Many of us would love to keep our children babies forever. It’s a little bittersweet to watch our children grow from newborns to babies and then to toddlers. Although we try to cuddle them a bit more and breastfeed a little longer, the inevitable will still come that your toddler will need some help with those unavoidable changes and transitions.
If you are considering transitioning your toddler from his crib into a bed there are a few things to consider. Unfortunately, there isn’t a magic age, as children’s mentality and understanding develop differently, however we do discourage moving your toddler into a bed until at least 2 years of age. When your toddler begins to understand and communicate with you, this is a good indication that he is ready for a bed and the freedom that comes with it. If you can explain to your toddler that he needs to stay in his bed for sleeps, it will make the transition much smoother. I also suggest that parents try to keep the same room that the toddler has been in all along. Often parents will transition a child out of his room and into a spare room with a whole new look because a new baby is coming and they need the nursery. However, children can often struggle with such a big change. Keeping the toddler in his current room and only making the change of introducing the bed to start will be the best option. It’s also important to make sure that parents are keeping safety in mind. Now that the toddler will have the freedom of getting out of his bed without supervision, it’s important that the entire room is safety proofed. Keeping the bed away from windows, securing all furniture to the walls, make sure there are no small or dangerous objects that the child can reach and even adding a gate at the door and door handle locks on the closet. Keeping your child in his room and safe must be a priority. Introducing the Gro Clock and ensuring there is a low watt nightlight will help you toddler feel safe and understand when he can come out of his bed.
Be sure that you have prepared your toddlers room for the change and also be sure to prepare your toddler. Make sure to talk about the transition for about a week prior to moving him into the new bed. Encourage him that this is a great change by telling him he is a big boy and mommy and daddy are so proud of him. Include him in the transition by letting him pick a new blanket and toy that he can sleep with and also teach him about the meaning of the Gro Clock and how it works. Try to continue the same bedtime routine that he has always had and limit the length of time you spend in the room once you have completed his routine.
Although we can try to prepare our toddler and ourselves for this transition, be prepared that there may be some crying and frustration with the first few nights in his new bed. But rest assured that consistency and reassurance will help him quickly love his new
How milestones can effect sleep
There are many things that can cause a
baby’s sleep regression. From teething to sickness to various milestones like
your baby learning that he can suck on his toes. A baby’s world is so incredible! Can you imagine seeing everything in our world for the first time. It’s like visiting a new country and being so excited to do and learn everything you can. You don’t know how much time you have to do it and you don’t know if
you will be able to do it again. This is the same way a baby feels when they learn to pull to a crawl position, suck on their toes or cruise around their crib. They will excessively do this new skill over and over again and most often in their crib at nap or bedtime when they have the time and opportunity to do it. In some situations they may need some help from you when they get into a situation they cannot solve themselves, like getting back to a laying position
or getting back into the middle of the crib instead of wedged into a corner. But as they practise and learn to perfect their new skill they will be able to help themselves and won’t need you to “help” them. For some skills that are just fun like sucking on their toes, you will need to just give it sometime and when they get bored of their new skill they will stop and go back to sleeping better.
In the meantime, when your baby hits a new milestone, be understanding of why their sleep may have regressed. Support them by practising their new skill in their wake time and if they get into a predicament, you can quickly offer minimal help to get them into a comfortable position. But most importantly be patient…this too shall pass!
This is a great place to ask your questions. Anything from prenatal to preschool. From feeding to sleeping...ask away!