When is the right time to move your little one out of their cot and into a bed? It’s a common question from parents of toddlers and young children. Frequently, parents ask if moving to a bed will help with sleep challenges.
The answer to this is: It may, but in most cases, I would advise holding off as long as possible before moving them out of a cot. The exception to this is obviously if a little one has started climbing out of their cot – this can be dangerous as they could fall, so it’s best to think about moving them into a bed and out of the cot. If your toddler hasn’t mastered the art of climbing out yet, there’s no hurry to move them.
Get Your Little One Involved With the Change
When you do decide to change to a bed, it’s a good idea to get your little one involved in this as much as possible. Chat with your little one in advance so that they know it’s going to happen. It’s tough for a toddler if their cot suddenly disappeared and they weren’t expecting it. So, talk with your wee one first and let them know they’ll be getting a new bed – make it an exciting event for them, using positive language. If possible, it’s great if you can get them involved in choosing bedding or a new toy for their bed, so they begin to feel excited about the move.
Once the new bed is set up, make sure that you give your child lots of opportunities to play in their room and get used to their new during the day bed. Take some time each day to play in their room with them – make sure that the lights are on or curtains are open so that it feels different from sleep time and allow them to lead the play and choose what they want to do. Let them play in their bed and start to feel comfortable in it away from sleep time – this should help them create a positive association with both their room and their new bed and make it easier for them to settle there when it comes to sleep.
Check Their Room is Safe
As your little one is now able to get out of their bed and move around the room once you’ve left them, ensure the room is safe for them to be in on their own. Heavy furniture is secured to the wall, and any cords from blinds, baby monitors are out of reach.
I hope that the transition to a bed goes smoothly for your little one! Just be warned! It can take some time for your little one to realise that they can get out of bed themselves. Often, once they learn their new freedom, the challenges can start!
If you need some help with your toddler’s sleep, I would be happy to help.
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Caro is a Senior Certified Sleepy Lambs Sleep Consultant® based in Edinburgh, Scotland.
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