When to switch to a toddler bed?

Sara - posted on 07/23/2010 ( 44 moms have responded )

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When can I change from crib to toddler bed? My daughter is 18 months old and has shown no inclination to climb out of her crib, but I was wondering if I should entertain the idea. When is a good time to switch to a toddler bed?

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Jing - posted on 06/26/2011

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My 3 yr 8 months old son climbed out of his cot a week ago and since then, our lives are OVER! He had been a great sleeper from day 1 and usually would go to bed at 8pm and get up about 8am in the morning. Now that he has the new found freedom in his bed, he doesn't sleep until 9pm and gets up at 5.30am! We are dying and don't know what to do... Advice please.

Brandy - posted on 02/10/2012

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All I can say to the mom with toddlers that are in cribs still - and have not climbed out at all and are making no indication of trying to get out- Leave them in a crib - don't be in a hurry to do a bed - I don't know how many of these are your first children - but sometimes toddler beds- regular beds - when first put in ( the child) it brings on a whole new set of problems ... Not sleeping well... Getting up ...being scared now... Ect... Just let them stay in the crib until they make an attempt to get out- that's just my opinion - I have seen this a lot with my friends - and they too did it sooner - kicked themselves - believe if your babies (toddlers sorry) are 18 mths or so like I think I read - they most likely will be climbing out soon anyways !! Go look I bet they are doing it right now!!!:-) have fun!!!

Anna - posted on 04/23/2012

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I got my son a toddler bed at 21 months, and I wish now that I had waited until after his 2nd birthday. He wasn't ready for it at all, and it took us months to get back into a sane sleep routine. I think it really depends on the child and his/her cues for it, but I do plan to wait longer for my second one, whenever that happens.

Holli - posted on 08/08/2010

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Most healthcare providers will recommend that you wait until the child is around the age of 2 before making the transition to a toddler bed, unless they start climbing out as it becomes a safety issue. My daughter climbed out at around 18 months.



There are several things to consider when switching to a toddler bed. Do you want to use a toddler bed or go with a twin (or larger)? Do you want to use a classic wooden bed or a plastic one? If you have a child with disabilities (physical or developmental) I would recommend a plastic bed as the liklihood of accidental injuries (less likely to occur in non-disabled children) will be very minor compared to those from a hard wooden bed. Also, there are some "convertable beds" available that will transition from a toddler bed to a twin. These are, however, more available in the plastic models.



Whatever you decide on, if you haven't already, be sure the room is 100% childproof before getting the new bed and I strongly recommend a baby gate for safety and your sanity. ;) If your child is a climber (like mine), get one that either has vertical slats or has a flat surface. I have both throughout the house. The goal is that there is nowhere for a foot hold.

Christina - posted on 08/09/2010

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I told my son the same thing. he would wake up wanting a baba at 1:30 am and i said no you can have one when you see the sun come up . i also told him that that is when he can come out of the room. it worked for him . but now as soon as he see the sun he is up and out :)

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Vianca - posted on 07/26/2012

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hi, I put my kid on a bed when he was 15 months. No bed rails need it, theres is this baby safety bed belt that helps the transition crib-bed . I found it on ebay under the description BABY DREAMS -Safety bed belt for babies. Great deal ! they can move while sleeping, the safety belt just stops the baby come close to the edge of the bed. In my experience best thing ever, didn´t have to buy travel cribs or anything. We travel a lot so the safety belt was great for traveling is compatible with any type of bed.

Ashley - posted on 04/18/2011

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I'm a firm believer in switching to a toddler bed when they're ready. Climbing out of the crib is not necessarily a sign that the child is ready to move to a toddler bed. On the flip side, some kids never try to climb out. My son is part of the latter group, he's almost 3 and never tried to climb out, but we just switched to a twin bed (he despised the toddler bed we originally had).



If she's not having any problems in the crib, then I would leave it alone for now.

[deleted account]

My son has been in a toddler bed since he was 16 months or so. We had just moved, and he never climbed out of his bed. But to buy him a whole new crib never made sense. So we got him a toddler bed. Hes loved it since day one and sleeps so well in it. No real problems here. I'd say go for it and switch to a toddler bed. It couldnt hurt.

