How To Effectively Move Your Toddler From Cot To Bed
Moving your toddler from a cot to a bed is a big step. A big step in your toddler’s life but also in yours. A step most parents feel reluctant to do. For me personally, this step was always put on the long finger! The thought of disrupting a sleep pattern and the established routine they have can feel daunting. A new-found freedom they will now have at bedtime can also seem overwhelming. But fear not, there is never a perfect moment to do it, but here is a guideline on when works best.
When should I move my toddler from a cot to a bed?
There is no “perfect” age, most toddlers make the transition from cot to bed between about 18 months and three years. But, it is different for each child. If you follow their lead they will give you a good indication on when they’re ready.
Signs they are ready:
Most parents make the switch when their little one can stand and climb out of their cot! When leaving them in their cot can start to become a danger to them is a good indication it is time to make the switch.
From a logical point of view, it’s a good time to make the switch when your little one is potty trained. They will need the unlimited access to the toilet or their potty and a toddler bed is perfect for this time.
A New Sibling
Another time when parents make the move is when the cot is needed for the next baby. It is important though to make the switch either at least 6 weeks before the new arrival or 6 weeks after.
How to do it
Every toddler responds to a new bed in their own way. Some will adjust easily to the change, while others will need a bit more help. Decide when you're going to make the change and talk it up a week in advance so it's not a big shock.
To ease the transition, put the bed in the same place as the cot, if you can. Your toddler may also find it soothing to sleep with her old cot blanket, even if it's too small.
If your toddler's old enough, you could take them to a shop and let them choose their new bed or bedding. Some pretty fairy lights or a new stuffed animal is also a nice incentive!
No matter how prepared you or your little one are a bed rail is always a good idea. Remember, your little one has spent the last portion of their life in a cot with sides, subconsciously relying on them to keep them safe.
If it doesn’t work out
If your toddler's struggling to feel comfortable with their new bed a few weeks after the transition, they may not be quite ready yet. If you're able to keep their cot, you can always bring it back for a while and try the change again another time. Don't see this as a step backwards though. They may just need a bit more time to adjust.
If putting your toddler back in their cot isn't an option, you may just need to give them a bit of time and patience. They take their cues from you, so don't let yourself get too frustrated. Stay calm, and stick to your normal routine as far as possible to reassure them that there's lots that's still the same.
Written by Laura Doyle staff writer at FFHQ who also blogs at www.lovelifeandlittleones.com.