What Age Should Your Child Move From a Cot to a Bed?

Posted on 14/01/2022 by Room to Grow

What Age Should Your Child Move From a Cot to a Bed?

As a parent, knowing what age to move your child from a baby cot to a big bed can be tricky – it’s a big step in both a parent’s and a child’s life. It’s a stage of life that most parents don’t exactly look forward to, and for good reason; they’re not a little baby anymore. 

It can be difficult to persuade your child to stay in their bed; especially once they realize they can get out of it freely. With some gentle reassurance alongside some of the tips in this blog, your child will be sleeping in their new bed in no time!

When To Move From Cot To Bed?

Although there is no set age for your child to move from a baby cot to a bed, most children make the move between 18 months and 3 ½ years of age. There are a number of reasons for doing so:

Nika Mini Cot Bed 005

How To Transition From Cot To Bed

There are many ways you can ease the transition for your child:

Make It Personal

Why not have your child help pick out sheets and covers for their new bed to make it their own personal space. You can even redecorate your child’s room, involving your child in the planning and choosing new pictures, colors, wall coverings, and other updates. Have your child help set up the bed and pack up the cot or get it ready for the new sibling. If your child asks for it back, remind them that it is packed up or not their bed anymore and praise them for being grown up and making the move. A bit of reassurance and praise will help them accept the transition.

Celebrate The Move

Help them understand that the new bed will soon be familiar and comfortable. Finding a way to celebrate the move can work really well. A family picnic or a special party is an excellent way to make the transition full of fun memories and if your child is anxious, acknowledge and address their fears. You could install a night-light or give them extra toys. I provided my children with oversized stuffed animals as their guardians. Your child may have a familiar toy or special blanket that provides reassurance.

Child sleeping in bed with a nightlight

Transition To A Cot Bed First

Transitioning straight from a cot to a big kids bed or a toddler bed can be a big jump for some children, so why not ease this transition with the simple switch to a cot bed. For most apprehensive children; a cot bed can be the perfect middle ground before moving straight to a big bed.

Cot Beds

A cot bed can, in many cases, be the saving grace for parents that have children that really do not want to move to a big bed. At first glance, a cot bed looks no different to a regular baby cot, especially to a toddler – after all, they are both miniature beds with bars.

Cot bed shown with bars and with bars detached

What is the difference between a Cot and a Cot Bed?

The main difference between a standard baby cot and a cot bed is that a cot bed has detachable sides; this includes the sidebars and the end panel – allowing you to turn it from a baby cot into a toddler bed or some cases another bed type such as a day bed.

Baby cot and cot bed sizes also differ:

Another great function of a typical cot bed is the adjustable mattress height function. As your baby grows bigger, you can move the bed base accordingly until they are old enough to get into bed themselves.

Why Transition To A Cot Bed First?

As mentioned previously, a standard baby cot and a cot bed almost look identical. To a toddler, this has psychological benefits as when they change over to a cot bed, it’s the same bed that they are used to but with different features!

Cot bed with teddy bear

As your toddler becomes comfortable with their brand new bed, you can gradually start adjusting the bed as you please. You can start by taking a few of the bars off first, then slowly transition to taking the bars off entirely, and then by adjusting the mattress height. Cot beds give you the freedom to add them back at any time that your toddler is struggling with the transition.

When Should You Switch Your Child From A Cot To A Bed?

Aside from the typical age at which toddlers transition. Many parents choose to make the switch from a cot to a bed when potty training begins so that their child can get to the toilet when they needs to do so.

Torsten 2 Pc Set Cot Bed & Chest Grey Teak 005

Every child is different and some will make a quick adjustment to the change, and some will not. Generally speaking, the easiest child to switch over is the youngest, as they want to be like their older sibling(s) and sleep in a “big” bed. Your eldest may be the most difficult, as they get very attached to their cot and hate to change.

Make sure you put the bed in the same place where you had the cot. Also, make sure you have a guard rail initially to avoid having your child roll over and fall out of his new bed. You can also push the bed against the wall on one side for safety.

Why Should You Make The Transition?

A move from a cot to a bed can be difficult. If they keep getting out of bed, provide love and reassurance and take them back to bed. Give hugs and kisses; tell them, “Goodnight.” It may take a few nights of following a regular bedtime routine and offering encouragement, but staying calm and loving will help your child through this transition.

Father playing with toddler in their cot bed

Moving your child from a cot to a bed is one of the first steps in a long line of experiences as your child grows. Laying a foundation of loving consistency is the key to helping your child with this transition and the many that will follow.

If you’re looking for the perfect children’s bedroom, make sure you take a look at our great range of kids beds, toddler beds and bunk beds.

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