Shamika - posted on 08/09/2010

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I find myself unsure the same way you are about when to move to a toddler bed. My daughter is now 28 months. She ha da month where she would put her leg over the rail in an effort to show she wanted out but knew that she would fall. She has since stopped. She identifies her bed all the time now. Since she is small she still fits nicely. I have held off for two reasons however. First her room is not baby proofed and if left alone for a night her room would be in total dissaray by morning. Second she sleeps wildly and I usually find her against the rails in the morning.

I am thinking of babyproofing and waiting a few more months before I move her to a toddler bed. Potty training is already proving to be an adventure.

Janet - posted on 08/06/2010

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My son, Marc just turned 2 1/2 this week and is still in his crib and is very content in there. I am planning to purchase a toddler bed frame soon (and just use it for nap times) since we have started potty training and want to make all transitions as smooth as possible. I did do something very similar with our daughter when she was around the same age to help switch to a toddler bed. Best of luck to all you moms out there.

Crissy - posted on 08/06/2010

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My Daughter did not like the crib at all! she was in a toddler bed when she was 15 months! she loved it and stayed inher bed and till this day she knows that, thats her bed and when its time for night night she goes straight to it!

Tracy - posted on 08/05/2010

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I have twin boys that will be 2 on the 28th of this month. We started transitioning to toddler beds last week and it has been rough. We had to switch because both boys were crawling out of their cribs and it made me very nervous that we were going to make an ER run in the middle of the night. The last two nights have gone a lot better but naptime is still a nightmare. If the boys would not have been climbing out, they would still be in their cribs. Let her stay in the crib as long as possible but for safety, move her when she starts climbing out.

Anne - posted on 08/04/2010

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My daughter never slept through the night well until we changed her from the crib to a twin bed (with toddler rails). Honestly, I think the 'regular' bed was just so much more comfortable for her, and more like mommy and daddy's bed. She was 18 months when we transitioned her to a toddler bed.

Blythe - posted on 08/04/2010

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I would definitely wait to move to a toddler bed. My son was nearly 3 when we finally switched him to a bed. He never tried to climb out, so we just waited. There are a lot of benefits to waiting. If your child isn't trying to climb out if definitely behooves you to wait!

Ann - posted on 08/04/2010

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Our daughter just turned 3 & is still in a crib! She climbed out of her crib once & we immediately made it into a big girl bed. She HATED it! Finallly this past weekend, she just asked if she could use some of her birthday money to get a bed she saw (we were at Toys 'r' us for a little shopping spree). We couldn't believe it! My husband had been trying to talk her into it for so long! When to switch to a toddler bed all depends on the child. As long as their waist is a good amount below the railing, it's safe. We just left it up to her; she's the one that has to sleep in it.

Michelle - posted on 08/04/2010

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on my thrid child she went in to the big bed at 19months i moved the crib into the room for two nites to get used to new surroundings then took the crib away then in to the bed and shel will get out sometimes during the night but i dont talk to her i put her back in to bed then she fells bk to sleep it took some pratice but shes happy now and so are we weve more room and she like her sisters now a BIG GIRL and shes nearly 22months old

Christy - posted on 08/04/2010

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I think it depends on your child. I've always heard that it is better and safer for your child to wait as long as you can before making the move to a toddler bed. That's what I did. When my daughter started climbing out of her crib on a regular basis then I made the switch to a toddler bed so she wouldn't get hurt. This also happened around the time she started potty training.

Tammy - posted on 08/03/2010

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I took my oldest daughter out of the crib very young because she hated the crib, but my 18 month old is staying in the crib as long as possible because she is too on the go. I know if I tried her in a bed she would never go to sleep, she would just run around the room all night.

Alison - posted on 08/03/2010

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Just this weekend my 19 month old moved to a toddler bed and it's gone ok. My eldest went in a bed at 20 months. But saying that there is no rush I know childern who were 2 1/2 yrs before they moved to a toddler bed.

Jill - posted on 08/02/2010

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I vote for keeping her in her crib as long as possible. My 3 year old just moved to a toddler bed, he was perfectly happy in his crib but getting too big. On the other hand, I have a friend whose 2 1/2 year old broke her arm trying to climb out of the crib. That being said, I think there are a lot more hazards a toddler can be exposed to if moved to a toddler bed too soon.As long as she is comfortable and not trying to climb out, why make the move to a toddler bed?

