When we moved P2 out of her cot and into a “big bed” we went about it completely the wrong way. When we found out about P3s impending arrival I panicked. We needed the cot that P2 inhabited for the new baby and we needed to do that before the new baby arrived so being the hormonal pregnant person I didn’t wait around too long. P2 ended up on a mattress on the floor underneath her big sister’s high sleeper bed for 11 months before she was upgraded to a toddler bed.
For P3, I’m going to do it properly. When she moves into a big bed it’ll mean a whole rearrangement of bedrooms again so the girls can have the bigger room. I’m going to take things slow and at her pace. She’s our last baby and ultimately there is no rush to move out. When we do I’m going to follow these tips that I’ve researched.
Are They Ready?
Ultimately there isn’t a good or a bad time to move your toddler into a bed. It usually happens somewhere between 18 months and 3 and half years. Most people tend to do the switch over when their toddler starts to climb out of their cot, I personally have never had this experience but would probably do the same if I the time came.
Choosing a Bed.
Becoming unrestricted is a huge deal for any young child. They suddenly have the ability to roam free, which also means they have the ability to fall from their bed. I would highly recommend finding a bed that’s low, not too big and one that can have a safety side fixed. There are some really lovely children’s beds from Room To Grow. I would definitely settle for a toddler bed to start with as they aren’t too daunting as a single bed and are designed specifically to be lower which is safer. Some of them also have side bars integrated like this one:
Keeping things as normal as possible is the key for an easy transition. There’s nothing new to look at or entertain them if their bed is in the same position as it always has been. At least whilst they are getting used to their new big bed and lack of restrictions.
Buy New Bedding
There’s nothing better than snuggling into fresh duvets. Let your child choose what bedding they want. Even if your darling princess is choosing dinosaurs, let it be. It’ll make things exciting for them to have a bed that they chose by themselves like a big girl/boy. Room To Grow also have some lovely duvet sets just perfect for your little one as they spread their wings slightly further into the world of independence.
Keeping Things The Same
Don’t change anything. If they have a special blanket they sleep under, or even if they wear a sleeping bag like P2 and P3 did/do, keep it all the same whilst they adjust. Keep routines at bedtime exactly the same. If you usually go in and lay your child back down, do that. If you normally sit in the room with them until they fall asleep, do that.
Your child sleeps through? They fall asleep within minutes? All of the good habits you’ve worked so hard to accomplish may or may not go completely out of the window. You may have to battle for what seems like forever just to get your child to sleep, then it’s keeping them there that could be your next battle in the early hours of the morning and definitely expect earlier wake up calls as your child adjusts to having extra independence.
I’m actually really excited about the time when P3 will have the sides taken down from her cot and we can go shopping for bedding that she wants. I wonder sometimes whether she’ll love Peppa Pig just like both her big sisters did when they chose their first bedding. I wonder whether she’ll be banging at the door for an hour before going to sleep on the floor, like both her sisters.
What are your tips for making the transition from cot to big bed?