Transitioning to a Toddler Bed – 6 Steps to the Big Change

Transitioning to a Toddler Bed- toddler sleeping in a bedOne of the many questions that most parents face, is when to start transitioning to a toddler bed. For most parents, this can be a tough decision. That is to say, it is hard to face the facts of your baby growing up. With that said, your child will let you know when he is ready. No matter if you are ready or not.,

Let me out! Your toddler will tell you when he is ready to move to a larger bed.. For example, your child might actually verbalize displeasure. Or more likely, simply climb out of the crib. So, what do you do?

Moreover, resist the temptation to move him too early. Most experts recommend transitioning to a toddler bed around age 3. On the other hand, if your child is climbing out of his crib or needs more space than a crib can provide you might consider transitioning earlier. With that said, it is better to keep him in the crib, which allows him to feel safe.

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Create a Safe environment

Most importantly, safety proof your child’s room and any adjacent areas he may be able to visit into the middle of the night.

Firstly, ensure that all windows are secure. Secondly, remove all step stools that can be tripped over. In addition, make sure the top of the stairs is secure with a gate of some kind.

Likewise, it is not a bad idea to install a safety gate at your child’s door. And, consider installing a small night-light in his room to help him orient himself and avoid hurting himself.

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Pick the Mattress

Involving your child in the entire process of transitioning to a toddler bed will improve the experience of the transition. For example, when you are going to the store to purchase a bed. That is to say, the mattress store, or any other store that sells mattresses.

Allow your child to help you choose the mattress or bed.

As hard as it is to resist buying a fancy bed, save that purchase for when your child is older. Therefore, with keeping safety in mind, all you really need is a twin-size mattress, box spring, and some safety rails for the sides.

Ensure you adjust the height of the bed accordingly. That is to say, it will need to sit low on the floor for some time until your child gets used to it.

Consequently, while you are shopping for the bed, make an effort to get some new fun sheets and some special pillowcases. This will help your child to feel special and that this transition is for him.

Related: Sleep Issues with Toddlers – What To Do

Disassemble the Crib Together

When the new bed arrives, this will be a very scary and exciting time for your child. Most importantly, ask your child to help you to take down the crib. That is to say, take your time to allow him to do as much of the work that he can. This way, your child will feel part of the transition process. As a result, it will be much easier for your toddler to say good-bye to the crib.

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Set Up the New Bed

Placement of the bed can be crucial to the success of transitioning to a toddler bed. To clarify, consider placing the bed in a corner of your child’s room. So, that the head and side of the bed are flush against the wall for protection.

Consider adding a safety rail to the exposed side of the bed. Most importantly, this will keep your child from falling out of the bed in his sleep. That is to say, it is only a few inches to the floor, but this still can be very frightening for your child.

Above all, it is important to help your child feel safe in his new sleeping arrangements, just as he did in his crib.

Related: Baby Sleep Techniques – 6 Science-Based Strategies

Explain the Rules

Transitioning to a toddler bed can be an excitingly scary time for your child. Therefore, you will need to explain the bedtime rules very carefully to him.

Your child may become verbal about sleeping in his new bed during the first couple of nights. Certainly, discuss your child’s feelings with him and explain to him that he is a big boy now.

Therefore, he will need to understand that when we go to sleep, we only wake up when the sun is nice and bright.

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Continue Bedtime Routine

Above all, continue with your current bedtime routine when transitioning to a toddler bed. To clarify, your child is already going thru some emotional feelings.

Therefore, now is not the time to start making major changes in his bedtime routine. However, during the first few nights, your child is sleeping in his new bed it is recommended that you take an extra 10 minutes of reading time together.

Consequently, this will help to make him feel comfortable in his new environment. The idea here is to make your child feel safe. If your child seems excited about the new bed from the very start, you’re one of those lucky people who has made this transition easily.


To sum up, if you follow these 6 strategies, your child will feel comfortable taking giant developmental leaps during the day but still regress to the security of his new sleeping arrangement at night.

Subsequently, keep in mind until the age of 3, your toddlers can be very impulsive. For example, your child more than likely still has some difficulty in understanding. Likewise, being able to follow directions or rules can be a challenge.

Therefore, staying in bed all night will make sleeping in a bed a real challenge. If you transition to a toddler bed before age 3, you can plan on waking up to a little visitor next to your bed pretty much every night.

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