Your child has slept in a crib since day one. It’s all they know, and what you’re comfortable with — until the day comes when they are ready to transition from their crib to a big-kid bed. For many parents, making this switch is a difficult decision. You may feel sad that your child’s baby days are over, worry that you’re rushing them to grow up, or wonder if they are truly ready for such a big step. When in doubt, the best idea is always to trust your parental instinct because you know your baby better than anyone else. But if you’re still unsure, here are several guidelines to help you decide whether or not your child is ready to move from the crib to a bed.
Your toddler climbs out of the crib
If a little midnight visitor has shown up in your room, it is absolutely time to move your child out of the crib. As you probably already know, climbing out of the crib is a pretty dangerous habit. It can cause serious accidents that can be easily avoided by making the switch from a crib to a bed. Keep your toddler safe by moving them to a bed right away, for their protection and your peace of mind.
The crib has become a trampoline
Watching your baby jump may be cute, but it’s not something you want to see while they are in their crib. Especially if you’ve already lowered the mattress to its lowest setting. When your baby is starting to use their crib as a trampoline, it’s definitely time to shop for a bed.
Babies get stronger by the day, and as they do so, jumping in the crib is a dangerous habit that can quickly lead to unwanted accidents. It is also a situation that can be easily avoided with the use of a bed where your baby can rest safely throughout the night.
Baby sleeps through the night
Sleeping through the night is a sign of maturity and independence in your child. It lets you know that your little one is transitioning from the baby stage to toddlerhood, and that they will soon be ready to move from their crib to a bed.
It may not happen from one day to the next, but it will happen soon, and it’s best to be prepared for that moment. When your child is able to sleep through the night without waking up for milk or a diaper change, you should take a cue and start looking for the appropriate bed to keep them safe and further support their development.
Your little one is already potty-trained
If your child wakes up with a dry diaper every night, they are showing clear signs of bladder control and evolving from their infant stage into the toddler years. It’s at this moment that parents can start preparing to move their child from their crib to a bed. But if your child is not jumping or climbing out of the crib, you probably still have a little time to find the right bed for your little one.
When your child is fully potty-trained, however, it’s important to provide them with a bed that allows them to use the bathroom any time they need to. This will help them avoid discouraging overnight accidents or during nap time.
When your child is potty-trained and has been moved to a bed, it’s also important to install a night light in the bedroom and hallway. This will ensure that your toddler can safely find their way to the bathroom if they need to go in the middle of the night.
Your child no longer fits in their crib
This one is pretty obvious: When your child no longer fits in their crib, it’s time to move them to a bigger bed. Keeping them in a crib at this point would be like dressing them in clothes that are too small.
If your little one is uncomfortable while they sleep, you will find that they start waking up in the middle of the night and develop poor sleeping habits. With a spacious bed where they can stretch out and move around comfortably, children sleep well and enjoy overall better health.
There is a new baby on the way
When you are expecting another baby and will need that crib to accommodate this new member of the family, it’s a good idea to plan the transition with plenty of time. This will help avoid jealousy or feelings of displacement from the older sibling.
Don’t wait until the last minute to move your toddler out of the crib. Instead, use this opportunity to prepare your child for the arrival of their little brother or sister. Moving from the crib to a bed before the baby arrives can make them feel like a big kid and encourage a sense of independence. When you are busy caring for the new baby, your toddler may feel more empowered to help and will experience less jealousy.
Your child is asking for the move
If your child has already shown interest in moving from a crib to a bed, this most likely means that they are ready for the transition. Celebrate their maturity and encourage this growth by providing them with the bed that they need. As a parent, you want to empower your kids to be strong and self-sufficient individuals. Show them that you listen and make a big deal out of this move, since it is a big step in the right direction.
Aside from safety concerns, there isn’t a specific age or cutoff for your child to move out of their crib and into a bed. It is a matter of confidence for them and also for you as a parent. The guidelines provided are helpful advice, but you are ultimately the only one who can determine whether or not your child is ready for a bed. When the moment comes, it is important to find the right bed to ensure the success of this major milestone in your child’s life.
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