So your baby is no longer a baby and it’s time to move onto the next exciting milestone: a BIG KID BED! Or wait, is it time? Transitioning your little munchkin to a bed too early can lead to a whole new assortment of sleep problems that you want to avoid. Trust me!
To ensure the transition to a big kid bed is successful, be sure to follow these 4 important pieces of advice:
1) Don’t transition any earlier than necessary
Keep your child in the crib for as long as possible, ideally until at least 2.5-3 years old. Children under this age range typically do not have the maturity to appreciate the freedom that comes along with sleeping in a bed. As a result, your child might develop “Jack-in-the-Box” syndrome, popping out of bed as soon as you leave the room. You’ll be going nuts.
Now to address the million dollar question- what if you have a crib jumper on your hands? Does that mean it’s time to transition to a bed?
Not necessarily. Before transitioning your monkey…I mean toddler, to a bed, try the following tricks to keep your child in his crib:
- Put your child to sleep in a sleep sack, which will make it extremely difficult to climb out of the crib.
- If you have a sleigh crib, where the back is higher than the front, turn the crib around so that the higher end is in the front.
- Put a video monitor in your child’s room and watch him. When you see him about to practice his diving skills, quickly run into the room and give him a firm “NO!” You may have to do this a few times for your child to learn, but as long as you’re consistent, they will eventually stop trying.
3) Get excited!
Sleeping in a big kid bed is a huge deal for your child. A few weeks before moving your child to her bed, start talking to her about it. Ger her excited! Take her with you to pick out her new bed and sheets. Get her involved with implementing an exciting rewards system. Let her choose the stickers, decorate her new “Sleep Manners” chart, and let her choose her rewards!
Make sure to keep as much of your child’s daily routine as possible, especially his bedtime routine. Don’t create new bedtime habits unless you’re comfortable continuing them for the long run. Remember that consistency is key- as long as your child knows what to expect when bedtime comes around, the transition should go smoothly.