Once your child reaches toddler stage, you’ll need to decide when to switch him from a crib to a big boy bed. There is no set age for this, although most parents make the transition between 2 and 3 years of age.
The most important thing to watch out for is the ability of your toddler to climb. Once she learns how to climb, she may get over the crib’s railing and hurt herself. The issue then becomes one of safety. You shouldn’t wait to get a toddler bed when this skill is learned.
After you decide it is time to get a toddler bed, you’ll need to start preparing your baby for the change. Don’t just spring it on him all at once. Perhaps, take him to the store to look at possible beds. You may even want to entice him with a character bed, or a bed that comes in the shape of a car. This will get him excited about the change, instead of being apprehensive about it.
The next step will be setting up the new bed and taking down the crib. Letting your toddler help with this process will also peek her interest in making the switch. Kids like to help out, and your toddler is bound to feel ownership of the new bed if she is helping to put it together. She can even decorate the top of the bed with her favorite dolls or stuffed animals.
Whichever bed you choose to purchase for your toddler, make sure it has a set of removable guard rails. The guard rails will keep your toddler from falling out of the bed in the middle of the night. You can easily remove them a year later when a night time spill becomes less likely.
You will have to take special precautions if you are expecting another child. It is important that you make the transition from crib to toddler bed ahead of time if you plan on using the same crib for your new addition. If you don’t, you risk your toddler resenting the baby for taking over his crib. This may lead to temper tantrums and the resistance of sleeping in the new toddler bed.
Do not attempt more than one transition at a time. In other words, don’t switch from a bottle to a sippy cup at the same time as you move your toddler from a crib to a bed. Allow your child to deal with each new step of growing up one at a time.
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