When is the right age to transfer your child to a toddler bed?

Hannah - posted on 04/16/2010 ( 100 moms have responded )

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My son is almost 16 months and I was just wondering when other parents start the transfer? I believe that he would do great but I am also scared about him getting up in the middle of the night and I don't hear him...So any suggestions?

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Jessi - posted on 04/16/2010

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good thing you asked this because i was just wondering myself. my son is 14mos & like me, he seems to toss & turn a lot while he sleeps. i have my twin bed for him with bed rails but am hesitant to put him in it at bed time even though i have a baby monitor.



would it be a good idea to put him in it just for nap time until he gets used to it?

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Gabriela - posted on 04/19/2010

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Funny...my daughter (who is also my oldest) was around 2 when I did the transfer...but my boys were another story...they hated being in the crib...and so at 1yr.old we had to transfer into a toddler bed, tried the remove the bar conversion with my oldest boy, but still no go..(I think they didn't like the fact that bars were still there)...but the great thing was my now 4yr.old son went on to a twin bed at 3 years old...so maybe it was for the best for us....all kids are different...see if it works for you, if not try again later...and yes, baby gates will be your best friend if you don't want him to wander around scared..

Katie - posted on 04/19/2010

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I put my daughter in her toddler bed when she was 15 months old. She rolled out somehow a few times but she got the hang of it easily. The crib we had that converted into a toddler bed, said on the instructions said that that was the earliest that they recommended you switch them.

Felisha - posted on 04/19/2010

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we did the transfer @ 16 months when we moved into a house where my son's room would not be upstairs. I kept the side rails on which i think helped him feel like he was still safe and couldn't get out of bed. Once he realized he could get out of bed he still stayed in bed through the night. My son just turned 3 and we recently got rid of the toddler bed and upgraded him into a twin bed when we felt he was just too big for the toddler bed. Give them the opportunity to help choose the bed or at least the sheets and blankets and the transition will be easier because they will be excited about their new bed. there is no reason you can't still use monitors too just until you are more comfortable.

Christine - posted on 04/19/2010

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My oldest started using toddler bed at 16 mths as we needed cot for the next baby. He settled really well and loved it. I put a stair gate on his door, but never needed too really as he always stayed in bed until the morning when he use to shout to me. Hope this helps.

Elizabeth - posted on 04/19/2010

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I think heather is right and you have to realize that every kid is so different. Parker loves to sleep in his bed and doesnt want to sleep with us anymore but he wakes up a few times a night (he never did before) and just wants to know we are there. we just have to walk in and he lies down and goes back to sleep and is fine. give it a try and just dont expect it to go a certain way.

Heather - posted on 04/19/2010

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Both of my kids were about 18months or so. My daughter (she's 2 1/2 now) has never had any problems. She actually puts herself to bed and stays in her room until morning.
My son (he's 4 1/2) had problems from the beginning because we moved from a 1bedroom apt where he slept in our room to a 3 bedroom house. Once he would get to sleep he would stay usually all night, getting him to sleep was the problem. Now he started getting up crying he is scared. I think this is an older kid thing now that they realize more what is going on.

Elizabeth - posted on 04/19/2010

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My son HATED sleeping in a crib and after a million sleepless nights we just let him sleep with us. when he was 16 months we wanted him in his own bed as well so we took a mattress and put it beside our bed for a week so he would get used to it and we make sure he wasnt falling off. Then we went out and bought him a cool race car bed and put him in is room. we werent worried about him falling off cause it is so low. We always keep the door shut when he is sleeping or have a baby gate at the door so that if he does get up he is in his room. We still have the baby monitor in there too so we hear him when he gets up. I think its great at that age if they are ready. give it a shot just make sure you have the door shut or a baby gate so they cant wander out and hurt themselves. Good luck!

Tiffany - posted on 04/19/2010

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I read that it's normal to leave them in the crib until around 3 years. My sister switched her kids when they were really young and she ended up sleeping in their room most nights!!! Good luck in your descion, we are going to wait until our son (18 months) can climb out or gets too big for the crib!

Tiffany - posted on 04/19/2010

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I had my son put into a bed at 15 months because he HATED being locked up in a crib and wouldn't sleep because of it. The minute he knew he could get in and out of bed by himself he slept thru the night. I put a gate at the door to keep him in the room in case he did get out of bed and it made my life a lot easier. BUT take tyhe readiness cues. If he sleeps well in a crib BY ALL MEANS keep him there. lol It will give you the peace of mind knowing he is safe and not able to leave that spoy. Another thing you could try is take the rail off the crib side and put a toddler safety rail on the side and see how he does. That way if he doesn't do well with the freedom...put the rail back on.

