Bye-Bye Crib, Hello Bed!
It never occurred to me that when our son was 2 ½ we’d spontaneously be switching him to a big boy bed—it wasn’t even on my radar! We had no time to prepare, set it up, talk it through or build it up. In short, that transition was one of my hardest parenting moments, but for a lot of area moms, that isn’t the case.
The best time to make the transition from crib to bed is different for everyone and can vary from family to family and child to child. Some families transition as early as 15 months, while others wait until as late as 3 ½ years. One of the more obvious signs a child is ready to make the move is that he masters climbing out of the crib, making safety an issue. If your child begins asking about a big kid bed or shows signs of dislike toward his crib, it may be time to make the move as well. Another time parents often make this transition is with the upcoming birth of a sibling (because the crib is probably needed for the newborn)—but be careful as it could cause your toddler to resent the new baby.
“We didn’t push Charlotte to make the transition, but let her tell us when she wanted to. She noticed her older step-brother slept in a big kid bed and started asking for her own,” Olathe mom Emma says. “At 2 ½, we said good-bye to the crib, and then she helped us set up her new ‘big kid bed.’ Waiting until she is ready for transitions has been the best for us. Sometimes it’s hard to hold back when YOU think the child is ready, but we have found that waiting on her to be ready is easier on all of us.”
Sheetal, an Overland Park mom, had an easy transition for her almost 3 ½-year-old, but comments, “If they're happy in the crib and not trying to get out, no need to switch earlier just because others are.”
In talking with many moms about transitioning, the consensus is to wait as long as possible. However, if you decide to make the move, a few steps can help your little one to ease into things:
- Allow your child to pick out a bed or the bedding.
- Make the night special when he sleeps in bed for the first time.
- Find a book like Your Own Big Bed to share with your child.
“We kept all the same things he was used to sleeping with—his blanket, pillow and stuffed puppy—so I think he barely noticed the change,” Shawnee mom Kelli says.
While transitioning is really easy for many families, it may be a difficult and stressful experience. However, I am living proof that you will make it through and come out on the other side having aged only 10 years—only kidding…sort of!
Julie Collett writes from Overland Park where she has survived transitioning one child to a bed and has yet to transition the other two (18 months and 3 years old)!