If you are like most parents with a toddler you are probably wondering what the best time is for your child to make the switch from a toddler bed to a twin or full-size bed. Helping your child make this transition can be an intimidating parental task. As many of you have learned with other milestones (sleep training anybody?), no two children are the same and so you may need to try more than one method.
Signs Your Toddler Is Ready
Before you announce to your toddler that it is time for the switch, look for clues to see if she is ready for a larger bed. Is she is complaining about needing more room or is having negative feelings towards her toddler bed? Many times toddlers feel the need to have a Big Girl or Big Boy Bed to accompany their new status as a Big Kid and will ask for a larger bed. These are all positive signs that your toddler is ready to take the next step.
Let Your Toddler Be Involved
We recommend you have a conversation with your toddler and are sure that he or she understands the transition that is going to happen. Get a verbal confirmation by having your child repeat what you have said to ensure that they understand. Next comes the fun part—picking out the new bed!
Many cribs transition from a crib to a toddler bed and full-size bed, which can make your toddler’s transition to the larger bed much easier. If you are going to purchase a new bed, take your child with you to shop for the new bed and to pick out the new sheets and comforter. By allowing her to make decisions, she will feel empowered and excited about the change ahead—and it helps to make the transition feel like a special event to be celebrated.
Related Article: Bedtime Routines for Toddlers
Safety and Security
For some children (and parents!) making the move to a larger bed can be scary—especially when moving to a raised bed. To help relieve some of these fears, we recommend purchasing a convertible crib that transitions to the platform height like the Bristol 4-in-1 Convertible Crib. The low platform height gives your toddler much easier access to climb in and out of bed and helps give you both the peace of mind that the floor isn’t too far away if she does fall out of bed. For extra security and assurance, side rails that easily attach to both platform and raised beds are a great investment.
Make it very clear to your toddler that she should not get out of bed at night until you are fully confident she can do it safely. Let her know that all she needs to do is call out for help. Be sure to make a conscious effort to get to her quickly the first times she calls for you to let her know that you will be there when she calls. Lastly, try having your toddler sleep in the bed for the first time at naptime. Making the switch during the day versus night makes the move less scary for both parents and toddler.