Lisa - posted on 08/02/2010

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i had a cyst removed off my wrist when my son was 18 months old... so i took the side off the crib and put up a bed rail.... i did it due to not being able to lift him after the surgery... he took a few nights of bringing him back to bed about 3 times each... but then i would just shut the door tight and then he knew i was serious... for his second bday i got him a twin bed and he loves it....i like that if he needs me in the middle of the night he can come to me instead of crying... and i just put him back in bed.... i think it is more the parent needing to be ready for a week of dealing with them getting out and just reminding them its bed time.... keep a routine....it will all work out.... just like potty training! lol

Kyrsten - posted on 08/02/2010

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If your little one is walking and climbing well, she may well be ready. Just be aware that if she is walking, she might be less inclined to stay put. We waited until our son was 2 1/2 to move him up to a big boy bed, skipped the toddler bed, and he did great. Our little girl is 26 months and we just moved her to a bottom bunk. The first night, she rolled in between the bunk and the wall! We had a body pillow in place, but there was just enough room to push the pillow down and wedge herself in the crack. Now we have adequate bumpers on both sides to prevent rolling out. That's something to seriously consider, even with a toddler bed, when you have an 18 month old. Best wishes!

Michelle - posted on 08/02/2010

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My oldest son was 15 months old when he started sleeping in a regular size bed. We went from crib to queen bed with walls on 2 sides and pillows around the rest of the sides. He only fell out one time. We didn't have a toddler bed so we just tried the big bed right a way.

Vanessa - posted on 08/02/2010

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My son started climbing out at 18 months so we took the side off of the crib and put up one of those rails so he can get in and out. He is 20 months now and occasionally we find him on the floor after we put him to bed at night so we just pick him up and put him back in. Nap time is harder because he doesn't want to go down, but I just stay persistant and keep putting him back in until he goes to sleep. Normally about three or four times and a little crying and he's asleep. The next step will be a twin mattress in the room on the floor so he can get used to it and transition. I'll keep you posted.

Heather - posted on 07/30/2010

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I have twin girls who are two, and have been in toddler beds since they were one. One of my daughters kept throwing herself out of the crib and the other was to lazy to even try. I left her in the crib because she was safe in it and slept better. She began to start crying and showing signs of wanting out of the crib at 18 months. Only because she was jealous she couldn't get up and play with toys like my other one lol... I was told if your child is ok and happy being in the crib then to just wait for a toddler bed. A switch to quick can result in emotional change in behavior. I found that out when I sat one of my girls at the table to eat rather then leaving her in her high chair. She stopped eating as much. Your mommy!!! You'll know when your little one is ready!

Bonnie - posted on 07/30/2010

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My son was nearly two when we switched him to a toddler bed. He still can't climb out of his crib, but we wanted to start him in a toddler bed so he has plenty of time to get used to it before the new baby arrives (~5 months). He's doing fairly well with it but there are sometimes issues getting him to stay in it. If she isn't in danger and there are no other reasons to put her in the toddler bed then make things easy on yourself and wait!

Christy - posted on 07/29/2010

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All 4 of my kids moved to a full size bed when they were 1 1/2 and did great!!

Brianne - posted on 07/29/2010

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It depends on you child. If she's sleeping well and not trying to climb out I probably wouldn't rock the boat. For some kids a new bed might be scary. I switched my daughter over probably a little earlier than 18 months but she is so wiggly there just wasn't enough room in the crib or toddler bed. We went with a twin and a bed rail and her sleeping habits improved immediately.

Karla - posted on 07/29/2010

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my daughter is almost 28 mo and she LOVES her crib and i will be happy to leave her in it for as long as possible! i have joked that i would let her sleep in her crib until kindergarten if i could! the only problem i have is that she is potty trained in the daytime and i can't really potty train her for nights until she can get up and go potty in the night.

Kathleen - posted on 07/29/2010

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My son is 28 months old and is still in a crib. He's shown no inclination to try to climb out and moves around WAY too much during sleep to make me comfortable with an open side. I've been thinking about converting for some time now, but am worried he'd fall out! My plan, now, is to wait until the end of summer (about 4 more weeks) to convert his crib to a toddler bed...

I think it really depends on the individual child, their sleeping habits and their personalities to find the right time to convert.

[deleted account]

my son was 17 months, but he climbed out of his crib. we just put the mattress on the floor and he loved sleeping there for about a week, then we went straight to a twin mattress set.
a friend of mine had at least 1 of her kids in the crib till he turned about 3! so it's totaly up to you! personally I'd say between 18 to 24 months is the best time, but to each his own ya know?!

