How to move your toddler from a cot to a bed

move your toddler from a cot to a bed

How to move your toddler from a cot to a bed – out of all the big transitions my daughter has made in her three years, this was the one that filled me with the most anxiety. Cue: night time wakings, visits, tumbling out of bed screamings…you name it, my head was filled with visions of all of it.

Three months in however, truth be told, the transition was nowhere near as bad as I expected (hey, expect the worst…hope for the best!), so I thought I’d share with you some tips on how to move your toddler from a cot to a bed

There’s no right age

The fact of the matter is – there’s no right age to move your toddler to their bed but most will recommend somewhere between 14 months and 3 years. In fact, we really pushed things back to as close to 3 years to ensure that our little was developmentally ready to be in a bed, and this worked really well for us, but as usual – every child is different.

Talk talk talk

Before we actually transferred our daughter from a cot to a bed, we talked about it….A LOT! We prepared her for a good few weeks before hand by bringing it up in conversation, so that she could get a handle on the concept and feel proud of this new level of responsibility…being in a big girl’s bed!

Go bed shopping!

Whether you are buying your toddler bed online (and we just love the selection of toddler beds from Room to Grow) or buying on the high street, I would highly recommend taking your little one bed shopping with you. They love trying out different beds and it helps to get them used to the idea of the upcoming move. It also helps them suss out what they like and what they don’t like – and believe me, these little ones have a much better idea than we give them credit for.

Let them choose the bed

In the end, they are the ones that are going to be sleeping in it, so they have to a) like it and b) comfortable in it. I remember thinking how much I wanted a gorgeous little bed for my girl and in the end she wanted the most utterly basic design – but she was so very happy in it, so at the end of the day….that is really all that matters.

But make sure it’s low and has got a guard

While I am an advocate of letting a child choose their own bed, there are just two important requirements I do think we should insist on…and that’s a low bed and one that has  a guard. I think the security that a low bed with a guard provides really is underestimated and it really does help them feel secure at the beginning of the transition, and also helps to emulate that slightly contained feel you get with a cot.

Do note that all guards are not equal so do try to find out that is more on the lengthy side – some of them can be very short indeed! Resist the urge to buy a bed they have to climb up steps to get into  (even though they look so cool!). Even three little steps is enough to add unnecessary complications at this stage.

Bedtime routines rule ok!

I’m a big believer in the importance of a good bedtime routine (cue bedtime drama avoidance!), and I do think the stabilizing force of a bedtime routine really helps with the transition into a bed from a cot, so if you haven’t got one, I would highly recommend getting this locked down beforehand.

And just in case

When we finally made the move, we laid the cot mattress alongside the toddler bed on the floor just in case somehow she managed to navigate around the guard (which never happened) but was just extra peace of mind for both of us. Also, as our little was still in sleep sacks at the time, and we kept her in those and didn’t transfer to a duvet under she was totally settled in her bed….because duvets can provide a whole other lot of drama. If I could do things all over again I would seriously consider investing in bedding which you can tuck into the bed like The Tuck and Snug.

Are you feeling anxious about moving your toddler from a cot into a bed? Or have you got some useful tips about making the transition? Do leave a comment and share.

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*This post is in collaboration with Room to Grow. All opinions are my own. 


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