Generally speaking, the time parents decide to move their toddler from a cot to a big bed is when the toddler begins climbing out of the cot. It is necessary to move from a cot to a big bed
for a number of reasons:
- Climbing out of the cot is not safe for your toddler.
- The arrival of a new sibling may start the transition from the cot to a bigger bed.
- Your toddler may have simply outgrown the cot.
Most toddlers need a bigger bed between the ages of 18 and twenty-four months. However, every child is different and you will need to decide when your child is ready for the move. To
help make the transition smoother, try the following.
Baby boy standing in crib.
Choose the Right Time to Introduce the Bigger Bed
It is best to make the transition from a cot to a big bed at a time when there are no other changes is your child’s life. Trying to move from a cot to a bigger bed during a move, when toilet training is taking place, or when a new baby just came home can make the transition much more difficult. If the move to a bigger bed is because of a new baby, begin the move three or four weeks before the baby comes, so your older child does not feel resentful.
Get Your Child Familiar with the New Bed
When you purchase the new bed, consider leaving their cot in the room for a while. Allowing them to choose which bed to use will make them more comfortable with the transition. Try using one bed for naps and the other for night sleeping, letting your child choose which to use when. Let them play on the new bed and read to them when they are in the big bed. Eventually, they should transition easily to the cot.
Help Your Child Feel Safe in the New Bed
Remember that your toddler had the ability to roll to the side of the bed and not fall out with the cot. A bed that sits close to the ground works with some children who are hesitant about a bigger, higher bed, without sides. It also works to put the bigger bed mattress directly on the floor until your child is used to it. Some parents put pillows on the floor next to the bigger bed to provide a cushion should the child fall out at night. Additionally, most toddler and twin beds can be equipped with guardrails if doing so helps your child feel more secure.
Reward Your Child for Making the Move from the Cot to a Big Bed
Make sure you stick with your child’s bedtime routine while the transition from a cot to a bigger bed is taking place. Doing so provides your child with a sense of security. With love, understanding, and patience, you can help your child make the transition from a cot to a bigger bed a good experience for all involved in the move.