This weekend was action-packed with Easter festivities in the Lussier house – family dinners and hunting for chocolate eggs. We are all feeling the effects of too much junk this morning and are needing a detox!
This weekend also marked a huge change for my youngest – a big girl bed! She is turning three this week and we finally decided to make the transition.
Here are my top tips for making the transition from a crib to a bed:
- Don’t rush! We often see sleep issues emerge when little ones are transitioned too soon. Many of those times, it’s because a new baby was going to be arriving and Mom and Dad needed the crib for the new sibling. If that’s the case for you, try to make alternate arrangements. Buy another crib, borrow a crib from friends/family – anything to prevent having to move your older child to a bed prematurely. Keep in mind, your newborn will likely be room-sharing with you for the first few months anyhow. The minimum age I recommend is 2.5, but every child is different. My oldest was 3.5 when he finally got out of his crib, simply because every time I would ask him about transitioning him into a bed, he would say “I like mine crib”! My husband and I opted to buy convertible cribs for our little ones, and I am so happy we did. They are more expensive initially to purchase, but they convert to double beds which the kids will be able to use until they leave home! It saves from purchasing a crib, then a toddler bed/twin bed and then a bigger bed as your child grows.
- Set boundaries! A new bed comes with lots of responsibility (and freedom), so this will likely be a time where you’ll see some boundary pushing from your toddler! When you’re ready to move to a bed, my suggestion is to purchase a bed that is up on a frame and install a bedrail so that your child feels secure, and you feel reassured that they are not going to fall out of bed in the middle of the night. Mattresses on the floor and toddler beds that are low to the ground offer too much opportunity to simply get out of bed whenever they please, and can be the cause of little ones who continually get out of bed at night. Make sure you discuss sleep rules with your child, and if necessary be prepared to implement some consequences if your child is not following them. I recommend a few simple rules – Lay in bed, Lay quietly, Close your eyes and Stay in bed until morning.
- Include them! This should be an exciting time for them – get them involved! Have your little one choose their own bedding/accessories to make sure they buy into this major transition. A new stuffed animal to sleep with, or a toddler clock for their room can be a nice touch to mark the special occasion.
Don’t hesitate to contact me if you are making this transition with your child and would like my opinion – I would be happy to speak with you.