Moving your toddler from their cot to big bed, avoid these mistakes.
Moving from Cot to Bed is an exciting transition, your baby is becoming a toddler and you’re entering a fun stage!
But making this transition too early is often a recipe for many broken nights, late bed times, dropped naps and early starts!
“Max was 20 months when I got pregnant with his sister, I thought I would get a head start on the transition and moved Max to his big bed to free up his cot, so he wouldn’t feel he was kicked out of his cot for his sister. Max was great in his big bed for about 3 weeks, then he started to demand that we lie down with him, at first this started at bed time, by the time I was 6 months pregnant and exhausted it was 6 times a night!”
Use a sleeping bag
Using a sleeping bag will help prevent your baby from being able to get a leg over the side of the cot and jump out. Merino kids makes awesome big toddler sleeping bags that easily fit up until 4 years old, so don’t give up on the sleeping bag as soon as your little one turns 2.
Don’t set up the single bed and let them “choose”
I see this happening frequently when I visit toddlers on consults. The parents have set up the big bed and have let the toddler choose when they are ready to sleep in the big bed. The big bed is new and fun and your two year old is unlikely to make a good decision about his or her own impulse control when it comes to staying in the big bed!
Snug sheets and restraints
To date we haven’t found a snug sheet or restraint which is successful in allowing full movement and successful sleep whilst still stopping a toddler from jumping from their cot. Some have broken, ripped or just frustrated the toddler.
Monitor bed times
If your toddler is at the age where they are beginning to show signs of trying to climb from the cot, check on them frequently and quickly lie them down. Tell them “No lie down”, be consistent, it’s not a game, and ensure they don’t take their sleeping bag off!
Try to wait until as close to as 3 years old as possible. This is when your toddler will understand the sleep rules… 1. Stay in bed! They will have developed impulse control and getting out of bed is far less likely to become a fun game at this age.
Lower your cot mattress
When you buy your cot make sure you check out the lower level, these actually vary between cots and sometimes the lower level isn’t low enough to make climbing out really difficult. Make sure you lower the mattress as soon as your baby is mobile, rolling over, crawling, sitting and standing can all happen pretty quickly, and before you know it your baby is standing and their cot railing is at waist height!