A few weeks ago, my beautiful, amazing and acrobatic daughter found her way out of her gorgeous crib and onto her changing table. Thankfully she was smart enough to not stand on it and just yell for her mama, but I freaked out when I saw that tiny baby sitting on that tall changing table that was NOT secured to the wall. It was clearly time to transition to the toddler bed.
This is not my first toddler bed transition rodeo and I knew that I wanted to attempt this one slightly different than my first. This can be a hard transition for your toddler as they are now not confined to their crib but free to roam and play, it can also be scary for them because now they may not feel as safe and secure when they are sleeping. It can adjust their sleep patterns and yours too. Through our past experience, I came up with some great ideas that I think really helped our transition into the toddler bed.
- Include your toddler in changing his/her room into a “big kid room”. We did not do that with my son. He literally fell asleep in our bed one afternoon and we converted his bed, rearranged all his toys and dressers and then tried to put him in his room that night. That was a terrible idea. With our daughter, she was able to help me move toys around and decide how she wanted some things (with guidance). We started by moving some of her toys and then a dresser and nightstand. The bed was the last thing we changed.
- Ask your toddler if they want a big kid bed. This should have been a no brainer. My son never climbed out of his crib, he just slept there and would have for eternity I think. I just was ready for that toddler transition and wanted to start potty training. The poor kid had no choice. I made SURE to ask our daughter if she wanted to try her big girl bed and let her know that if she didn’t like it we would put it back to a crib. She happily agreed!
- Prepare to slightly change your bedtime routine. Our normal routine is dinner, baths, books, snuggles, bed. It has been that way with both kids. I thought with our son that we could continue that. I realized quickly that it was not that simple. He needed more security and comfort. I gave that time to him and it made the transition easier. With our daughter I immediately made sure to talk with her after her bath and dim the lights in her room before the book. I extended our “snuggle” time a bit longer and allowed her fall asleep in my arms a couple times. I made sure to tell her that mommy is only a few steps away. Her sleep transition was easier for this.
On a side note. Please make sure that when you allow your toddler the freedom to move around their room and potentially climb on items that you secure all large pieces of furniture to a stud in the wall and baby proof. Kids are curious and dressers fall easily.