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Toddler transitions: Moving to a ‘big bed’ Toddler transitions: Moving to a ‘big bed’
We are lucky to have Leslie Black back (A Kiss Goodnight) with a great article this week about moving your little one from a... Toddler transitions: Moving to a ‘big bed’

We are lucky to have Leslie Black back (A Kiss Goodnight) with a great article this week about moving your little one from a crib to a ‘big bed’.  This is a big transition and can be daunting for many parents.  Read on to hear Leslie’s take on this big step in your lives as parents.

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Moving to a Big Bed

Moving your toddler to a “big bed” can be a big decision and some parents aren’t sure the right age or the best approach for making the switch. Sometimes a toddler needs to move into a big bed because there is a sibling on the way and some need to move because they have discovered the joy of jumping out of the crib! No matter the reason, there are some ways to make it a little easier on everyone.

Toddlers are often moved out of the crib too early. Jumping from the crib is usually the main reason. If you have a toddler who is jumping, don’t rush to make the move. If your toddler is “good” at jumping from the crib, meaning doesn’t hurt him or herself, you can try a few tricks of your own before deciding if a move is needed. At bedtime, tell your little one that he must stay in the crib at bedtime. When he jumps out (which he will!), calmly return him to his crib and remind him that he must stay in the crib. You can repeat the rules the first 4-5 times that he jumps out, after that, return him to the crib without saying a word. For many toddlers, after a few nights of this, it becomes boring and they stop. Now, if your toddler is jumping from the crib and getting hurt, then it is likely time to make the switch. Crib tents are no longer recommended, so it would be better to move to a big bed if your toddler is jumping out and getting hurt. If you are moving a toddler because you have another baby on the way, wait as long as possible to make the move. Many parents want to have the new baby’s room ready in advance, so would like to have the crib prepared. However, newborn babies very rarely sleep in a crib, so hold off on transitioning your toddler unless you plan to put the baby in the crib immediately.

If none of the above are concerns for your family, then it is best to wait until your child is closer to three years old to make the move to a big bed. There are a lot of new responsibilities that come with a new bed, and a three year old has a better ability to understand what will happen if they don’t follow the “rules” at bedtime. When you have decided to move your child, make it a fun experience. Let your child pick out new sheets or help make the bed. Tell a bedtime story about a child moving to a big bed and in the story, include rules about staying in bed all night long. Once the move is complete, many children will stay in their bed for the first few nights or even weeks, but at some point, will realize that they can get out of the bed and even the room! Once this happens, quietly and calmly return your child to the bed and remind him that it’s bedtime and he must stay in the bed all night. Do this the first three times each night and then return him to the bed without saying a word. It may take several nights for your child to stop coming out of the room, but if you remain consistent and don’t allow it to become a game, your child will stay in bed for the night.

Like this post? Read Leslie’s previous posts here.  What would you like to hear Leslie speak on next?  Leave your suggestions in the comments below!

**Have some sleep questions you need answers to?**

Leslie is offering a special discount to North Shore Mama fans of 20% off of a full consultation and 10% off of a newborn consultation. Let Leslie know that North Shore Mama (that’s me :) ) sent you and enjoy the gift of sleep!

To connect with Leslie, you can find her on Facebook and on Twitter. Make sure you also check out her website to sign up for your FREE “Five Steps To Getting Your Baby To Sleep Through The Night” report!

Leslie Black

Leslie Black is a Registered Clinical Counsellor with a Master’s Degree in Counselling Psychology. She has lived in North Vancouver since age 7 and continues to reside there with her husband Jason and two young children William and Charles, along with their energetic companion Sully the Baoxer. Leslie has been a family counselor for 6 years, specializing in parenting. After successfully using the Sleep Sense Program to teach her boys how to be great sleepers, and working with countless tired parents who wondered how to get their children to sleep, Leslie decided to become a certified Sleep Sense Consultant. Website / Like Us On Facebook / Follow Us On Twitter

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