Pirate Ship Toddler Bed
Helping your toddler adjust to the switch from crib to toddler bed requires both parenting skill and practical preparation - it's one part psychology, one part pragmatism. These tips will help to make it an enjoyable, secure, and trouble-free experience for everyone involved.
When should my toddler switch from a crib to a bed?
What's a good signal that it's time to switch?
How can I make the transition easier?
If your toddler isn't ready, don't force the issue. However, there are lots of fun and practical ways to introduce a bed to reluctant toddlers. Try one of these approaches:
Another way to help your toddler adjust is by introducing the bed as a place. For example, some toddlers respond well to a gradual transition of bedtime companions, e.g. stuffed animals, pillows, and blankets. Try moving stuffed animals one by one to the new bed over successive nights. In the morning, tell your toddler about how much the animals and pillows enjoyed their new sleeping space. Establishing a familiar bedtime routine will help your toddler feel secure during the adjustment.
Are there any resources available to help with the transition?
Positive reinforcement should play a major role in your toddler's transition. Some of that can be done in a collaborative way. Talk up the new bed, turn the transition into a celebration, and involve your toddler in the construction of the bed and the addition of bedding.
Sleep-themed books can also provide positive reinforcement. We recommend the Sesame Street board book Big Enough for a Bed. Your Own Big Bed by Rita Bergstein focuses on life's natural progressions. For books with pictures of real kids enjoying toddler beds, try My Big Girl Bed or My Big Boy Bed by Karen Langdon.
Are there any related changes I should be aware of?
Toddler beds provide more freedom for middle-of-the-night wandering, so make sure you've childproofed the bedroom and nearby environment, including electrical outlets and other potential hazards.