Heather - posted on 07/28/2010

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Buy a toddler bed now, new or used. Put it in her room and let her get used to it. We did this and a few months later my son decided to start sleeping in it. It also helped that it was a Cars toddler bed with Cars sheets! So buy a bed or sheets with her favorite characters on them! They help to encourage toddlers to sleep in the beds!

Teresa - posted on 07/28/2010

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Both my kids went to toddler beds around 15 months old and it took some getting use to for them. I know a lot of parents that wait until 2 yo. I don't think there's anything saying one is better than the other. I just know I had more problems at bedtime once they were in a toddler bed.

Shanon - posted on 07/27/2010

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No, the time will come and you will know it...I was eager to put my son in a bed. With my daughter I waited until she climbed out and the transition was much much smoother. She understood that she was to stay in her bed and my son now 5 still comes and gets in bed with me in the middle of the night.

Linda - posted on 07/26/2010

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My son is 21 months old and I was thinking off converting his crib into his bed also. He has on of those 3 stage beds in which case I just have to take the side of it off and it tuns into a day bed. He hasn't tried climbin out of it cause its on the lowest setting which is for the bed settin so I am gonna try it too.I will let you know how it works.

Julie - posted on 07/26/2010

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We got my son his bed for his 2nd birthday..he loved his cot but we felt it was time for him to move into a bed.Also we bought a proper single bed not a toddler one as the grow out of them so fast and we didn't want to have to start all over again when he got to big for it!! Best of luck with it,we had no problems from day 1 so it is worth it. But we also keep a stair gate on the room door so he can't wander or get hurt if he wakes!

Andrea - posted on 07/26/2010

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I switched my daughter from crib to full size bed at 14 months. She loved her bed! Of course with the new found freedom it took a few days to get her to stay in her bed at bedtime, but after a week she stayed in bed and fell asleep. She never cried about having a new bed, well it was the same bed just a different style. I did use a side rail for the first few months and that gave it a crib feel too. If you don't think your daughter is ready then wait a little but I have heard that the older they are the harder the transition is. If you have enough space in her room how about bringing a toddler bed in to so she can get use to it and maybe try to nap in it first.

Karyn - posted on 07/25/2010

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trust me leave them in cot for as long as possible that way you know their safe in their beds of morning my second son started climbing out of cot at early age so we had to put him bed now hes into everything as soon as his up im up so make the most of it

Sue - posted on 07/25/2010

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my little girl was 2 and a half when she went into her big bed, she never climbed out of her cot but had simply outgrown it. If your daughter is still happy in her cot and you are to, i would say leave her in it a bit longer.

Sofia - posted on 07/23/2010

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my daughter is 2 and she LOVES her crib, she hasn't shown any intentions on climbing... I am also wondering when is a good time for her, my friends say that I should leave her in her crib for as long as she wants to be in it. I think she so little to move in to a toddler bed, she won't stay in it and she'll make an absolute mess... I think I am dreading it now... :)

Cindy - posted on 07/23/2010

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I am interested in this as well. My son is the same age and has not tries to get out of crib yet either.

Amanda-Rose - posted on 07/23/2010

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I waited until my daughter climbed out of her crib which in my case was 18 months. I found that the transition was a little hard on her she would fall asleep on the floor instead of her bed for about a month. Every child is different. If she is comfortable and not climbing out I would leave her. Good Luck in your decision. If you have a convertible crib you could always try it for a night to see how she likes it.

Diane - posted on 07/23/2010

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I have twin girls who are 19 month old and have always slept great in cots, 12 hours a night almost from birth. one twin was trying to climb out of her cot but the other was perfectly happy in her cot, so i decided to remove the sides and make beds. they had a few nights of running around the room laughing and playing but now 2 weeks later they go to bed, play for about half an hour then get in bed and go to sleep. they sleep just as well as they always have. the only issue i have found is the afternoon nap, they would happily go to their cots after dinner and sleep straight away for an hour or so, they now go to bed after dinner and cry/play for an hour before falling asleep for half an hour, im hoping they either decide they dont want a nap (which is unlikley) or they realise they need to get in bed to sleep during the day. good luck in what ever you chose to do x

[deleted account]

I did that with our son at 20 months. I had just weaned him off breast feeding and wanted to begin a new habit/memory to help him not fall back into wanting to bf to fall asleep ect. I would say when you and your child are comfortable with the change along with it co-in-siding with what you have going on. I tell my son to stay in bed until the sun comes up and ever since I started saying that, he does just that. He never tried to climb out either but he was much happier in his toddler bed then in his crib. I'm not sure if it was that he had a choice of laying there or not if he woke up instead of having to stay in his crib until I got him out. But he loves it, and walks into the living room from his naps like he is grown.

