What you need to know about the transition from cot to bed

Here's how to make that move a little less painful

Moving your toddler from a cot a bed is such a big decision for many reasons.
Emotionally it is the end of another era. There is something about the cot that emphasises your child is still a baby. Putting them in a bed makes them seem much more grown up and independent. 
Then comes the hard work for you as a parent. It might have taken you a long time to get your little one in to a routine. Perhaps they were not a good sleeper (cough... my 2.5 year old still isn't) and the very last thing you want to do is spoil a good thing.
The reality is that this big transition takes a lot of work for the parents. You've bought the bed, set it up and now you have to work on keeping your child there. A whole new ball-game. 
Here are some tips to help you with this transition 
  • Make buying and assembling the bed an exciting experience. Emphasise that this is a good thing and that it is something that everyone in the house is really happy about. Go out of your way to make a fuss and let your toddler pick out their own brand new set of bed clothes. Nearly every TV character has a line of these so it shouldn't be too difficult to find something that will catch their eye.
  • Only do it when your child is ready. You might have an almost three year old who sleeps comfortable and soundly in their cot. Don't fix it if it ain't broken right? Some people make the transition because a new baby is on the way and there may be some logistical issues regarding the cot and the room. That can't be helped.
  • Look out for signs that your child might be ready to sleep in a bed. One of the biggest signs is your toddler actually climbing out of the cot. This is a huge worry for parents due to the health and safety risks. It can often be the deciding factor for a lot of parents for that very reason.
  • Be prepared to return to the days of tending to your child several times each night. Your toddler will think it is brilliant that they can freely leave their bed and trust me they will exercise this freedom A LOT. As always repetition and emphasis is key. You may have to put them back in their bed ten times a night for several days but eventually it will click.
  • Some people like to pick up aids such as a Gr Clock or a Teddy that lights up to indicate that it is OK to rise and shine for the day. They can be really effective if your child is old enough to understand the concept.
  • While most toddler beds are quite low in size, you can always pick up a bed rail to calm your nerves for the first couple of months.
  • Putting your child's toddler bed in the same place that their crib used to be is very effective. It suggests the familiar and is a space they have grown to associate with sleep time. At the same time the new bed will give them a new sense of independence while still being rotted in the familiar. 
Written by Tracey, mummy blogger and staff writer with www.familyfriendlyhq.ie
Check out her own blog at love-of-living.blogspot.ie

Tracey Quinn

Proud mum of two who got married on Don't Tell The Bride and had an accidental home-birth (loves a good story). She's passionate about breastfeeding, positive thinking & all things cosy.

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