When Should You Move Your Child from Crib to Bed?

Posted by in No-Cry Sleep

Part 1 of a 2 part series –
   Next Week: What’s the best way to transition from crib to bed?


When your child moves from the crib to his very own bed, it is a major milestone in his life as well as yours! Babies, of course, grow a little every day, but switching to a big bed is a very visible step in your child’s move from babyhood to childhood. Typically, a big-kid bed enters the picture sometime between your child’s first and third birthday. The most important key to success is to be patient and allow your child time to adjust to the change with as much pleasure, and as little trauma, as possible.



Main Reasons to Transition from Crib to Bed

There are a variety of valid reasons that signal it’s time to move a child from the crib. Here are the most common reasons:

  • Your child becomes more physically adept and learns how to climb. This creates the risk that she could climb out of the crib and hurt herself by falling out. This is the most important reason to make a quick move as you don’t want your child injured from climbing over the bars. Many experts recommend moving a child out of the crib when she becomes 34 to 36 inches tall, or the height of the side rail is at the level of her chest. No matter what, if you look at your growing child and find yourself wondering if she could climb out, it’s safe to say she can.
  • Your child outgrows the crib and finds it difficult to get comfortable in a space that has become too small.
  • Your child wants to move out of the crib and asks for a bed.
  • Your child is learning how to use the toilet, and you would like him to be able to get up to use the bathroom if he needs to
  • A new sibling is on the way, and you would like the crib for the baby.

(If you feel that the time is right, try to make the change two months or more before the newborn arrives.)


Making the Move

Once you’ve decided that it is the right time to make the change, think though all the details before you proceed.

Are there any other big events or changes coming up soon? It’s best not to have this conversion coincide with other changes, such as beginning daycare, weaning from a bottle, learning to use the potty, going on vacation, moving to a new home, or adjusting to parent’s separation or new marriage. If possible, arrange the move to a big bed to occur when all other parts of your child’s life are fairly stable.

Take your child’s personality into consideration: How does she normally handle change? How does she take to new adventures, new toys, and new things in the house? Does she respond better to the thrill of surprises, or carefully planned events? Understanding how she approaches life changes will help you decide how to introduce a new bed.




Safety, Safety, Safety!

No matter when you decide to make the move, or what kind of bed you provide for your child, make sure you are providing your child with a completely safe sleep environment: this means his bed is safe, his bedroom is child-proofed, and the whole entire house is as safe as possible to welcome any potential nighttime or morning exploring.


More tips can be found in The No-Cry Sleep Solution for Toddlers

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