Ready for toddler bed?

Lauren - posted on 01/05/2009 ( 27 moms have responded )

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I have a 18 month old girl and am 6 months pregnant. When should I move my toddler to a toddler bed? I don't want our sleepless nights with a new born to be added to by a toddler who won't stay in bed. Any suggestions?

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Sarah - posted on 12/09/2010

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We put both our kids in toddler beds when they were about 16 months old. I never had issues with our daughter, she did well, but our son does NOT like staying in bed for naps. I would go in when I heard him playing around and I use to spank him and put him back. That didn't work. I next tried consistency, just keep putting him back everytime he got up. That worked eventually but wore me out so bad. I am now 38 weeks pregnant and about a month ago, consistency was too exhausting. It seemed he wasn't learning, I had to do the same thing every day for nap for like an hour. I have finally found our solution so I'll pass on to everyone else if they have nap issues. I sit in the room with him. He never got out of bed and on the first day of trying, he would play with his feet, babble to himself...etc..and then fall asleep after about 10 minutes. With me just sitting there quietly. Now after doing it for like a month, he doesn't even talk or play, I sit in there for 5 minutes just to make sure he's really out and then I leave. I haven't tried yet to see if he stays without me sitting there (I admit its nice to sit there in peace and quiet for awhile lol) but I imagine he would stay now if I just put him in his bed.
Good luck to you!

Brianna - posted on 12/09/2010

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my daughter is almost 13 months and i just found out im 5 weeks pregnant today. it got my thinking about moving her to her big girl bed. i think ill make the switch at 18months because she will be 21 months when the new baby gets here

Alyssa - posted on 12/09/2010

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My son is 18 months now but we started him in a toddler bed at 17 months. We're due in March and I wanted him to be sleeping in his new bed (and new room) as long as possible to be sure it was instilled in his mind that this room and bed are HIS.

When we first moved into this house, we were already expecting to have more kids. The top floor is comprised of two rooms and we made one (the furthest from the neighbors) his bedroom (because he gets up so darn early) and the other his playroom. Since he was used to both rooms, it wasn't that much of a big deal getting him acclimated to his new room. We set-up his new bed in the new room and let him play on it for about a week. Once we were sure he understood the concept of getting in and out properly, we put him to sleep in it. The first night was a little tough. He ended up crying himself to sleep. But that was simply because he knew he could get out of bed and play but it was too dark for him to see (we don't use nightlights).

The first week of naps were a bit of a struggle but after a little trial and error we finally figured out what needed to be done. His toy box is an old trunk from college that can be locked. So, before "rest time" (we don't call it nap time) all of his toys are put away and locked away. The first couple of naps I had to lay on the floor outside his bedroom door and watch for his feet getting out of bed. As soon as I saw them, I walked into his room, picked up him, laid him down and left again. It took several times but he finally understood and stayed in bed and went to sleep. Its very rare for him to get out of bed now. It also helps to monitor whether he's actually tired. If I try to put him down for a nap before he's ready, its hell...

After all of his furniture was moved into his new room, we closed his old room. He's not been in there since and doesn't show any interest. He does absolutely incredible with his toddler bed. Bed time is actually easier with this bed than it was with his crib. It just took patience and discipline.

Darci - posted on 02/16/2009

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Our first two children are 15 1/2 months apart.  We waited until about 5 months after our second was born to move our first into a big girl bed (she was about 20 months old).  We bought a bunk bed set (didn't want to spend the money on a toddler bed and I didn't want to go through another transition), and placed the top bunk on the floor (built in railings).  I usually have more energy after the baby is born rather than when I'm pregnant, and she definitely wasn't ready for a big girl bed at 15 1/2 months.  She spent a while getting out of her bed for the first half an hour when she went to bed, but she slept through the night.  She's always been a good sleeper.