Ashley - posted on 04/18/2011

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I'm a firm believer in switching to a toddler bed when they're ready. Climbing out of the crib is not necessarily a sign that the child is ready to move to a toddler bed. On the flip side, some kids never try to climb out. My son is part of the latter group, he's almost 3 and never tried to climb out, but we just switched to a twin bed (he despised the toddler bed we originally had).



If she's not having any problems in the crib, then I would leave it alone for now.

[deleted account]

My son has been in a toddler bed since he was 16 months or so. We had just moved, and he never climbed out of his bed. But to buy him a whole new crib never made sense. So we got him a toddler bed. Hes loved it since day one and sleeps so well in it. No real problems here. I'd say go for it and switch to a toddler bed. It couldnt hurt.

Shamika - posted on 08/09/2010

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I find myself unsure the same way you are about when to move to a toddler bed. My daughter is now 28 months. She ha da month where she would put her leg over the rail in an effort to show she wanted out but knew that she would fall. She has since stopped. She identifies her bed all the time now. Since she is small she still fits nicely. I have held off for two reasons however. First her room is not baby proofed and if left alone for a night her room would be in total dissaray by morning. Second she sleeps wildly and I usually find her against the rails in the morning.

I am thinking of babyproofing and waiting a few more months before I move her to a toddler bed. Potty training is already proving to be an adventure.

Janet - posted on 08/06/2010

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My son, Marc just turned 2 1/2 this week and is still in his crib and is very content in there. I am planning to purchase a toddler bed frame soon (and just use it for nap times) since we have started potty training and want to make all transitions as smooth as possible. I did do something very similar with our daughter when she was around the same age to help switch to a toddler bed. Best of luck to all you moms out there.

Anne - posted on 08/04/2010

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My daughter never slept through the night well until we changed her from the crib to a twin bed (with toddler rails). Honestly, I think the 'regular' bed was just so much more comfortable for her, and more like mommy and daddy's bed. She was 18 months when we transitioned her to a toddler bed.

Blythe - posted on 08/04/2010

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I would definitely wait to move to a toddler bed. My son was nearly 3 when we finally switched him to a bed. He never tried to climb out, so we just waited. There are a lot of benefits to waiting. If your child isn't trying to climb out if definitely behooves you to wait!

Ann - posted on 08/04/2010

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Our daughter just turned 3 & is still in a crib! She climbed out of her crib once & we immediately made it into a big girl bed. She HATED it! Finallly this past weekend, she just asked if she could use some of her birthday money to get a bed she saw (we were at Toys 'r' us for a little shopping spree). We couldn't believe it! My husband had been trying to talk her into it for so long! When to switch to a toddler bed all depends on the child. As long as their waist is a good amount below the railing, it's safe. We just left it up to her; she's the one that has to sleep in it.

Christy - posted on 08/04/2010

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I think it depends on your child. I've always heard that it is better and safer for your child to wait as long as you can before making the move to a toddler bed. That's what I did. When my daughter started climbing out of her crib on a regular basis then I made the switch to a toddler bed so she wouldn't get hurt. This also happened around the time she started potty training.

Alison - posted on 08/03/2010

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Just this weekend my 19 month old moved to a toddler bed and it's gone ok. My eldest went in a bed at 20 months. But saying that there is no rush I know childern who were 2 1/2 yrs before they moved to a toddler bed.

Jill - posted on 08/02/2010

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I vote for keeping her in her crib as long as possible. My 3 year old just moved to a toddler bed, he was perfectly happy in his crib but getting too big. On the other hand, I have a friend whose 2 1/2 year old broke her arm trying to climb out of the crib. That being said, I think there are a lot more hazards a toddler can be exposed to if moved to a toddler bed too soon.As long as she is comfortable and not trying to climb out, why make the move to a toddler bed?

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