The best piece of advice I can give when speaking about the crib to bed transition is this- DO NOT EVER transition because it’s convenient for you as parents. The transition should be based solely on when your child is ready. Not because a new baby is coming or you’ve decided it’s time or you want to re-decorate. If you want your child to be a great sleeper and to enjoy going to bed, this is a great opportunity to foster their independence and growth by allowing them to make the decision.
How Soon Is Too Soon?
If your child can’t hold a conversation with you and tell you that they are ready and want to make the move to a “big boy” or “big girl” bed, then it’s too soon. I’m referring to their ability to speak in complete sentences, they need to be able to easily articulate their thoughts and feelings about the transition. Typically, this occurs around 3+ years of age.
There are many agile babies who have learned how to climb out of the crib; this is also not a good reason to transition to a bed. If your child isn’t old enough to cognitively understand and follow rules like “stay in your crib” then you will be in for a long, hard sleep training haul when trying to keep them in a bed.
Making the move to a big bed shouldn’t be a last resort or a solution for sleep training problems. It should be done when your child is well rested, is not actively going through any sleep milestones and is ready to have an open conversation about making the change.
Why Let Your Child Decide?
For the most part, if given the choice, children won’t choose to stay in their cribs forever or until they have absolutely outgrown them. But they will stay until they feel comfortable leaving and that’s the key to a successful transition. This is a great opportunity to empower your child, to talk to them about the importance of sleep and what a grown up honor it is to have a big bed of their own. When they make this choice themselves they will feel confident, excited and more likely to stay in their own bed and sleep through the night.
Keep It Economical
There are so many great child beds on the market and one of the most wallet friendly options are the cribs that can later be turned into beds. If you have multiple children or are expecting more, this allows your children to stay in their crib as long as needed without having to buy a separate bed. It’s a great transition friendly option. For more information on convertible beds stay tuned for this week’s product review.