Is My Toddler Ready...Sleep

Expert answers to your most common developmental questions

You asked us: Is my toddler ready…

…to transition from crib to bed
…to cut out naps during the day
…to sleep with a doll
…to sleep with a pillow

Expert: Umberto Cellupica is a paediatrician with a community practice in Maple, Ont. He is also a staff paediatrician at York Central Hospital in Richmond Hill.

…to transition from crib to bed
Toddlers usually make the move from crib to bed around their second birthday. If your little one is trying to climb out of her crib, it may make sense to make the change earlier, Cellupica says. Use crib rails to reduce the risk of your tot falling out of the bed. “And before you start the transition, have a strategy in mind for how you are going to deal with your toddler climbing out of bed in the middle of the night!” (Back to top)

…to cut out naps during the day
If your toddler is resisting your attempts to put him down for a nap, he might not need one,” says Cellupica. Most toddlers cut out at least one nap around the year-and-a-half mark. “This might require some trial and error. If you cut out the nap and he becomes very irritable or hyperactive, it might be a sign that he still requires at least a short nap or rest period.” (Back to top)

…to sleep with a doll
Wondering if your tot is old enough to sleep with her favourite dolly? “It’s important for your toddler to feel safe and secure when learning to sleep alone. Using a special doll or teddy bear to help soothe her is a good strategy to encourage independent sleep,” says Cellupica. As long as there are no parts that can easily be ripped off and swallowed, Cellupica says you can introduce her to a special toy anytime after her first birthday. (Back to top)

…to sleep with a pillow
If your child is still in a crib he probably doesn’t sleep with a pillow. That might change when you transition him into his big-boy bed, around age two. At that time, Cellupica says you can introduce a flat pillow if your child wants one. (Back to top)

*Please note that the information provided should be used a guideline. If you’re concerned about a something specific always consult your family doctor or paediatrician.

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