With our second, we moved him at about 21 months.  He started climbing out of the crib the night before we left for our Christmas trip.  Our daughter now has the bottom bunk (without railings) and our son has the railing (the beds are NOT bunked).  The two kids share a room, and he was excellent the first 3 weeks... only got out a couple times.  We have been going through a rough time (for other reasons too) of him getting out just for the first little while (half an hour or so), but I have started to tell both kids that they don't HAVE to go to sleep, but the HAVE to stay in their beds.  It has worked great for now!  They both sleep through the night in their own beds!  My son still naps in a pack 'n' play.



My 3 year-old daughter (first) hadn't been taking naps for a few months, but she has recently started to take naps again.  I have told her the same thing: she doesn't have to go to sleep, but she has to stay in her bed.  She is now napping again!  Happy day for me!



Our third is on the way, and he/she will spend the first few months in our room in a pack 'n' play, and then all three of them will probably be sharing a room.  What an adventure.  We have a 4 bedroom house, but 2 of the bedrooms are in the basement without egress windows.  I'm just not ready to move my 3 year-old into the basement.  Or, maybe, we'll install egress windows in the next year... which would make me more comfortable with moving the kids to the basement.



Good luck with putting your "big girl" into a big girl bed.  Every child is a little different...

Katie - posted on 02/12/2009

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I have a 2 year old and am due with #2 in June. Granted my girl is a little older than yours, but I just moved her into a full-sized, adult bed (it is not on a frame, box spring and mattress are on the floor to reduce height). She really enjoys her "big girl bed". The key is to not go into the room until she is tired and all nightly activities have ceased (brush teeth, snack, milk, etc.). We read 2-3 books, snuggle and them I leave her. Most nights she stays put and gets good rest. I was truly surprised because she is an extremely active and curious child. Sometimes they surprise you and are up for new responsibilities. I also let her know that her old crib will soon be used by the new baby. Good luck!

Jessica - posted on 02/11/2009

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I think that once your child is climbing out of his or her crib, that he or she should be placed in a toddler bed.  I just feel this is the safe way to do it.  My son would crawl out of his crib all the time, but once he had a toddler bed this was not an issue for us.  It also helped with the potty training aspect of things.  Oh and he was 2 when we transitioned him into his new bed.  He really loved it and it made him feel grown up.  I feel that is important to make him feel special especially when expecting a sibling.

Brandy - posted on 02/11/2009

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I agree that it depends on the child...and the toddler bed. Our crib converted to a toddler bed by taking one long rail off. We did this at 2 years and she was fine with it. GRANTED, it was still her "crib" bed but she never tried to get out of it until recently (3years). She was completly comfortable and even told me "I can get in by myself now." Expecting our second in Sept '09 and we will move her out of this stage and into a twin. If this is an option for you (converting the crib) I would do it! By the time you deliver and then get the newborn out of a bassinet you can transition to a regular bed.

Kristi - posted on 02/10/2009

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Quoting Lauren:

Ready for toddler bed?

I have a 18 month old girl and am 6 months pregnant. When should I move my toddler to a toddler bed? I don't want our sleepless nights with a new born to be added to by a toddler who won't stay in bed. Any suggestions?



My advice would be to go ahead and switch her from crib to bed now. It might end up being too much for her to adjust to if you wait until after your baby is born.



My son was 22 months old (this past October) when we made the transition from crib to bed. We had just found out that I was pregnant and so we wanted to do it right away so that he wouldn't be adjusting to a new addition, plus having to switch rooms. We moved him completely out of his old room and kept the crib in the baby room. He seemed to understand this, as he did incredibly well! He fell aleep in 5 minutes the first night in it and still falls asleep right away. He has yet to try to climb out. 



We don't want him wandering around the house while we are asleep so at night we put up a gate on his door for safety measures even though he hasn't climbed out yet.



 



 



Good luck!!!!

