When you feel that your baby is ready to be transferred from his well protected crib to a toddler bed, you also feel a sense of unspeakable loss and grief. You finally do not have to rock him to sleep; you do not have to put him to bed or assist him in climbing down his crib.
All these motherly duties that you have been discharging so diligently are coming to an end when your little one starts crawling and climbing out of his crib on his own. Many mothers wonder as to when their toddler has to be transferred to a toddler bed. Is it time yet? Should they allow them to go on for a few more months when they are completely ready? These are all questions that haunt them and make them wonder whether they are doing things the right way.
Most mothers do not know what signs to look for when they can be sure that their child is ready for bed. If you are one of those confused mothers who want to make sure that you are doing the right things at the right time, here are some warning signals and suggestions as to when your toddler has to be shifted to a solid bed.
Warning Signals That Announce The Change
A baby crib is basically constructed for a baby who sleeps gently. Once babies start crawling, jumping and shaking the crib, the screws and nuts are all flying in various directions! Then you come to know that your toddler has crossed the danger level and can no longer use the crib safely. The crib may not be strong enough to hold them anymore. They would not be safe if they continue sleeping in their cribs.
Another danger that can happen by using a crib for too long is when your child starts climbing down on his own. If the crib is high, he/she can fall off and get hurt in the process. These things must immediately prompt you to shift him to a toddler bed as soon as possible.
Look for Clear Signs Of Interest
Many toddlers grow out of their cribs sooner than you expect. If they have a brother or sister who sleeps on a cot, they would clearly express a desire to sleep on their beds. They would also start protesting when they are put in their crib as that feel that they are grown up like their brother or sister.
Kids love to imitate their older siblings and expressing a desire to sleep on their bed or on your bed must be considered as a signal that it is time to get him a cute toddler bed for himself. Such kids who want to sleep in a separate bed will get adjusted soon and will not create many problems during the transition phase. Allow him to take a nap on his brother’s or sister’s bed and see how he copes. If he enjoys it or feels perfectly excited, you must definitely understand that it is time to switch to a bed.
Never Force The Change
Though the age of two is considered as the right time to make the transition from a crib to a bed, there is no such rule that you have to stick to. While some kids express their desire on their own and start climbing out of their cot by then, there are others who are slower and have not started climbing down their crib.
Allow them to remain in the crib if they are safe and have not started making the move. There is no rush to shift these kids to a toddler bed. In fact, if you try to shift these kids to a toddler bed without them being ready, it can affect them adversely. They are not prepared for the change and might protest and take a long time to adjust.
Let them be until you are sure that they want to change. This will help them remain in their comfort zone for as long as they want and for as much time as it is safe for them.
Arrival Of A New Baby
The arrival of a new baby is a sure reason for you to shift your toddler to a toddler bed. This transition must be done as soon as possible and you must make efforts to put him in a toddler bed as soon as you have discovered about your pregnancy. This will give you the whole of nine months to make him well settled, comfortable and happy in his new bed.
Tell him about the new arrival and how important it is to give the new baby his crib as it is too small to sleep alone. Kids normally get used to the idea and start understanding. But don’t impose this change on him. Talk to him about the impending arrival every day. Let him get used to it. Give him time to express his wish and wait until he tells you that he want a new toddler bed.
You can stimulate his imagination and help him decide by taking him to the shop and showing him toddler beds. He could like some and would want to sleep in one of them. Let him decide though. Do not make him feel that you are forcing the change on him and allow him to feel unloved and lonely.
Before Age Three
Most children would have already made the transition from a crib to a bed before they reach the age of three. This should be the cut off date for shifting your child to a toddler bed. After that it becomes uncomfortable for the mother as well as the kid to sleep in a crib. It also makes it dangerous as cribs could be delicate and would not be able to hold the weight of a three year old anymore.
Introduce the idea to him a little over two years if he has already not expressed a desire to sleep in a toddler bed. That way, you have a year in hand to slowly facilitate the transition before he touches age three.