To toddler bed or not to toddler bed, that is the question
Updated: Feb 4
Let me just start by saying that this transition gives me the most #anxiety (personally)
Although I have the experience assisting Moms and Dads through the toddler bed transition, I have not yet personally experienced it in our home. I know we still have time, possibly over a year, but that doesn't mean I haven't thought about it and slightly obsessed over it.
If there is one thing I want you to take away from this it's PLEASE DON'T RUSH IT. My advice is waiting until your child is 3 years old at the minimum.
Moving out of the crib and into a toddler bed takes cognitive understanding and maturity from your child. Just because they are a certain age or size does not mean they can compute the expectations we expect from them (staying in their bed)
9 times out of 10 the transition will be difficult, and the once 15-minute bedtime routine now turns into an hour +.
Think about it like this.
A crib was once a physical boundary for your child. It was the constant reminder to "stay in bed". Now that that crib is gone, we need to treat the entire room as their boundary and safe space, because they still require that reminder to stay in bed.
Remove all toys in the beginning and make things as safe as possible; bolt down dressers and furniture. As the transition settles, soft toys and books can be introduced back in. The reason why I strongly suggest this is we want to be sure we are giving our children the best opportunity to sleep. That is why they are in bed in the first place, right? Having distractions such as toys, lights, screens and even parents in the room all work against the goal of falling asleep.
Some kids do well with the transition, so if it worked for you at a young age I applaud your success. But for most, parents find themselves making bribes, desperate pleas, and playing an exhausting game of ping-pong in and out of the room.
And lastly, it's okay if the transition was a failure. Get the crib back out and try again in 6-months. Sleep is what keeps us clear-minded and patient which is what we all need to survive raising our tiny humans.