Cecille - posted on 02/04/2009

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My daughter will be 16 months old when we have our son. As of now, she is sleeping in a crib. Our son will sleep in a cradle in our room and once he learns to stand on his own we will move him into the crib, and buy our daughter her toddler bed at that time. I expect that this will be by the time our son is 6-8 months old.

Shaun - posted on 01/30/2009

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I just transitioned my daughter into a toddler bed. Her crib converts, so it wasn't that big of a deal. She's almost two and I'm pregnant so, we figured we'd give it a shot and see what happened. She did really well! We just told her it was her big girl bed like mommy and daddy's bed. Due to some heating issues in our upstairs, we are all sharing a bedroom right now. I don't know if that helped or not. She's never gotten up at night, it's naptime we're having the hardest time with. I go up and check on her ever 10 mins or so. If she's out of bed, I just put her back in and say "It's nap time." the next time I just put her in bed and I just keep going till she falls asleep. If she's in her bed, but awake, I don't say anything to her. It's only been a few days, but I think we'll have the nap time problem taken care of today.
If you don't have toddler bed or a crib that converts, I would recommend just getting a twin bed and using bedrails. I think toddler beds are a total waste of money. If my DD's crib didn't convert, we would have just gotten a twin bed. We probably will at some point this summer since we'll need the crib for the new baby.

Casey - posted on 01/29/2009

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i have a 15mth old and am nearly 5mths preg.i tried him in a toddler bed but he wouldnt settle and we were having sleepless nights,then one day i had enough and put him in the single bed i have in his room and he has been sleeping like an angel ever since!we still have the occasional waking due to teething but i think he much preffers the more space he now has.i had tried to put him in a bed when he turned 1 but as heather said,he was too young and it was destressing.you can only try,it might take a few nights but better to try now then when the new bub comes along coz youl have less patients when your already sleep deprived

Alison - posted on 01/28/2009

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We put our son into a big boy bed when he was about 19 or 20 months.  To be honest we had NO issues whatsoever, not even at nap time.  Maybe you could try a "camp out" one night, and see how she does after you tell her to stay there.  That way, if/when she does finally go to sleep, you can see if she'll roll out of her bed.  But bottom line, each child is different, and if you don't think the benefits will outweigh the stress at this point, just keep the crib.  Good luck Mama!

Kelly - posted on 01/28/2009

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i have the same issue. ds will be 19 months when the new baby is born. i dont want to pull him out of his crib to put the new baby in because i dont want him to associate it with the arrival and start to be jealous. we have a twin bed we are using and getting safety rails for it. i think we might get a used bassinet to use instead of buying another crib, which will be A)cheaper and B) allow baby to be with us or his/her room until ds is ready for the big bed. i think when he is 18 months i will start trying to get him to nap in the bed, but from there we will see how he does.

[deleted account]

Quoting Monika:



Quoting Jenny:

I think it depends on your child. My daughter was about 19 months when we moved her into her "big girl" bed. She loved it! She never tried to get out of bed at night, but it did take some discipline to teach her to stay in her bed for nap times. We handled the problem right away and to this day (at 3 years old) she won't get out of bed without asking us first, even though we've told her it's ok now.

We had a great experience, but all kids are different and if you have a gut feeling that it's going to be an issue, it will probably be easier to wait. On the other hand, if it's something you want to try, I would suggest giving yourself ample time before the new baby arrives so that you're daughter doesn't feel like she was pushed out of her crib.






How did you teach her to stay in her bed at nap times?  I need to transition my daughter to a toddler bed but she doesn't go down for naps easily.  I know she'll just jump right out of the bed.  NIghts are so much easier though.





Like I said, we were pretty lucky in this whole process.  It's been a while, but if I recall we made sure that she understood that it was naptime and that she needed to stay in bed and go to sleep.  On day one, she tried getting up and coming out of her room a couple times and she got a spanking for it.   On day two, I think she tried it one more time (just to see if we really meant business), got a spanking and that was it. 



