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When To Transition From Crib To Bed For Your Child?

I swear our kids grow up so fast. In the blink of an eye, your baby suddenly starts to walk, talk and grow out of all of their beloved baby items – including their crib!

If you’re not sure whether your child is ready to move from their crib to a bed, or you’re unsure whether they have the self-control to stay in their room all night, don’t go anywhere.

We’re here to help you determine whether they’re ready for the transition, and offer a few simple tips and tricks to make the process as simple as possible.

Signs Your Child Is Ready For Their First Bed 

In our experience, one of the things that makes this process so difficult is that there’s no set time to move your child from their crib to a bed.

Each child is different, so don’t just blindly follow the lead of others. You’ll need to pay close attention to your toddler’s behavior and look for a few telltale signs, including: 

  • Regularly (and successfully) climbing out of their crib.
  • They’ve shown interest in having a bed, or they’re asking to make the move. This shows they’re emotionally ready to make the change.
  • If their chest is in line with the top of the crib railing when they stand up (approximately three-feet tall), they’ll be ready for a bed. 
  • They’re potty-trained at night, or they’re getting there. If you’re no longer wearing diapers or training pants, they’ll need a bed so that they have access to the bathroom if they need it. 

What Age Do Children Move From A Crib To A Bed? 

Like other toddler milestones, this transition will also happen at different ages. However, anywhere between 2 ½, 3, or 3 ½ is considered normal. 

If you end up waiting until your child is at the older end of the spectrum, there’s nothing to feel bad about.

Not all children are ready to make the move when they’re younger, and others require more time to become both emotionally and physically ready.

As parents ourselves, we really cannot stress this enough, and that’s why we’ve listed a selection of telltale signs above. The key is to examine your child’s behavior, rather than doing what you THINK you should be doing.

Only you and your child will know when the time is right! 

When To Transition From Crib To Bed For Your Child?

What Is A Toddler Bed? 

When our kids first graduated to sleeping in beds, we’ll be honest: we were confused. The term ‘toddler bed’ is thrown around a lot, but what exactly does this mean?

Should your child start sleeping in a toddler bed, or should they go straight to a twin bed? 

Essentially, a toddler bed has the same dimensions as a crib, except it’s lower to the ground (read how to convert a crib to a toddler bed here). If you opt for a toddler bed, you may also save money and be able to use your crib mattress for slightly longer.

However, if you want to save money in the long run, we’d recommend going straight to a twin bed. This will last longer, but it’ll still be safe and comfortable for your child to sleep in.

Just ensure the twin bed is positioned as low to the ground as possible, and ideally, it should have side rails for extra security at nighttime. 

How To Make The Switch 

If your child is ready to move from their crib to a bed, we’ll let you in on a little hard truth – it’s probably NOT going to be as simple as putting them in bed, and having a blissful night’s sleep every night from here on out. 

Even if you and your child are ready to make the switch, remember: this is a BIG change for your child.

They may occasionally struggle to sleep through the night, be excited and want to get in and out of bed, or struggle to stick to a routine. 

Like most parents, we also faced a few ups and downs during the transition stage.

Although it took a week or so for our kids to fully embrace it and settle down, we picked up a few essential tips and tricks along the way to speed up the process: 

  • Keep Routine: Routine is essential. If your child had a routine in their crib, don’t change it when they get a bed. Try to keep everything else in their life as consistent as possible.
  • Encourage Excitement: Don’t bring their new bed out of anywhere – get them excited for the change! Let them pick their bedding, choose what stuffed toys they want on the bed, and remind them how fun it’ll be to have their very own bed, just like their parents.
  • Choose The Right Bed: You’ll need to keep your child safe and comfy, so choose a  bed that is low to the ground and has railings to prevent injury. You could even just place their crib mattress on the floor before buying a bed to help with the transition. This will not only keep your toddler safe but also give them a sense of familiarity and make it much easier for them to sleep soundly at night. 

Is It Too Soon? 

Let’s be honest: we all make mistakes. If you discover that you’ve jumped the gun and moved your child to a bed too quickly, don’t worry!

Whether you persist or revert back to the crib will depend on your child. 

Waking up in the night, asking for water, and checking on parents are common in the initial stages.

However, if this persists (or your child is escalating to full-on tantrums and won’t sleep), it may be time to reintroduce the crib. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Should I Get A Crib That Converts To A Toddler Bed? 

These beds can ease the transition for your kids, and also save you money in the long run. This is a great option if your child struggles with change, or you have a limited budget. 

Does A 2-Year-Old Still Need A Crib? 

Many 2-year-olds still sleep in a crib, however, others may be ready to make the transition. This will be entirely dependent on your toddler, so pay close attention to their behavior. 

Are Convertible Cribs Good? 

Convertible cribs can carry your child through infancy, toddler years, and even far beyond preschool.

Many models can also convert from day bed to full-size bed – we’d highly recommend them! 

The Bottom Line 

Honestly, there’s no set time to move your child from their crib to a bed. When you know, you know. Pay close attention to your child’s behavior, and make the change when they seem ready!

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