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When to Switch to a Toddler Bed

How to move to a big kid bed without losing any sleep

by: Elizabeth Pantley

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M

oving your baby from a crib to big kid bed can be an exciting time for your child. Whether you decide to move your child to a toddler bed, or skip that stage and go right to a big bed the steps are the same. Here's how to ease the stress of moving your toddler to a bed and make sure everyone gets a good night's sleep.

When to switch to a toddler bed

There is no precise time for making the transition to a toddler bed but it's usually between your child's first and third birthday. The key to success is to be patient and allow your child time to adjust to the change. If your toddler sleeps well in his crib, don't rush the change. Switching to a bed gives him more freedom, which can create new issues – like early morning wanderings.

Here are the most common reasons to switch to a big kid bed:

1. Your child learns how to climb. Move your baby out of his crib when the rail is at chest level when he stands up inside – at this point it's much easier for him to climb out.

2. Your child outgrows the crib. You may think your child is uncomfortable, but he could be quite content in his little nest. Children will usually let you know when it's time to move by asking for a bed. (But if he's getting really scrunched up, it's probably time to go big bed shopping!)

3. Your child is learning how to use the toilet. Even if your child uses the toilet during the day, it's often a long time before overnight dryness happens. Still, it's a good idea to make the toilet accessible and moving to a big bed makes night toilet training much easier.

4. A new sibling is on the way. If your little one loves his crib, then ousting him to make room for the newcomer may add stress so it's best to make the change two months or more before your newborn arrives.

 

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