*This post is in partnership with Room to Grow*
When is the time right to make the move from a cot to a toddler bed? It’s a tricky question and like most things with little ones it really does depend on the individual child. Ben made the decision for us shortly before Chloe was born by discovering that he could in fact climb out of bed. I’ll never forget going to check on him one night before I went to bed to find him asleep on the floor! He was 22 months old.
With Chloe she never quite got round to climbing out, the problem was more Ben climbing in! They shared a bedroom from Chloe being around 8 months old and as they got older we would often find them sat (or jumping) in Chloe’s bed together. We moved her into her big girls’ bed a couple of weeks before she turned two. I didn’t really want to move her at the time as I was worried they would mess about too much but in the end it was safer for both of them, and the bed!
And now? Now Amy is 20 months old and perfectly happy in her cot. She’s showing no signs of climbing out and I’d like to think her big brother now has more sense than to climb in!! She sleeps happily in her travel cot at Granny’s house however I’m not sure we’re going to take it all the way to France with us and I’m certainly not intending to pay 4 euros a night to hire one! I’m starting to think perhaps I should just let her sleep in a bed whilst we’re away – and then if I do that, why would I put her back in a cot when we get home? I must admit I’m just not quite sure what to do with that one!
Ben and Chloe both took the transition from cot to toddler bed in their stride and I’m hoping that by following these top tips, Amy will do exactly the same.
* Keep things familiar
Amy’s current cot converts to a toddler bed by taking the sides off and changing one of ends. Of course this means things will be relatively familiar for her – the mattress will feel the same, the height of her bed will be the same. Nothing about her bedroom will change at this point bar her bed.
* Make the new bed as inviting as possible
Whilst we don’t really need a new bed for Amy this time round it hasn’t stopped me swooning over the children’s beds from Room To Grow. We have always used the move to a big girls’ bed to be the time to graduate from sleeping bags to a pillow and duvet.
* Make sure everywhere is safe
I know this seems a bit obvious but it’s important to consider the additional safety implications. Until now your little one has been safe and secure in their cot but you’re about to give them the freedom of their bedroom when you aren’t there to watch! Is the furniture fastened to the wall? (We learned that lesson the hard way when Ben managed to pull his chest of drawers over – luckily he was completely unharmed but it has made us extra cautious). Will they be able to get out of their bedroom? Do you need an extra stair gate? We are lucky that the handle on Amy’s bedroom door is too high for her to be able to get out when the door is shut so there will be no night time wandering from her!
* Stick to the old routine
Our bedtime routine has been a variation on a theme for almost 6 years now. Nothing changes as we make the move to a big girl’s bed. Bedtime will still feel exactly the same for Amy. She will still be put to bed in exactly the same way and expected to stay there.
* Don’t rush it
Some people are keen to get their little ones into a big bed as soon as possible but I think it’s important to wait until you know they are ready. As I have explained we moved Ben once he had started to climb out and Chloe was moved when Ben started to climb in. Clearly there was an issue of safety there. As yet Amy is sleeping well in her cot and shows no signs of climbing out so I’m in no real hurry to give this cheeky monkey the run of her bedroom!
What are your top tips for making the transition from cot to bed as smooth and pain free as possible?