There are a number of difficult stages to get through once your child starts to get older, with each one just as difficult as the last. However, one of the hardest is the move from crib to bed, a change that is also one of the most satisfying.
In addition, although the move might be a big one for you, it is even bigger for your little one, who might be a little overwhelmed by the gigantic change. But don't worry, there are several ways to deal with such a humungous step. Here are 10 tips to move from crib to bed.
10 Find The Perfect Bed
The first thing you want to do is find the perfect bed for your little one. Most parents opt for the toddler bed, which looks like a smaller version of a twin bed. The best thing about the toddler bed is that it can also be disguised as a race car, a fire truck, a dinosaur, a slide, or anything you could ever think of. Yes, the toddler bed is barrels of fun.
However, although it is important that your child wants to sleep in it, you also have to think of some safety issues. For instance, make sure it is sturdy, comes with rails, and is low to the ground. This will make the change much more bearable.
9 Put The Bed In The Same Space
Young children often respond badly to change, especially if it is something that brings them comfort. Therefore, the change of a bed can be somewhat shocking to a little child. In order to avoid tantrums, why not place the new bed in the place of the old bed?
This will limit the huge amount of change that a new bed will bring and will also keep them in their routine. However, if this is impossible, just make sure you find the correct space for the bed. For instance, make sure it is away from windows, radiators, and any other things that affect the temperature or comfort of your child.
8 Slowly Introduce Them To The Bed
The last thing you want to do is throw them into the bed and expect them to stay there. Yes, changing beds is a difficult process and, in some cases, takes a long time. Firstly, slowly introduce them to bed before you even get it set up. Show them pictures, tell them when it is going to arrive, and make sure they are involved during every step. In fact, you could even let them choose the bed, as this will get them more excited about it when it comes.
Secondly, try getting them to hang out in the bed once it is set up. For instance, maybe you could read or play together. This will relax them that little bit more when it's time for them to be alone and sleep.
7 It's A Big Deal
It is very important to emphasize the fact that getting a new bed is a big deal and that they should be very proud of themselves for getting to this stage. It is likely that your child will be a little bit scared; after all, kids don't like change. Therefore, changing beds could either be a disaster or something that they should feel great about.
Furthermore, it is also important to praise them with regard to their bedtime habits. For instance, tell them how brave and courageous they are for sleeping in a brand new bed and reward them for staying in bed and sleeping, especially at the beginning.
6 Consider The Timing
There is no set rule for when children should or should not be doing things, despite what some mothers might tell you. That's right: every single child is unique, with different habits and routines. For instance, introducing new things to children is mostly about timing, especially with regards to sleeping arrangements.
Yes, make sure you get the timing right when it comes to buying a new bed, as a lot of things at once can become severely overwhelming. If they have recently started a new school, or if you have recently introduced a new brother or sister, then maybe wait a couple of months until they are settled again.
5 Keep Some Things The Same
Kids don't react well to a large amount of change, such as changing beds, with the end result turning into a disaster. In order to prevent this, why not attempt to keep some things familiar and the same as their old bedroom or bed?
For instance, try to keep some of the same bedding or pillows. This sense of familiarity will relax your kid, who then won't focus too much on the change of furniture. Furthermore, make sure that all the bedtime comforts such as teddy bears, blankets, and toys are in the same place as they were before.
4 Stay Safe
One of the most daunting tasks of changing your child's bed is the safety measures. Yes, switching from crib to toddler bed might be scary for your kid, but it is also extremely overwhelming for the adults. Firstly, make sure that the bed is certified and comes equipped with a sticker from the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association.
Secondly, check for loose screws or hardware irregularities. Finally, decide if you want bed rails, which will mostly be determined on how active your child is at night. If you are unsure, why not try a convertible crib? This will give you the option to use the rails, then take them down when the time is ready.
3 Sleep With Them If You Have To
If the change is not going to plan, don't panic—they will get there eventually. Instead, why not try spending more time in the room and bed together? This will get the kid used to the new bed and the new environment.
Furthermore, there is no shame in spending a few nights in the same room as your child, especially if they are having difficulty sleeping. Knowing you are there will help them sleep better and maybe get used to the new surroundings. You could even let them practice napping in the bed during the day, which could again help them get used to the feel of the new mattress and bed.
2 Don't Change The Bedtime Routine
Whatever you do, don't change the bedtime routine. Even if they are not sleeping, or crying or even shouting, never ever change the time that they usually go to bed. Changing the routine will only convince them that the bed is the wrong decision and that they aren't ready for such a big step.
Instead, try to put the new bed in the same place where their crib was, or at least near it. Then, go about your bedtime routine in the same way you have always done. Mixing up their routine will only mix them up even more and give them an excuse to hate it.
1 Expect A Visitor
During the first weeks of transitioning from crib to bed, it is normal for your child to go for walkies in the middle of the night. You will no doubt get a visitor in the middle of the night, with your child suddenly unsure of the change and unable to sleep.
This is a common occurrence and can be combatted with just taking your child back to bed and sitting with them while they try to get back to sleep. Try to avoid letting them sleep in your bed, for at least the first few nights anyway, as it will take longer for them to get used to sleeping on their own.