Meagan - posted on 04/19/2010

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Im not sure when I will take down the side of my son's bed and put the toddler side up, but I'm sure it will be just as soon as he masters getting up and off of the couch. He's a very active strong 10 month old boy who is already walking and pulling himself up onto everything. He loves to climb stairs and of course I stand right behind him.

Nicole - posted on 04/19/2010

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I put Jazmine in a toddler bed a few weeks ago and she's been doing great with it! She's only 14 months but she's still doing absolutely wonderful. She's only gotten out of bed twice and I have a baby gate up at her door so she doesn't escape :] She actually sleeps way better in a bed than she did in her crib. When she was in her crib she would wake up about 5 times a night shaking her crib and screaming. I'm so glad I tranferred her crib into a toddler bed :]

Aimee - posted on 04/19/2010

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We switched our first son to a big boy bed when he was 19 months. We had another on the way so we had to get him out of his crib. I bought a safety net for the bed, but never did use it b/c we just piled a bunch of pillows on the floor just in case he rolled out. We never had any problems w/ him falling out and hurting himself. The only bad part is that he can come into our room whenever he wants. But if you don't get into the habit of letting them into bed w/ it, it soon becomes a non-issue.

Renee - posted on 04/19/2010

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i trasfered my son to a twin size bed when i saw him with his foot on the top rail of his crib that's when i knew it was time.

Tiffany - posted on 04/19/2010

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like most of the other mom's have said, baby gate! My daughter went from a crib in our room, to a toddler bed in her own room at 15 months. i slept on her floor for the first week, then put a gate up & her baby monitor (my room is across the living room from hers so the monitor comes in handy)

Mary - posted on 04/19/2010

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I moved my son when he was two because I wanted him to get used to sleeping somewhere other than the crib before his little sister arrived and needed it. He did not do well with the transition. He was a great sleeper in his crib, but a horrible sleeper in his toddler bed. I wish I could have waited longer to transition him. I probably won't move my daughter out of her crib until she is closer to three.

Kacey - posted on 04/19/2010

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I moved my son when he started constantly getting out of his crib, I think he was probably about 18-20 months. I was alos scared about him getting up in the middle of the night, especially since our rooms were upstairs. I soon learned though that if he did get up he came straight to my room. My advice is, if you feel he's ready try it out, just make sure to put night lights in so he can see, and keep your bedroom door open.

Nee - posted on 04/19/2010

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My daughter (whos 4 now) was in a toddler bed at 18 months and my son is 18 months and has been in one for 2 weeks now. He does well. We got a nice baby monitor with led light for night time. Also its like a walky talky and if he tries to get outta bed we tell him to get back and 99% of the time he listens. He (so far *fingers crossed*) doesnt show an intrest of pulling clothes out of drawers as my daughter did. Good luck!!!

Dejah - posted on 04/19/2010

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I guess we are crazy, but my son has been sleeping in his toddler bed since the day he turned one. The first few nights he would get up and pass out on the floor, but after a while it had stopped and he crawls in bed, and loves the freedom to do so.

Rachel - posted on 04/19/2010

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Doctors say when they can climb out of their cribs but my twins got their toddler beds at 18 months. They love them and while it took a bit getting used to the fact that they can get up but shouldn't at night we had no problems transitioning them.

Jen - posted on 04/19/2010

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I switched my daughter when she was 15 months. What worked for us was letting her help put in together, then we let her pick out her bedding set. Once it was all set up we let her play on it all day. Then by that night she was used to it enough that she went straight to sleep with no trouble at all. About them getting up, I know in our situation, as long as her door was closed, and everything that could hurt her was removed from the room, it wasnt a problem. Hope that helps!

Katherine - posted on 04/19/2010

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We started by taking down the front panel of the crib and let her adjust to that for a while. My daughter was not very big so she was able to sleep comfortably in her converted crib for a while. We switched her to a twin bed when she was about 3. It was nice to just take that front panel of the crib off because we didnt have to go from crib to toddler bed then twin bed. Toddler beds can be expensive and when you think about it the kids dont stay in them long. I think it was much more practical to use the converted crib then go right to the twin...saved us buying a toddler bed that we were gonna barely use for that long.

Leanne - posted on 04/19/2010

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We kept our oldest in a cot up until the age she started climbing out, which was about 2, first with a mattress on the floor and then raised, however our youngest has only just gone into a bed in the last few months and she just turned 3. She never seemed all that ready before a few months back but once she started climbing with confidence we knew she was ready to.

