t help but be concerned about potential safety issues. Provided the room is babyproofed accordingly, I feel a lot more comfortable about my child having free-range in there than the thought of them potentially falling out of a crib as they try to make their escape
- They Don’t Realise They Can Get Out
Maybe it’s just my kids, but at 13 months, they had no clue they could even get out of there bed. I understand every child is different, but I’ve actually heard this from several mamas who’ve also done the early big bed transition.
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Isn’t she stinkin’ CUTE?! 😍Most people think I’m crazy when I say we transitioned Jack to a ‘big kid bed’ at 13 months but it worked so well that we’ve decided to do the same with Annie. So far so good. She fell asleep just like normal with her favourite soft toy tucked under her arm. 😴❤️❤️❤️ At what age did you move your kids out of their crib?
So, are you convinced yet? Because now I’m gonna tell you how to go about making the big change.
Get Your Supplies
It doesn’t matter if you decide to go with a toddler bed or a twin, but for obvious reasons, you’ll want to have it at hand so you can get it all set up. The other two items that are must-haves for the transition are a bed rail and/or a pool noodle. If you feel your child isn’t prone to rolling off, then a pool noodle under the sheet will act as a great barrier. However, if you’d like a little more security, then bedrails are great.
This is vital. Should your child get out of their bed, then you want to make sure they’re not going to get into anything hazardous. Anchor furniture to the walls, cover outlets, make sure that curtain/blind cords are well out of reach, and if they can reach the doorknob, then I highly recommend putting a lock on the door. Some people are concerned that in an emergency their child would be locked in, but in truth, having them locked in is safer, as you’ll know exactly where to find them.
Do Bedtime First
Yes, the stakes are higher because your sleep is on the line, but remember that your child will likely be more tired and fall into a deeper sleep than they would at nap time. We’ve done the first sleep in the big bed at night time for both kids. Both times it went without a hitch.
Just DO It!
I know it’s daunting and new and scary, but trust me, it isn’t a bad as you think. Give your kid (and yourself) a little credit. You’ll be surprised at how well they do.
And that’s how to transition your kid into a big bed. While at first, they may not realise they can get out of bed, you will likely find that one day they will, and in that case, check this post out that I wrote about how to keep your toddler in bed.
I hope you’ve found this helpful. Share with me what age you switched your kiddo into a big kid bed.
Until next time!