One of the most nerve wracking transitions a parent can face is moving a toddler from their cot to a bed. For some it can go so incredibly smooth, no issues – no challenges. For others, it can be a real change to the peace and ease of your night time routine.
While there’s a lot of chatter about a ‘magic age’, every child and experience is different… and even circumstances. A new baby on the way or your toddler trying to climb out of the cot are generally the main reasons people may be looking to fast track the move.
In my experience, I’ve found transitioning a lot easier from 2 years of age. Earlier can be challenging but definitely not impossible. I transitioned my eldest daughter when she was 2.5 years old as we were travelling to Europe (while pregnant with my second) and it was going to be a lot easier to have her in a bed. It was definitely a transition based on circumstances; But with my second, she told us when she was ready and we didn’t push it. We had a cot that turned into a toddler bed so all we did was take off the side. Using a toddler bed is a great way to transition as they are lower to the ground so not only does it make it easier for kids to practice getting in/out of bed but it’s safer if they do fall out.
If circumstances allow, I do find the longer kids are in the cot the better they are at adjusting to this change in environment. They are less likely to roll around (or out) as much; they tend to keep the blankets on themselves and most importantly stay in bed! Boys, in particular, tend to be better at transitioning to a bed the longer they have stayed in the cot (so long as they are still happy to be in there). Girls, on the other hand, generally are more ‘emotionally ready’. Personally, I would look at transitioning a boy when they are closer to 3 years of age and a girl around 2.5 – 3 years of age.
If you are expecting another baby and want the cot once they are out of a bassinet then I highly recommend transitioning your toddler before the baby comes to avoid any unnecessary jealousy. This gives your toddler ample time to adjust to their ‘big bed’ and isn’t another chaotic change to their little world.
If your toddler starts climbing out of the cot or showing signs they are close to being able to then I would definitely transition them as soon as possible. Safety is always the most important!
And just like that we’re already talking beds! They grow up so quick don’t they? Remember to enjoy the ride, bumps and all. If you’re having a little difficulty with the adjustment, drop me a line and we can work out a plan together.