Wondering when to transition from the crib? Here are the signs your child is ready for a toddler bed.
Are you getting ready to make the switch to a toddler bed? It can be an exciting time for both you and your child, but it’s important to make sure they are ready for the change.
Here are 8 signs that your child is ready for a toddler bed, along with some tips on how to make the transition go smoothly.
Please note that this post may contain affiliate links. Please see my disclosure.
What exactly is a toddler bed?
A toddler bed is a small bed designed for toddlers. Most toddler beds are low to the ground and have rails on all sides to prevent your child from falling out. Toddler beds generally have a mattress size of 27.5 inches by 51.5 inches, which is about half the size of a twin bed mattress.
Many toddler beds also have unique designs, and some even come with built-in storage to help you keep your toddler’s room tidy.
Toddler beds are an important transition for toddlers who are outgrowing their cribs but are not quite ready for a regular bed.
How long can a child sleep in a toddler bed?
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends transitioning your child out of a crib and into a big kid bed once the crib railing is lower than their chest. At this height, children are more easily able to climb out of the crib, which can lead to injury.
There’s no exact answer on when to move to a toddler bed, but kids usually made the switch between 2 to 3 years of age.
Baby W didn’t transition to a toddler bed until he turned 3. We wanted to keep him in the crib for as long as possible. But when one morning I saw him climb out of his crib and sat on top of the changing station waiting for me to pick him up, I instantly ordered a toddler bed that day.
Every child and family situation is different, so here are some signs your child is ready for a toddler bed.
Signs your child is ready for a toddler bed
Your child is too big for the crib
According to New York Times, most pediatricians recommend moving to a regular bed when a child is 34 to 36 inches tall.
Even if your toddler seems to be sleeping soundly through the night, it’s important to take a closer look at how she’s actually sleeping.
Is she able to stretch out and move around comfortably? Or is she cramped up in a small space?
If it’s the latter, it might be time to consider switching to a toddler bed. This will give her more room to move around, and also make it easier for her to get in and out of bed on her own.
Your child climbs out of the crib
It can be bittersweet when your little one starts climbing out of the crib. On one hand, it’s a sign that they’re growing up and becoming more independent. On the other hand, it means that it’s time to switch to a toddler bed.
One tip here if you want to keep your little one a bit longer in the crib, try to remove anything that can be a stepping stone. Your toddler may step on plushies, pillows, or small nearby appliances such as humidifiers and air purifiers.
Baby W’s changing station was right next to his crib so he managed to climb out of his crib by pressing on the changing station next to him.
Also, If you see your child trying to swing his leg across the rail, it’s time to switch to a toddler bed.
Your child asks for a bigger bed
Even if your child never climbed out of the crib, he may be asking for an adult-style bed because he simply doesn’t want to be in the baby bed anymore. Your child is feeling a sense of independence and switching to a toddler bed will be a breeze. So when your child starts asking for a bigger bed, don’t be surprised if a toddler bed is at the top of their list.
Your child is a good sleeper
The transition from a crib to a toddler bed can be an exciting and emotional time for both parent and child. If your child is a good sleeper, it’ll be easier to make the move.
Toddler beds are designed for children 18 months and older who are able to get in and out of bed independently. If your child is used to sleeping through the night in a crib, they’ll likely have no trouble making the switch to a toddler bed. In fact, they may find the toddler bed more comfortable since it’s larger and has more space to move around.
If your child is still waking up several times during the night or taking naps during the day, postponing the transition to a toddler bed may be best.
Your child jumps inside the crib
If your child is regularly jumping in the crib, it’s time to make the switch to a toddler bed. A toddler bed is stronger and more durable than a crib, meaning that it can better withstand your child’s movement.
Your child is potty training
The process of potty training can be stressful for both parents and children. One key to success is consistency. Once you’ve decided to start potty training, it’s important to stick with it.
A good way to be consistent is to switch from the crib to a toddler bed. This will give them more independence and make it easier for them to get in and out of bed if they need to use the restroom at night.
Of course, every child is different, so ultimately you’ll need to use your best judgment when deciding when to make the switch. However, making the switch before your child is fully potty trained can help avoid accidents and accidents battles at night.
RELATED POST: Everything You Need To Know About Potty Training
You have a baby on the way
The arrival of a new baby is an exciting time for any family. However, it can also be a time of upheaval, as parents scramble to make room for the new arrival.
One way to ease the transition is to switch your toddler from a crib to a toddler bed. This way, you can reuse your toddler’s crib for the new baby. Not only is this more economical, but it also helps to keep things consistent for your toddler. After all, they are already dealing with the major life change of a new sibling.
Switching to a toddler bed will help them feel secure and comfortable in their own space. Plus, it will give them a chance to feel like a big kid – something that they are sure to enjoy.
