When to Move Your Baby to a Toddler Bed
Making the move from a crib to a toddler bed is a big step for both you and your child. While it may seem like a daunting task, making this transition helps keep your growing child safe while giving them more independence.
When to Transition to a Toddler Bed
According to the Sleep Foundation, most babies and toddlers make the transition from a crib to a toddler bed between the ages of 18 months and 3 years. Around 33 percent of children make the transition between 18 months and 2 years, and another 33 percent make it between 2 and 2.5 years.
Signs that your child is ready for a toddler bed include1,2:
- They climb out of their crib
- They are around 3 feet tall
- The crib mattress is set as low as possible, and the railing height is close to your child’s height
- They have asked for a toddler bed
- They can stretch their leg on or over the top rail
You know your child best, so the decision is ultimately up to you for when you feel they’re ready for the transition.
Choosing a Toddler Bed
There are a few details to take into consideration when buying a bed for your toddler. The first is whether to buy a toddler bed or a twin-size bed with railings. A toddler bed is more suited to the size of your child and typically comes with built-in safety railings. However, they’ll likely outgrow this bed within a few years. Twin-size beds are larger and will last your child several years, but you may need to install your own railings to help keep them safe.
Regardless of the bed you choose, you should also consider its height and structure. Toddler beds are more likely to be lower to the ground, while twin beds may be higher. The height should be set so it’s easy for your child to get in and out of bed safely. Sturdy bed frames with rounded edges are ideal for toddlers.
Tips for Transitioning to a Toddler Bed
Moving your child into their new bed may seem challenging, but it doesn’t have to be. Try introducing them to their bed at naptime during the day. This helps them ease into it with shorter naps rather than an entire night’s sleep. Sticking to your normal nighttime routine can also help. Even though their bed may be unfamiliar, you can use bathtime, books, or lullabies to help your child feel more comfortable. You can also help your child feel excited about their new bed by letting them choose new blankets, bedding, or stuffed animals to keep them company at night.
The timing of your child’s crib-to-bed transition can also make a big difference. If your child is undergoing other transitions in life, such as potty training or starting daycare, it may be too stressful for them. Consider waiting until they’re settled into other routines before making the move to a toddler bed.
- Pacheco, Danielle. When to Transition From Crib to A Toddler Bed. March 11, 2022. Accessed October 9, 2022. https://www.sleepfoundation.org/children-and-sleep/when-to-switch-to-toddler-bed
- University of Rochester Medical Center. Moving Your Toddler from Crib to Bed. Accessed October 9, 2022. https://www.urmc.rochester.edu/encyclopedia/content.aspx?contenttypeid=1&contentid=4492