Making the transition from crib to bed can be a tricky one for some parents and a completely stress-free event for others. Part of the problem is that there doesn’t seem to be a checklist of indicators that your child is ready, and transitioning your toddler too soon can be unsafe.
One general rule is that most toddlers have the ability to get over the crib rail when they are 35 inches tall and between 18 to 24 months of age. That being said, it isn’t a hard rule as some will be able to get out sooner than this and some may never even attempt the climb at all. If they do climb out, first make sure that the crib mattress is lowered as far as it will go. If it is already at the lowest setting, it is time to look at other options to prevent any injuries from happening.
There isn’t any law out there that says you must have your child sleeping in a toddler bed by a certain age. It is perfectly fine to let them sleep in it past the age of 2 provided it remains safe. If you are starting the transition, one option is to place the crib mattress on the floor to ease them into it. There are also specific toddler beds that can be purchased, but they are not a necessity for safety.
A twin bed can be purchased and modified slightly to save the hassle of buying two beds. That is where the Dock-A-Tot Grand can come in very handy. Especially if you have a baby on the way and will be needing the crib sooner than expected. The Dock-A-Tot Grand provides a smoother transition to a bed by keeping the child snug, cozy and safe from rolling off. Alternatively, you can place large pool noodles under the fitted sheet on either side to also prevent rolling.
Also consider that when the time does come to leave the crib, your child is now going to have a lot more freedom to move about at night. It is essential to put the final touches of childproofing that need to be done as they can now be getting into or climbing on things while you are sleeping. You'll also want to make sure your exterior doors are childproofed at night.
Lastly, another helpful tip is if you know that your child is getting close to being too big for the crib, start talking about the transition to help get them ready. Saying things like “Pretty soon you get to move into your own bed!” By making it more of a celebratory event, a reluctant child may be more ready to make the move.
Lisa is a babywearing, breastfeeding, cloth-diapering mama who potentially struggles with her baby’s milestones more than her baby does.