child safety

Toddler Bed Transition Tips


While there is no set age for toddler bed transition, most do so between ages two and three. There's no developmental milestone that requires making the move; the primary reason to do so is for safety concerns. Once your child begins using the mattress as a trampoline and can give Houdini a run for his money in the escape category, its time.

There are a variety of strategies you can use to ease the transition for your toddler:

  • Don't rush it-if your toddler isn't ready to make the bed transition and can remain safely in his crib, let him.
  • Consider using a toddler bed, which uses the same size mattress as a crib, but looks more like a real bed. Many come in appealing kid friendly themes, like race cars or princess castles.
  • Place the new bed in the same location in the room as where the crib had been.
  • Continue using familiar comfort items like blankets.
  • If purchasing a new bed or bedding, allow your toddler to help pick it out.
  • Make the room soothing for your child: use nightlights, allow him to listen to soft music or sleep with a favorite stuffed animal.
  • Stick as closely to his normal bedtime routine as possible.
Inevitably, your child will take full advantage of his new found freedom. It may take a while to establish a new bed time routine that concludes with your child actually staying in bed. Even then, expect late night awakenings that result in some wandering.

To ensure he is safe during these nocturnal explorations, you should consider the following toddler bed transition tips:

  • Review the baby-proofing equipment you've already installed in the room and add more if necessary. Anchor book shelves and dressers, install locks on dresser drawers and closet doors and make sure all electrical, curtain or window blind cords are safely out of reach.
  • Do a quick sweep up of the room each night and pick up any loose toys or items that could be stepped on or tripped on in the middle of the night.
  • Use a child bed side safety rail to prevent your little one from falling out of bed.
  • If your child tends to awake and wander, it's a good idea to install a child safety gate in the doorway of the bedroom, or blocking any stairways to which he has access.
Whether your child is initially excited, afraid or apprehensive about moving from crib to big kid bed, he will eventually adjust. Use the toddler bed transition tips above to make the transition as smooth as possible for both of you.


More Child Bed Safety Resources:

Crib Safety Guidelines-A crib is a fun and practical part of any nursery, but choosing the right crib and following some crib safety guidelines can be tricky. This article guides new parents through the process of selecting and setting up a safe, functional sleeping environment for their child.

Reduce the Risk of SIDS / Tips and Guidelines

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