Is Junior starting to climb the crib’s walls and you’re worrying he may finally make it to the rail and plummet down towards the floor? Or maybe you’re just new at this and you’re not sure when to make the switch. In any case, the question is absolutely valid and I will try to offer a simple and easy to understand answer.
First, you should know that, unlike other important steps in your baby’s early life, moving to a big-kid bed is not something that should happen at a pre-established time. The switch usually happens between the age of 18 months and 3 years but it depends on your baby. Below are several pointers that can be used as guidelines for this decision.
Each baby is different and they develop at different rates. However, when he/she starts climbing the crib walls or they get too big to be safe in the crib it’s time to consider switching them to a mattress. Of course, the first bed should be safety-oriented, so make sure it’s not too high and there are no sharp corners.
Also, you must be careful when choosing the mattress. According to the review on trymattress.com, a memory foam mattress can be beneficial for a toddler, but only if the responsiveness and density are of the highest quality.
On the other hand, if your kid is not too eager to climb out of the crib, you can consider making the switch after they turn 2. This gives them time to adjust to all the changes that happen around, and you can also take your time to understand your baby is growing.
Important tip: Once the baby turns 2 and a half, don’t wait too long to make the change as your baby will get emotionally attached to the crib and it will be more difficult to introduce them to their own bed.
One reason why a baby needs to leave the crib is the coming of a younger sibling. However, you need to consider this situation with extra care since the older baby will be introduced to a lot of change when the new baby arrives.
Even more, if the child is attached to the crib (they didn’t show any interest in moving out), a sudden move to a bed will make them feel displaced and ignored. So, instead of moving the toddler when the new baby is born, you should start the transition a few weeks before you’re due.
If the baby is too young and doesn’t seem fine with the situation, it’s OK to take a step back (return them to the crib) and wait until they get accustomed to their new sibling. It’s all a matter of balance and the process is heavily based on trial and error so be open to your kids’ feelings (even though they are very young).
If your munchkin graduated from potty training but they are still using their crib, then it’s time to consider the big kid bed. They are growing and learning a lot at this time of their life so the transition should be swift. Still, this doesn’t mean it should be sudden – every kid needs a bit of preparation so start with moving the crib in the same room with the bed so your baby can get used to the idea.
You can continue by allowing them to play on the bed during the day, and move on to naps on the big kid bed. Once they start to accept the new environment, it’s time to remove the crib from the room so the baby won’t be forced to decide between the two sleeping places.
Overall, there is no perfect time for all babies and each parent must learn to listen to their children’s preferences. The most important sign a baby will give you is related to safety, but you shouldn’t wait too long for the signs if your baby is less adventurous. The best way to make this transition as smooth and as cry-free as possible is to listen to your parent intuition.