Help Your Child Move to a Big-Kid Bed

Whether your child has started climbing out of the crib on his or her own, or whether there’s another baby on the way who will need the crib, the day will come when your not-so-little-anymore little one will need a big-kid bed. Here are some ideas to help the transition:

  • Watch for clues. There’s no hard-and-fast time when a child needs a big kid bed, but you’ll probably start to get clues from your little one that he or she is ready. Your toddler may start trying to climb out, or you may hear him or her hitting the rails because your little one simply doesn’t have enough room. When you start seeing those signs, it’s time to start the switch.
  • Prepare your child ahead of time. Give your little one a chance to adjust to the idea. Start out a few weeks ahead of the change by saying, “Wow! Look how big you are! You’re going to need a big bed like mommy and daddy have soon!” Give your child time to get excited about the bed instead of making an instant change.
  • Let him or her help pick out items for new bed. Take your little one shopping with you to pick out new sheets and blankets for his or her bed. When the first night in the new bed comes, you can more easily get him or her excited about the cool, new bed, instead of having him or her focus on the crib.
  • Make the switch when no other major life changes are going on. Don’t make the big change the day he or she starts preschool or the day the new baby comes home. Anticipate changes ahead of time, and make the bed change several months in advance.
  • Put the crib out of sight. Either totally dismantle it or, if you’re going to use it for the next baby, put it in a different room if possible. If your child can’t see it, that will help him or her not to focus on it.
  • Stick to normal bedtime routine. Do your normal bath time, book time, bed time routine to help your child retain a feeling of normalcy. Make sure to do all bathroom trips and drink trips before he or she goes to bed.

What ideas have worked for all our seasoned parent readers? Please share!


photo credit: Josh Liba via photopin cc