Is your toddler ready for a big-kid bed? The timing is different for every child, but it's part of the growing process and an exciting milestone! One of our #BrandSquad members just made the transition with her little one and shared her tips with us.
Check out her top 7 tips below for transitioning from a crib to toddler bed:
- Bed Choice - I picked out my daughter's crib knowing it converts. It converts to a toddler bed, twin bed and full bed, but I went back and forth of transitioning to the toddler bed or full bed. Since we already had the parts for the toddler, I decided this would be best to start with for her because it made the change less dramatic. She's had a big change lately with us moving, so I wanted to make it as easy as possible for her.plus saved me money on new sheets because her crib sheets fit the toddler bed!
- Make it Comfortable and Fun for Them- To mark the occasion and help your child feel excited about the change, I think choosing bedding, blankets, sheets that are something they are in to at that time is important. While I'd love to get her trendy, decorative bedding that pleases my inner Joanna Gaines. Her favorite movie right now is Frozen, and seeing her eyes light up and her jump in the bed saying "Elsa, Anna, Olaf!" was totally worth it.
- Re-evaluate your childproofing. You've likely already taken measures to toddler-proof your home, but this is a good time to re-evaluate their room and everything in the house. Are there any other safety precautions you should take in case your toddler does go adventuring during the night? We made sure to block the stairwell with a safety gate, lock the windows and doors that lead outside (including a chime that will ding loudly if opened), made sure all furniture in her room is sturdy and can't cause her any harm, and close her door at night. We keep the monitor camera out of reach from her and keep our monitor screen turned up loud, so so we can check on her and have peace of mind as well.
- Ease into it. Your toddler is making a big move. They're getting out of their comfort zone just as much as you, so ease into it and practice patience. The first couple of nights I laid in the bed with her and cuddled letting her know I'm here for her and she's okay. I let her hold my hand and walk herself to her crib praising her for being such a big girl. Toddlers and kids loves feeling praised and acknowledged, so practicing patience, showing how proud we were and easing into it with nighttime and naptime helped us with the transition. When she'd wake up in the morning or from her naps, me and the pups would open the door and greet her with full on excitement of how proud we all were (yes the dogs too lol)
- Don't change the bedtime routine. Put the bed in the same space where the crib was, if possible. And if the bath-milk-bed routine or bath-books-bed or whatever you're routine for sleep worked before, stick with it. Mixing up the bedtime routine will just mix your child up. We kept our routine the same, the bed in the same spot, and made sure the only change was the bed itself and bedding. But it's also important to stay consistent with getting them to sleep in their new bed. If the first few days and nights are hard, don't give up. She has ended up on the floor a few times (she's a crazy sleeper), but thankfully she didn't cry just rolled over and went back to sleep on the ground lol (which is why we put her pack n play pad down by her bed as seen in the picture below).
- Keep exploration to a minimum. For most kids, the newfound freedom to roam will be irresistible. I made sure reinforce bedtime rules, keep playtime out of her room, and took out all the toys in her room except her stuffed animals, so she wouldn't be tempted to get up and play or explore. I made sure she had lots of pacis, a sippy cup of water, to make her understand that even though she can get in and out it's bedtime and she needs to stay there until she wakes up in the morning. We had one night where she got up and walked around but got back in bed, and another night she got up and knocked on the door and said hello mommy! So I went back in there and laid her down. After a few days, she she didn't get up at all and slept through the night and all her naps!
- A Magic Potion - (Kidding but not really) My daughter has a lot of energy and changing up her routine at all makes it hard for her to relax and get ready for bed and stay in bed. We've always said she's got FOMO, so I just knew that this transition was going to be rough for our climber, fomo toddler lol. So that's when I did some researching and found JoySpring Vitamins Sleepberry. Sleepberry is a yummy, liquid remedy packed with vitamins and non-habit forming melatonin to help kids fall asleep easier, stay asleep longer and stay healthy (because no child with a cold sleeps good). It's gluten-free, vegan, non-GMO and sugar free with only made with Elderberry, Melatonin, Vitamin D, Theanine. I'd give 2/3 a dropper to her at night before bed, and it worked wonders to relax her and help her have a restful, good night sleep. Now, I use this for vacations, spending the night with grandparents or whatever causes her routine to be off to help her peacefully fall asleep and have a good night of rest. It's been a life saver! If you're interested in trying it out or any of their vitamins and all-natural remedies, here's a 15% code for you to use on our website: JumpforJoySpring15.