You are ok leaving your child unsupervised
The switch from a crib to a toddler bed is a big step for both parent and child. Once your little one has the independence to get out of bed, he may try to do so in the middle of the night or early in the morning. As a result, it’s important to be consistent with bedtime rules.
If you’re okay with your child being unsupervised for a short period of time, then it’s probably time to make the switch. Let your child know that he can get out of bed when he wakes up, but he must stay in his room until you come to get him in the morning. This will help him to understand the new rules and boundaries. With consistency and patience, the transition from crib to a toddler bed can be a smooth one.
When Baby W first transitioned to the big kid bed, he always came to our room around 7 am when he woke. However, we don’t usually get up until 7:30 am so we had to tell him to either stay in his toddler bed or quietly play with his toys in his room. We were consistent in our rules so eventually, he learned to stay in his room until I go get him in the morning.
Tips on how to transition your child to a toddler bed
Pick out the right bed
The most important thing is to choose the right bed. Look for something that’s low to the ground so it’s easy for your child to get in and out of, and make sure there are no sharp edges or corners that could cause injury.
Most toddler bed fits standard crib mattress so your toddler can continue to use the same mattress from the crib.
We love this Dream On Me toddler bed because of its smart design with ample storage space. And better yet, with 6 different color options to choose from, you’re sure to find one that matches your home.
Let your child accessorize
To help make the switch as smooth as possible, try to let your toddler be involved in the process. If they’re old enough, let them pick out their new bedding and any other accessories they might want. This will help them feel ownership over the new space and make it more inviting.
You can also let them pick out a few favorite stuffed animals or dolls to sleep with. And if they’re old enough, involve them in the decision-making about where to put the new bed in their room.
Allowing your child to have a say in the process will help them feel more comfortable about making the switch.
Keep routines consistent
If your child is used to being put to bed at a certain time, stick to that schedule as much as possible. This will help them feel secure and relaxed in their new surroundings.
Our bedtime routine starts off with a warm bath, reading books, and going to bed. When I first introduced the toddler bed to my kids at night, they didn’t even make a fuss about their new beds because they know it was time to sleep.
Some children take to their new bed right away, while others may need some time to adjust. It is also important to keep the crib available for a while, as toddlers often like to have a familiar place to rest or nap. With a little patience and understanding, the transition from a crib to a toddler bed can go smoothly for everyone involved.
How to keep toddler in bed while transitioning from crib
If you’re finding that your toddler is now climbing out of their bed, there are a few things you can do to help keep them safely in their sleeping area.
- Try using a bed rail for toddler bed. Bed rails provide a gentle barrier that will help keep your toddler from falling out and a sense of encasement like the crib.
- Make sure to teach your toddler about bedtime boundaries. Explain that they should stay in their bed during the night, and be sure to enforce this rule consistently.
- Be sure to praise your child when they stay in bed and stay calm if they do get up.
With a bit of effort, you can help your toddler transition successfully to a big kid bed.
Toddler Bed safety tips
As a parent, you want your child to be safe at all times – especially when they’re asleep in their bed. To help ensure your toddler’s safety, follow these tips:
- JAMA certified: Look for a JAMA-certified Toddler Bed. This certification means that the bed meets rigorous safety standards.
- Bed rail safety: Consider adding a bed rail to prevent your toddler from falling out of bed. There are many different types of bed rails on the market, so be sure to choose one that’s child-proof and easy to install. Also, check that the rails are securely attached to the bed frame and no loose parts.
- Toddler bed bumper: A toddler bed bumper can be placed on the bottom of the toddler bed. This will provide an extra cushion in case your toddler rolls off from the bed. Choose a bumper that is made of breathable material and that can be easily removed for washing.
- Child-proof: Take steps to child-proof the bedroom, such as installing door locks, window guards, and outlet covers. This will help prevent your child from accessing dangerous areas.
By following these tips, you can help ensure your toddler’s safety while they sleep.
Should I move my toddler to a toddler bed or twin bed?
If you’re wondering whether to move your toddler to a toddler bed or twin bed, there are a few things to consider.
- Cost – A twin bed may be more expensive up front, but it will last longer since your child can use it for years to come.
- Space – If you have a small bedroom, a toddler bed may be a better option since it takes up less space.
- Other children – If you have another child who’s close in age, it may be easier to have them share a room with two twin beds.
Final thoughts on signs your child is ready for a toddler bed
Ultimately, there isn’t one right answer when it comes to moving your toddler to a new bed – it’s important to consider what will work best for your family.
With a little preparation, transitioning to a toddler bed can be an exciting and positive experience for your child.
Have you made the transition to a toddler bed yet? If so, what tips would you add to this list? Leave me a message below and let me know!
Articles you may like
- The Secrets To Getting Your Child To Sleep Alone
- 10 toddler fine motor activities you should do at home
- All you need to know about potty training