I know that not everyone thinks that spanking is an appropriate discipline, but we found that Anna responded really well to it.  At that age, I think that the important thing is that whatever disciplne you choose, it needs to be timely so that your child isn't confused by your actions and understands that it is a consequence for that specific action of disobedience.  That way they will take action to avoid the negative consequences and hopefully obey you the next time.



** I should also note that my husband was home the days we finally enforced the naptime issue, so that made it a little easier on me:-)  I can't personally take all the credit.

Michel - posted on 01/27/2009

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Hi Lauren. I share your problem. I am 7 months pregnant and have a 19 month old. I have decided to simply keep him in his crib and keep the baby in my room for a while. I know that given the choice to stay in bed or climb out, I would be seeing and hearing him often during the night. So, if you think your daughter can handle it try it our for a while before the baby is born. I think it would be a bigger transition for a little one with a newborn around. 

Michel - posted on 01/27/2009

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Hi Lauren. I share your problem. I am 7 months pregnant and have a 19 month old. I have decided to simply keep him in his crib and keep the baby in my room for a while. I know that given the choice to stay in bed or climb out, I would be seeing and hearing him often during the night. So, if you think your daughter can handle it try it our for a while before the baby is born. I think it would be a bigger transition for a little one with a newborn around. 

Kristy - posted on 01/26/2009

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I would hold off until climbing out of the crib becomes an issue.  My 2 1/2 yr old is having trouble adjusting to a toddler bed right now.  She never climbed out of a crib, though, it's just that we wanted to use the crib for baby on the way and thought we'd go ahead and do it.  I just don't think there's a need to rush it.

Monika - posted on 01/26/2009

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Quoting Jenny:

I think it depends on your child. My daughter was about 19 months when we moved her into her "big girl" bed. She loved it! She never tried to get out of bed at night, but it did take some discipline to teach her to stay in her bed for nap times. We handled the problem right away and to this day (at 3 years old) she won't get out of bed without asking us first, even though we've told her it's ok now.

We had a great experience, but all kids are different and if you have a gut feeling that it's going to be an issue, it will probably be easier to wait. On the other hand, if it's something you want to try, I would suggest giving yourself ample time before the new baby arrives so that you're daughter doesn't feel like she was pushed out of her crib.



How did you teach her to stay in her bed at nap times?  I need to transition my daughter to a toddler bed but she doesn't go down for naps easily.  I know she'll just jump right out of the bed.  NIghts are so much easier though.

[deleted account]

I am having the same dilemma. I KNOW my daughter won't stay in bed but she has to learn eventually. I am skipping the toddler bed and going straight for twin bed. I figure why go through another transition. I got her bed rails so she won't fall out. I am just going to kidproof her room and be really consistent with my expectations for bedtime. She's always been good about going to bed so not too worried. But I will let you know! :)

Jenifer - posted on 01/13/2009

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I have an 18 month old too and am due in 6 weeks. I was going to move him into a toddler bed but he's really too young to understand that when he gets up he has to stay in his bed so I decided to just keep him in his crib. As long as he is sleeping, he can be in there till he's 3 for all I care! lol but he's so tall that he figured out how to escape in the middle of the night. We purchased a crib tent, it's a mesh tent that hooks onto the crib. At first he was mad but now he likes his little tent and he stays asleep all night long!

Amanda - posted on 01/13/2009

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My son climbed/fell out of the crib at 15 months and that night we brought up the toddler bed, moved out his crib and spent all day rearranging his room so that if he was walking around in there alone at night he couldn't get hurt. We put the bed in the corner of the room with his armoire making the 3rd side, that way he could only fall off one side, then we put those foam squares next to the bed two layers high so it would cushion him if he fell out, which he did once the first night and once or twice after. the first night he fell out once and we put him back in and then when we got up in the morning he was asleep on the floor by his door (which we've always kept closed at night to keep the cats out of his room). If your child isn't used to sleeping with the door closed you might have to start with that or get a REALLY good baby gate for their doorway. He adapted really easily and unless he is really crying like he is hurt we leave him in there after we put him to bed. He may play some but eventually he usually goes back to sleep on his own and sleeps through the night. All kids are different so a totally different approach may work better for your child, especially if they are not yet trying to "escape" the crib :) I guess it depends on your child if you want to set up the toddler bed and let the child "get used" to it, or just do a complete switch, I don't think my son even remembers the crib at all. It was way sooner than i wanted him out of the crib but it worked out pretty well and now by the time our new baby will use the crib he won't even remember him sleeping in there at all. good luck!

