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A guide on moving your child from a cot to a toddler bed

Every parent will go through the daunting task of transitioning their child into a toddler bed from a cot. It can be a challenge for both the parent and the child, and it could be the cause of a few sleepless nights if it is done without proper planning.

19th May, 2021
by Carl Walsh

There are a few things to take into consideration when choosing which bed to buy, including the price and safety of the bed. Price is a big consideration because children grow quickly, and they might only be in a toddler bed for a short period of time before needing to move into a bigger bed. However, even though you want to get the best possible price, you should not compromise on the quality of the bed.

Safety should be a top priority when buying a toddler bed, this means you should get a bed sturdy enough to withhold your child jumping about on the bed when they are playing, and a bed low enough to the ground so that if they fall out in the middle of the night, they are unlikely to hurt themselves.

Why you need to properly plan the transition from a cot to a toddler bed:

If you properly plan the transition from a cot to a toddler bed, it will make it much easier for you as the parent, and the child. For a child, moving into a new bed can be equally scary and exciting, and unfortunately, both emotions could make a child feel overwhelmed, which could impact their ability to get to sleep easily.

A child could be fearful of moving into a new bed because their cot is all they have known, and it is their space of comfort and calm. Taking their cot away from them straight away might seem like a punishment to the child, and it could make them upset if they are unable to say goodbye to the bed properly.

It can also be an overwhelming moment for the parent if you take the cot away too quickly. The cot will have been home to your baby for the first years of its life, and so many memories will be attached to it.

Toddler Bed

How to transition your child into a toddler bed:

Take it slow

As transitioning your child from a cot to a toddler bed can be an emotional experience, it's important to take it slowly for both the parent and the child. We suggest taking your child with you shopping to look at new toddler beds before they are necessarily ready to get one, this way they will get used to the prospect of getting a new bed in the near future, they could even help pick the bed!

Once the bed has been bought, building the bed a month or so before you are planning on moving them into it could be a good idea, this way, they are familiar with the bed in their living space, and it will not be so daunting to them when you introduce the idea of sleeping in a new bed.

Consistency

Once you decide it is the right time for your child to start sleeping in the new toddler bed, it is important to keep a routine. If your child is apprehensive about sleeping in a new toddler bed, you need to stick your guns and keep them sleeping regularly in the toddler bed. Letting them sleep one night in their cot and one night in their new bed will only confuse them, and it will make the transition much harder.

Routine

A new toddler bed could mean a new bedtime routine for the child. This means implementing a certain time they need to go to bed and helping them understand that getting a good night’s sleep will be good for them.

Rewards

Transitioning into a new bed is a big change for anyone, especially a child! So, ensuring they know how proud you are of them it important. They need to realise they are being brave by moving into a new bed, and they should be rewarded for this. This could be done by getting a special sticker every time they get into bed with no fuss or getting an extra-long bedtime story.

Excitement

If you are a parent going through this transition, it might be quite an overwhelming and emotional experience for you, but it is important not to project your feelings onto your child. If you show fear on your face because you are worried about the sleepless night ahead, your child will start to feel the same as you. Instead, make it an exciting experience getting into bed, and reiterate to them how their new toddler bed is lovely and comfortable, and how they will get the best night's sleep in their fancy new bed.

Be practical

Whilst the tips above should make the transition from a cot to a toddler bed an easier one, things still might not go to plan! Whilst its important to be consistent and keep a routine for your child’s bedtime, you should not force anything on them either. You will know when your child is ready for their new toddler bed, and they will tell you through their actions and mood. Do not just move them into a new bed because another parent has said their child has, do it because it is the right time for you and your child. Also, be prepared for things to go wrong! If your child finds the experience incredibly difficult, know that this is normal, and you are not alone. Give it time and the cot will soon be a distant memory.

Custom size toddler bed

Custom size toddler beds

If you are on the hunt for the perfect toddler bed, but you can’t find the best one for your child, then you might need a bespoke bed. If your toddler is above average height, you might find that you still need a bed that’s average width and low to the floor but is much longer than the average length. If that’s the case, Bed Guru can customise any bed frame, divan base, mattress, or bedding to the measurements of your choosing.

So, if it's nearly time for you to do the big transition, it could be a good idea to take on the above advice. If you do, you might find the experience much easier. Although your child might not need a huge transition phase, they could jump straight into their new toddler bed and never look back!

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