by Sarah on 4. January 2012 in
We are now several days into 2012, and amidst closing the door on 2011 and starting new resolutions, transitions are already in full effect!
Around our house, the biggest transition in store for 2012 is getting ready for baby #2! Not only are we clearing space and shuffling furniture about, we also have the task of preparing a toddler to become a big brother! With this transition, which has admittedly caused a few teary days for this mama, comes a major graduation for big brother as he moves from crib to “big boy bed.” While this may seem like an exciting milestone… I find myself dragging my swollen feet to take the plunge! Not only are my sentimental tendencies kicking in full force, I can’t help but fear that his currently perfect sleeping habits aren’t compatible with a real bed.
I knew I surely wasn’t the only mom out there unsure about rocking the toddler boat with this transition, and thankfully I’ve found many great articles on the issue written for moms with my exact worries. With this being my first time at the bed transitioning rodeo, I looked to the experts to help me out on the issue.
Some Helpful Information:
:: There is no set time for when to make the switch from crib to bed. Every child is different, and unlike potty training or starting solids, moving to a big-kid bed doesn’t involve an obvious checklist of signs telling you they’re ready. Typically, toddlers make the switch sometime between 2 and 3 ½, either because a sibling is on the way, they are too big for their crib, or they are climbing out of their crib excessively.
:: Some children adjust readily to a toddler or regular bed. Others may struggle. Some toddlers just aren’t ready for the switch. Keep in mind that it takes a certain amount of cognitive development for a child to understand a bed has imaginary boundaries to stay within. If your child is never sleeping, and is getting out of bed constantly, it may not be their time for the switch.
:: Take the transition slowly. Start introducing your child to the concept of beds for several weeks before they ever try out their own bed. Get your toddler excited by letting them help you set up their bed and having others over to see it. Celebrate the novelty of a real bed!
:: Ease the transition by putting their bed in the same place their crib used to be. Wait to make an immediate switch to grown up sheets and blankets. Remember that there is nothing wrong with using their old crib blankets and trying to create a similar atmosphere to their crib.
:: Dismantle your child’s crib or store it in a room out of sight during the transition. Out of sight, out of mind can be a powerful help in this process. If your child knows that they can just go right back to their crib, their efforts to stay in a new bed may not be as successful.
:: Transitioning to a bed is just one of the many changes in a toddler’s life. Try not to pile too many changes on at once. If possible, wait to potty train until sleeping in a real bed has been mastered.
:: Maintain your child’s bedtime routine. If you haven’t already established one, getting into good bedtime habits is recommended before ever trying to make the switch. Following a predictable bedtime routine will help your toddler feel grounded, and will help them prepare for sleep instead of play once they have their newfound freedom outside of a crib.
:: If your child is making the jump to a bed because of the impending arrival of a new baby, try to make the switch 6-8 weeks before your due date. Give your toddler time to settle in to their new bed before baby takes over “his” crib. If you plan to have your newborn in a bassinet, this can buy you a couple of months before making the switch. A new baby is a sensitive time for the older child. Try to avoid making them feel displaced.
:: Safety is an important factor when making the switch to a bed. Many parents put their child’s mattress directly on the floor at first to ease any falls. Guard rails are also a good way to prevent your toddler from falling out of bed, and also create a similar feeling to a crib during this transition period.
:: Patience is an important virtue in teaching your child the ground rules of sleeping in a bed. Don’t give up right away if your child is having a hard time. Give it a few days. If your child is frequently getting out of bed, take their hand and walk them back to bed. Prepare yourself to repeat this process several times, and to be firm with your child about staying in bed.
:: Remember that your child’s move from crib to bed is a milestone in YOUR life, too. It is a sign of your baby growing up. Take time to prepare yourself for the switch. When you feel like your toddler is ready for the switch, pick a date and mark it on your calendar so that you have time to prepare emotionally as well as with all of the necessary tools to make it a successful transition!
Good luck to any parents out there that are with me in the midst of this transition!! The date has been set at our house… and our fingers are crossed!
PRIMO Adjustable Bed Guard Rail
Regalo Hide Away Bed Rail
Summer Infant Sure and Secure Double Bedrail
Munchkin Safety Toddler Bed Rail
Articles on Transitioning from Crib to Bed
Baby Center: How and When Should I Move My Toddler From a Crib to a Bed?
Parents.com: Transitioning Toddlers from Crib to Bed
One Tough Job: The Crib to Bed Transition
What to Expect: Making the Move to a Toddler Bed
Did you know that you can make the transition from crib to bed and still maintain your Oilo style?
See Oilo Twin/Queen Duvet Covers here.