Meredith - posted on 01/13/2009

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I am going through a similar situation right now as well! I am trying to get pregnant with child#2  (and maybe am currently!!??) and have a little girl that just turned 2. Everyone I have talked to said that you should switch to a "big kid" bed (toddler size or not) BEFORE baby #2 gets there. I am nervous to do this because my daughter can't quite get out of her crib now, but a bed would be CRAZY for us... constantly getting out. Most people in response to that issue say that 1) using a punishment (dare I say a spanking!) the first few times the toddler gets out of bed should stop the trend pretty easily,  2) it is easier to train the toddler with staying in bed before the baby comes than after... especially with a child that regresses once the newbie comes, and 3) when you do the switch to big bed, make sure the crib is out of sight for a little while to prevent regression (use bassinett with newbie if not enough time) and remove all materials that could be dangerous in the toddlers room... like that tube of diaper rash cream you don't want spread all over the walls.



I hope this helps... as you are ahead of me, let me know what you decide and how it works out!

[deleted account]

We just bought a second crib too. My son will just be 2 when the new one is born (April 25th due date) and I know he will not be ready for a big boy bed. I did buy a convertible crib though that goes right up to a full sized bed so I don't have to bother buying another bed. I didn't want to buy him a toddler bed, that he's not ready for, and then eventually have to buy another bed (twin size or full) down the road. So we opted for convertible. I'm going to keep both babies in a crib as long as possible! He hasn't made any attempts to climb out yet (knock on wood), so I'm not seeing any problems with this!

Jessica - posted on 01/10/2009

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We are haing a similar problem.  But, we decided to get a second crib (a little cheaper) to just use until our son is ready for a bed...he seems quite content in his crib for now, so we didn't want to push the move too soon.  Good luck and keep us posted!

Leeann - posted on 01/06/2009

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My son was 20 months when we decided to give him his "big boy" bed I was 7 months pregnant and we didn't really have trouble with it. We wanted him in a toddler bed before the baby came ( that way we could use the crib for the new baby, and he would have been out of it long enough to not think of the crib as being "his"). One thing we did do that I think helped a little bit was; we put the toddler bed in his room along with the crib for about a week and a half. He had his naps and bed time in his crib but during the day I would put the crib matress in the toddler bed so he could crawl around and get used to it. But as Jenny said every child is different and you have to go by what you think yours will and wont do.

[deleted account]

I think it depends on your child. My daughter was about 19 months when we moved her into her "big girl" bed. She loved it! She never tried to get out of bed at night, but it did take some discipline to teach her to stay in her bed for nap times. We handled the problem right away and to this day (at 3 years old) she won't get out of bed without asking us first, even though we've told her it's ok now.

We had a great experience, but all kids are different and if you have a gut feeling that it's going to be an issue, it will probably be easier to wait. On the other hand, if it's something you want to try, I would suggest giving yourself ample time before the new baby arrives so that you're daughter doesn't feel like she was pushed out of her crib.

Heather - posted on 01/05/2009

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I have a two year old and I am due in Feb.   We just bought a second crib.  I have decided that there is no sense in trying to put him in a toddler bed and my pedi agreed with me.  I know my child would not stay in the "big" bed and so he is not ready for it.  I think alot of people transition too early and it just causes alot of headache at bed time!



Good luck with whatever you decide!

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