When is a good time to switch from a crib to toddler bed?

Stacy - posted on 04/21/2009 ( 5 moms have responded )

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My son is 2 and we are expecting our second child in September. We want to transfer our son to a toddler bed but are not sure if he is ready for that. He still wakes up in the middle of the night every now and then and I am wondering if it is a good idea to do the transition yet?

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Narissa - posted on 04/22/2009

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my son was 22 months when i put him in a bed i didnt wont to but he was getting out of his cot all i can say is wait till he is ready and you are ready to its hard at first but you will get there.

Stacey - posted on 04/21/2009

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My son just turned two and I'm due in June. They will be 2 years, 2 months apart. We had a hard time with this!!! We moved him into a toddler bed in a different bedroom and left the nursery set up for the new baby (we wanted to do it far enough away from my due date so he didn't see the baby taking his crib away from him). He was about 23 months when we made the switch. We made a big deal about the new bed and how lucky he was, etc. One night, we simply asked him, "Do you want to sleep in the new bed or the crib?" He chose the new bed. Everything was baby proofed for his safety and our piece of mind; we shut his door and put up a gate on the outside just incase he got up and we didn't hear him. He was a great sleeper since birth so we were a little surprised when he'd wake up around 2 and want to play until about 5 or 6 a.m. This went on for several nights (I did it when I was off work for awhile - which I recommend if possible!). Finally, we had to do a little more "tough love" and would tell him, "It's not time to get up right now; you need to go back to sleep." There were some tears and asking for our bed, but we had to stay strong, which was hard cause I'm not a big cry-it-out fan. He would shut the door, but we kept finding him on the floor in the corner behind his little table. I think he missed the security of the crib and was confused why it wasn't time to play with the toys in his room. I was worried about that...but he gradually got over doing that after about a week. He does sleep a little less at night now (about 10 hours in stead of 12) because if he hears us up, he knows he can get up whenever he wants. What my husband and I believe REALLY helped was a few books that I bought. I purchased (from Amazon) an Elmo book titled "Big Enough for a Bed." It's is hard book that's really short and to the point. At the end, Elmo is laying in his big boy bed with his eyes closed. Now, our son says "Good night Elmo" and lays down on his own. We've had smoother nights the last two weeks...but it sure was stressful for awhile! It definitly messes with their sleep habits. So, if he's already waking up now, he'll probably do that too in the new bed.

Heather - posted on 04/21/2009

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I would switch now that would be plenty of time to for him to adjust to the new bed and to forget the crib so he wont feel pushed out for the baby I would also pack the crib away so when you bring it back out close to when the baby is coming it is more symbolically for the baby where as having it out all the time may just make him want to be in it.

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A friend of mine was sorta in your boat. She was pregnant and had a toddler and wanted to put the toddler in a "big girl bed" so that her newborn could use the crib. She ended up just getting another crib because she really just felt that her older child wasn't ready. This was based purely on her gut instinct though....so I guess my suggestion to you is to listen to your gut. If you think your son can handle being in a toddler bed, you've got plenty of time to give it a try. September is still a ways off so I say try it. If it doesn't work out or if he is too afraid or whatever, you can always switch it back and buy another crib.

Denise - posted on 04/21/2009

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I would say switch him over in a few months. When we did with our daughter because we were having our second baby we just told her how fun it will be to be in a big girls bed and we moved it in decorated her room with princess' and her bedding!! Do not forget to put up a toddler railing that is very important. I think sometimes my 6 yr old stillneeds one she still falls out!

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