Little Kids

5 ways to help toddlers move from crib to big-kid bed

The crib mattress is already at its lowest level, and a sleep sack no longer curtails your toddler’s escape attempts. He’s ready for a big-kid bed. Are you? Here’s how to make the transition a little smoother (for both of you).

By Today's Parent
5 ways to help toddlers move from crib to big-kid bed

Photo: Getty Images

1. Lay the groundwork Drop hints like, “You’re getting so big for this crib!” and build excitement by having him pick out new bedding. Make sure your nighttime routine is rock-solid. (If he’s going through another transition, wait a few weeks, if you can.) 

2. Bore them to sleep The move to a big-kid bed can bring on bedtime stalling. So when she tries to cajole you for one more story, your mantra is: “We’ll talk tomorrow. It’s sleep time now.” Apply the same sedate approach when she gets out of bed.

3. Slowly back away If you’ve been lying with him until he’s asleep (to prevent jack-in-the-box antics), gradually inch away. Sit nearby in a chair. Over a few days (or weeks), move the chair further away until you're in the doorway.

4. Erect a new barricade Now that your kid can get out of bed whenever she pleases, you want to make sure she won’t wander up and down the stairs. Invest in a sturdy safety gate.

5. On a roll If your kid tends to toss and turn at night, you might want to buy a bed rail to prevent any pre-dawn spills. Or try this ingenious parent hack: Roll up a large towel and tuck it under the fitted sheet at the edge of the bed.

This article was originally published on Jun 26, 2017

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