Transitioning into the Big Kid Bed

When is it time to transition your toddler from the crib to the big kid bed?  It varies from child to child.  Parents with more than one child will tell you it was different for both/all of their children. Some children are climbing out of the crib at a year old.  Some are content to sleep in the crib until 4 or 5.  So how do you know when your child is ready?

Climbing out is a sure-fire sign that your child is ready for the next step.  Our cribs all convert to toddler beds in one of two ways.  Remove one side gate.  Your crib will then be set up like a little daybed.

If your child is crawling out of the crib, take off one gate as soon as possible to prevent a possible accident.  If you are worried about your child wandering around the house all night, set up a baby gate at the door or shut the door at night.

If you sense that your child is close to crawling out of the crib, order a toddler gate if you did not when you ordered the crib.  This keeps your child from rolling out at night but still makes it easy for your child to get in and out by him- or herself.

Your child can sleep in the toddler bed as long as he or she is still comfortable and still fits.  Nevertheless, most parents begin looking for the big kid bed once this stage has been reached.

When deciding between twin, full and queen for your child’s next bed, consider a few things:

  • do you have space for a bed bigger than a twin?
  • is play space in the bedroom important?  If you have a play area in another part of the house, you may not need as much play space in your child’s sleeping space.
  • will your child share a room with another sibling?
  • will your child’s room need to function as a guest room at times?

If space is limited but extra sleeping space is desired, consider a trundle, like Cupcake Mag did in their Small Spaces Re-vamp recently featured on Project Nursery.  For a little one still getting used to the big bed, the trundle could be pulled out to provide a cushion if she rolls out.  Or she could start out on the trundle and progress to the regular bed.

For multiple children sharing a space, a bunk bed can be a fantastic option.  Just remember, as we mentioned in our post last December, a child should be at least 6 years old before sleeping in a top bunk.  Our bunks can be split into a pair of twins until your child is old enough to sleep safely on a top bunk.

If space allows, don’t be afraid to do a full or queen bed for a toddler.  A full or queen gives a small child plenty of space to roll around.  There’s space for mom and dad to lay in bed for storytime.  A guard rail can be ordered if desired.  There’s also room to grow.  A full or queen bed will last until your child is ready to leave your nest.

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