You can help your toddler make the transition from a cot to a bed when you are ready and/or your toddler shows signs that he is ready.
You may find this transition easiest to manage after he turns two years old. However, some toddlers are ready earlier than this.
Below are some signs that indicate that it is time for your toddler to move out of the cot:
- Climbs or falls out of the cot
- Thrashes around in the cot and appears unable to get comfortable
- Asks for a “big bed”
- When she is toilet trained by day and then starts to call out at night to use the toilet
- A new baby is on it’s way and the cot will be needed. Make sure this transition happens 2 months before the new arrival.
Suggestions that can help your toddler move out of a cot and into a big bed
- Make the changes when there are no other big changes happening in his life
- If another baby is on the way, make the changes at least two months before or after the arrival
- Your toddler or older child may like to help you chose the sheets
- Idea One: Take away the cot surrounds and place the cot mattress on the floor in the same spot for a few days or a week before changing into the bed
- Idea Two: Bring the big bed into the same room as the cot, leaving the cot assembled and start day naps and reading books on the new bed for a week before sleeping in it
- Have a calm and comforting pre bedtime ritual established well before making the transition
- Have some of the pre-bedtime ritual on the big bed such as reading and chatting
- Tuck your toddler in bed firmly and ensure he knows you expect him to stay in bed
- If he gets out of bed, take his hand and walk him back to bed calmly and confidently, with no eye contact or conversation. Continue walking him back in this manner until he stays there. Do this consistently for three weeks before a new habit is established. More information here Putting Them to Sleep
This article was brought to you by Jan Murray, Private Child Health Consultant who is an internationally renowned expert in her field. Jan encourages parents in the area of infant sleep, nutrition, activities and family balance.