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How to Move to a Big-Kid Bed

How to Get Your Little One to Sleep in a Big-Kid Bed From Night 1!

Whether your little one has outgrown his crib (or proven to be an adept climber) or you need your crib for a new baby, the transition from crib to big-kid bed can seem like a daunting one. Yes, we've all heard horror stories; one mom revealed that her daughter got out of bed 153 times (she counted) the first night she slept in her big-girl bed. But the move doesn't have to be a nightmare (no pun intended). Follow these easy tips, and your little one will be slumbering as peacefully as he did in his crib before you know it!

  1. Choose the right time. Most experts advise waiting to move your child from a crib to a bed for as long as possible (up to 3 years old), but climbers, early potty trainers, and soon-to-be big siblings can make the switch as early as 18 months. However, try not to make the move coincide with another big milestone (the first day or preschool, a long trip away from home). If your inspiration is the upcoming arrival of a new sibling, try to transition your child into a big bed a couple of months in advance so that jealousy isn't an issue.
  2. Make it fun. Get your child involved in shopping for her new bed and bedding. Maybe let her pick out a special new pillow or stuffed animal to keep in her bed or a couple of new pairs of big-kid pajamas. Make sure to show off the new bed to grandma, grandpa, and other relatives. Making a big deal about the switch is likely to get your child excited for this new chapter!
  3. Pick the right bed. A convertible crib-to-toddler bed is a good first choice, but we tend to discourage purchasing a special toddler bed. As cute as they are, your child will outgrow it quickly, and you'll be stuck transitioning him to yet another bed in a year or two. Instead, we suggest you invest in a twin or double bed that will last for years, and be sure to buy guardrails that will make sure he doesn't roll out of bed.
  4. Stick with your routine. Keeping things as normal as possible — a routine of bath, books, and bed have always worked for most of us — is the best way to make sure your child sleeps through the night from day one. However, it's normal to have a few days that are a little rough (bedtime battles, earlier wake-up times, and middle-of-the-night pop-ins are all to be expected). However, stick to the routine and keep taking your child back to their bed when they get up, and soon your big kid will be sleeping like a baby!
Image Source: Thinkstock
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Join The Conversation
kay15339258 kay15339258 2 years
One thing we did which worked really well was for a month or so beforehand we put our son (2 years old when we transitioned him to big boy bed) down in his new bed for daytime naps. Then on the big night when he used it for the first time he didn't get out once. Amazed
AmendaD1389340430 AmendaD1389340430 2 years
I am going through this and my son is just happy in his big new bed. He is really excited. We gifted him baby deedee blue toddler quilt set he is just super happy and loves to play, snuggle a lot before sleeping.
Lisa-Horten Lisa-Horten 2 years
Bookmarking this for next year, for sure!
JessicaWarnock1370111038 JessicaWarnock1370111038 2 years
we had to move twice in a short time so our daughterwent from a crib and sharing our bed to a pack-n-play then back to bed sharing and her pack-n-play when we moved back home because the crib stayed behind in storage. we decided to get a princess toddler bed for Christmas so we put her down in our bed and she woke up in her princess bed super excited. she was 2 at the time and haven't had a problem since then except when she's really scared or sick.
lisamiller1389288689 lisamiller1389288689 2 years
my son 2 and has slept with me for a while now because alls he did was scream in his crib and here lately he is heck to sleep wit how do I get him to sleep in his bug boy bed
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