5 Tips To Help Baby Transition From Crib To Toddler Bed

During our baby’s short first few years, they’ll make many transitions in their sleeping. Whether it’s from a bassinet to crib or crib to toddler bed these transitions show even more ways your baby is growing. Deciding to move a baby from a crib to a toddler bed can be a difficult and emotional time for parents. From the physical logistics, to make sure baby (and mom and dad!) are ready and comfortable, to safety concerns, there is a lot to consider. But never fear - we’re here to help you navigate this terrain.

Although there is no specific recommended age for when to move a baby to a toddler bed, the average age is anywhere between 18 months old (1 ½) to 3½ years old. Ideally, it is best to watch for signs of baby’s readiness and time the transition in conjunction with those signals. Read on for tips to help make how to transition from a crib to a toddler bed.

5 Tips On How To Transition From Crib To Toddler Bed

1. Signs your child is ready for a toddler bed:

Some subtle and not-so-subtle signs to look out for include trying to climb out of the crib (especially if you’ve already lowered the mattress as low as it can go), during the potty training process (Being stuck in the crib makes this hard!) and, asking to move to a “big kid” bed. It may be time to convert your crib over to the toddler bed. Try not to have the big move coincide with major life events, such as the birth of a new sibling, since too many events at once can be overwhelming and stressful for everyone.

2. Give your babe a heads up about the change

Believe it or not even our kids like a heads up with upcoming change. This creates a much more smooth process for your tot and for mom and dad! There are lots of great books on the market designed to introduce baby to the concept of moving to a bed. Some of our favorites are Your Own Big Bed by Rita M. Bergstein and A Bed of Your Own by Mij Kelly. Use these books and other personal experiences as a springboard for discussing the exciting new time in your toddler’s life.

3. Make the transition from baby bed to toddler bed an event!

Plan a special shopping trip (physical or virtual) with your toddler to have him or her help pick out their new bedding. Look for bedding that baby relates to - whether that’s favorite colors, animals, or characters. Tealbee offers an all-organic cotton sheet that gives a soft and warm welcome to their new bed! Take to even showing them the transition they will be making. This gives your tot time to process and sees what is coming next with their new bed! Convertible cribs make a great and easy transition for your excited babe on their new sleep journey. These convertible cribs allow easy transitions for parents and babies with a baby bed to a toddler bed all in one. 

4. Toddler bed Safety.

With a (very) active and excited tot and their new bed, they are not used to having the same safety rails as a crib offers. Investing in toddler beds with rails or separate side rails, nightlights, and safety gates as needed keeps a secure sleeping environment for your babe. The newfound freedom of a toddler or big-kid bed means that your little one will have the ability to roam, even after you’re in bed. Make sure that you have systems in place to keep him or her safe and secure throughout the night.

Relevant Read: 

5. Stick to your usual routine.

Just because you’re changing the sleeping space doesn’t mean you need to change the sleeping routine. In fact, this move will be most successful if you stick with the same bedtime routine you’ve always used. Your little one will know what to expect and won’t have the double-excitement of a new bed and a new schedule at the same time. If there are expected changes that may occur with the new toddler bed, transitions in bedtime should be made in small increments over a course of days if not over a course of a couple of days. 

One other thing to keep in mind is that this process often requires extreme patience on the part of mom and dad. As What To Expect cautions: “be prepared for your child to constantly pop out of bed for a drink of water, a snuggle with Mom, or some other escape-from-my-room excuse. Calmly and silently return your toddler to bed as many times as it takes. Keep it as boring as possible and he'll “get the idea.” Remember, the signals you send to your child are just as important to this process as the ones he or she sends to you.

Transitioning to the “Big Kid Bed”

But what’s next after moving to the toddler bed? The next phase in the sleeping space transition is the big kid bed! The bed transition process should stick as your babe moves to the next upgrade, a new twin bed! 

When to transition from Toddler bed to Twin Bed?

When exactly is it the right time to transition from a toddler bed to a twin bed? The average maximum age for a toddler bed is set around 5 years old or about 50 pounds. On the other hand, a survey conducted by Sleeping Should Be Easy, has found that the average age to change to a twin bed for your toddler is between ages 3 and 4. However, this is not a set time frame and is dependent upon your preferences and your tots' comfortability. Other surveys have shown transitions to be as early as a twin bed for their toddler at 18 months. Keeping the above transition tips is a great way to prepare your toddler for their new bed (again).

Twin Bed for Toddler Safety tips 

But don’t worry there are safety measures just like with the toddler beds, bed rails can be added to a twin bed for kids that allows your tot to sleep comfortably and safely - especially at a higher and bigger bed. Other precautions to consider are pillows and blankets. Pillows and blankets that are too big or too fluffy can still pose risks for suffocation. Sleepsacks are acceptable and safe alternatives to your babe getting acquainted with their new big bed.