As your baby grows into a toddler, many transitions are awaiting. Many of them are gleefully accepted by your baby. However, sometimes you might have to help them get used to it.
One of these changes in lifestyle is your baby’s sleeping style. Switching from a crib to a toddler bed is an important milestone. This article will let you make this switch as smooth as possible.
Changing a sleeping place for a baby is not a natural transition. According to child experts, there is no hard-and-fast age. Parents should make the switch before their baby climbs out of the crib and hurt himself.
Toddlers who become 35 inches tall or 18 to 24 months are able to hop over. Obviously, some agile ones attempt this stunt sooner. Opposingly, less adventurous toddlers do not climb out even after 2-year age.
Ideally, around 3 years is the time almost all toddlers require the switch. But if you feel your toddler is not comfortable in the crib anymore. Do not wait it is time to say good-bye to the crib.
Finding a toddler bed:
If you think it is time to switch. The most important part of this transition is to choose a toddler bed. A toddler bed is not something out of this world. It depends upon your budget or likings what you want for your toddler.
Whether you buy a simple twin bed or mini version of a twin bed. A bed that looks like a race car or a princess castle. It is your choice. However, while you buy a bed, following factors should be kept in mind:
Low to the ground: If you select a toddler bed that is low to the ground. It does not only reduce the danger of injury if your toddler falls over. But also allows him to get in and out with a will.
Robust: Jumping, rolling, wiggling, and bouncing is what this bed is going to undergo. So, make sure it is resilient enough to withstand this treatment.
Simple design: Your toddler’s bed should have the simplest finishes. It must be without ornamentations or cutouts. Check that all edges are round and there are no splinters.
Side rails: Some toddlers like to roll while sleeping. Therefore, toddler beds should have permanent or detachable side rails. You can use them according to your urge.
Proper mattress: It is ideal to buy a mattress and bed together. If not so, due to any reason. The mattress should properly fit the bed to avoid future tension.
After buying a proper bed for your toddler. The next step is to find a proper place to set it up. Some precautions are necessary while setting up the sleeping space. The first step is to find the right spot.
A right spot means no windows nearby. Heaters, draperies, blind cords, and lamps are all away from the bed. Place some cushions or soft rug around the bed to reduce the risk of falling over.
Another important factor is to leave ample space on both sides or use side rails. So that your toddler does not get trapped between the wall and bed. Last but not least is to regularly check the screws and joints.
Tips to ease the transition:
Making the switch to a bed will not be easy. You will have to manage for your toddler. Here are some very helpful tips.
- The time it right- Your toddler’s life is already full of changes and transitions. These changes are not easy to manage for you also. Switch to a big bed will surely be overwhelming. Wait before this switch to keep it smooth.
- Make it interesting- Find some books related to it. Share it with your child and point out characters. Let your baby realize that he should be brave and move on like the characters.
- A convertible crib is better- Consider a crib that transforms into a toddler bed with minor changes. It is best, as the change will appear to be less drastic. Transformable cribs are available if you want.
- Let your child set it up himself- To help your child feel excited, let him chose some sheets and cards. Let him personalize his bed to encourage him. If you are deciding, keep your little one’s liking in front.
- Childproof your house- Check the childproofing of your home regularly. Secure the stairs and bolt bookshelves. Doors with locks are helpful but keep in mind fire safety. You can use alarms or bells on doors to notify.
- Double-check on windows and doors of stores, especially if any hazardous material is kept in stores or any room. Consider locking doors and windows that lead out of the house.
- The bedtime routine should be regular- Try to continue sleeping routines you practiced before. If not working. Establish a new routine that might be listening to a story. Reinforce a routine and stick to it.
- Make sure your child realizes that bedtime means to sleep. Drinking water and other excuses should be eradicated with time. You are mixing up the routine while switching will crank your child and mess up your proceedings too.
- Present it as a joyful task- Most kids will not miss the freedom to roam. To resist, you can reward them every time they follow the routine. A full week of punctuality should be rewarded with a weekend outing or party.
- You can develop a sense of accomplishment in your toddler. Help him feel that following the bedtime routine is a win situation.
Keep patience- After following the above-mentioned steps. You should keep patience. Your child will constantly pop out of his bed. Do not rush him, silently return him back to bed.
Repeat it as many times as required. Some parents use gates at bedroom doors. If your child has proven that he can climb, gates will not prove to be any greater obstacle.
Keep it boring and try to impose it as smoothly as you can. At times keep it calm and sometimes funny to balance the atmosphere.
What to do if the early switch is necessary?
One factor that may enforce an early switch is another sibling. One way is to get another crib. However, if you do not want to buy a new one or any other reason, you can make an early transition for your baby.
This early transition is not easy at all. You have to create the circumstances. Along the way, you have to make sure your toddler does not feel displaced. Take extra care because a new sibling is a major change.
According to Dr. Widome, “If a new sibling is expected, begin the transition few (1 to 2) months before the new baby arrives. Let your baby sleep other than the crib. You can do this as one day in the crib and the next day away. Increase the gap as your baby sleeps comfortably”.
This will make your child realize that crib is neutral territory. A sense that only crib is not sleeping spot will be built. On the way, your toddler will get situated in his new bed.
Some child experts also suggest dismantling the crib, if possible. Keep it in a store or somewhere it is out of sight. You can also make the crib unsleepable by filling it with toys and stuff like that.
The point is to shift your baby’s attention from crib to toddler bed. It should be done without any sense of urgency or displacement. If possible, buy a new one to ease the tension.
Switching from crib to a toddler bed does not require any particular age. What it requires is some patience from you and proper methodology. As discussed earlier, you can bring this transition yourself also.
Rarely it requires to switch early. Do not worry; your baby or the circumstances will let you know when to say good-bye to the crib.
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