We were worried to about her getting up, so we made sure the room was setup so there was no danger if she did, and stressed on the idea it was time to sleep. i found her out of bed once or twice but no more. The only thing i could suggest is to make sure the room is toddler proof. if you leave toys in there, make sure theyre toys he cant choke on etc. or you could just keep him in his cot for a little longer. i know a lot of mums who kept their kids in theirs until at least 2

Kerry - posted on 04/19/2010

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hi there. my answer is purely my experience as mum of 3 under four years I would not advise anyone to copy us am merely stating what worked for us.........my first girl had a moses basket for 6 weeks before she out grew it as she was long then put her into a cot, as she reached 8/9 months becoming more aware of surroundings she was like a caged animal and hated every moment so by 9 months she was in a toddler bed.....my second was out of his travel moses basket by 4 weeks and we tried cot but again caged animal was out by 6 months, I have just had my 3rd baby we have not got a cot this time but the travel moses basket is much bigger........I have gates on all doors that children use including one on my bedroom, my kids all go into their own bedroom around 18 months when they are ready and understand better whats going on and are tired enough for an early bedime........my son has hard wood floors so we bought a very thick rug that covers the floor so if he does decide to start messing around jumping off beds and the boystrous stuff he has less chance of hurting him self both the eldest have a 3ft single bed by 18-19 months and the bedguard removed, neither of them have fallen out or had any accidents and both sleep well............most advice by official sites state 2 yrs n up for a toddler bed and over 5 for a 3 ft single ......good luck whatever you decide xx

Joanne - posted on 04/19/2010

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It happened for us at 20 months we made a big biys room up and started getting it ready and one night on the way to his cot he said he wanted to sleep in the big boys bed. We have never looked back nearly a year ago now. Ultimately it was his decision

Marisa - posted on 04/18/2010

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hi, have you tried telling your child that if they keep getting up, you will put a lock on their door?? I did that with my now 3 year old and she said no locks, she wont get up. i used a rail at the door too and found my daughter got too distressed but the threat worked. i even went to bunnings once and started looking at locks and explained what they were for - we have never had to buy one yet.

Marisa - posted on 04/18/2010

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I never used Toddler Bed as I thought it was a waste of money. I brought king single bed. My oldest went into the big bed at 17 months for day sleep and 18 months during the night (I needed the cot as I had a second child by now) and found she loved it - she never got out of bed until after 2 and always called me when she woke. My youngest it 26 months and I have tried to keep her in the cot longer but she is asking for a big bed now so we have been bed shopping today. It depends on the child but also your needs. I took the rail off the cot to use as a toddler bed and she hates it, so we put it back up. Try your son with day sleeps in the big bed and see how you go - if you don't need the cot, let him decide.

Peggy - posted on 04/18/2010

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I think that it would be an awesome idea to try his nap time in the bed, initially that is the way my son started and we realized it worked for him and thats where he had slept since (hes 15 mths), some nites he does wake up but we have never had any issues, if you think your child is ready give it a try

Peggy - posted on 04/18/2010

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My son is 15 months old and is sleeping in a toddler bed he was never a fan of the crib, he does well in it and we have a baby gate in the doorway for nites when he wasked up

Shana - posted on 04/18/2010

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I think that it definately depends on your little one. My son turned 3 in March and shortly after his birthday he wanted a big boy bed. Before that, every time we talked about getting a new bed he would act anxious and say that he loved his cribby. If you think your child is ready go for it! If not, there is no harm in waiting until they're ready too.

Melanie - posted on 04/18/2010

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Lorraine,
My daughter is the same age. We just switched to a toddler bed too. We had a similar problem. Has anything in his routine changed? Since the toddler bed is new, something seemingly small out of the norm might trigger a bigger reaction.
This is what happed to us just a week ago. She refused to go to bed and wanted to be held to sleep. That was the only time she slept for almost 4 days. After 4 days I realized her father hadn't spent the mornings with her on those days as he usually does. Now that things are pretty much back to normal she sleeps well again. I hope that this helps.
Hannah,
A baby monitor will do wonders. Also if you have a plastic covered mattress and you aren't dealing with leaking night time diapers. I would recomend taking the thick absorbant pad out from under the sheets. That way when he rolls over in the bed you'll hear it. It calmed me at night to hear a little crinkle. Plus, it's that much easier to hear when they're going to attempt to get out of bed.

Heather - posted on 04/18/2010

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I would transfer him when he gets to the age when he starts climbing out of the crib thas a good sign hes ready for a big boy bed.

Delores - posted on 04/18/2010

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i think it is all your decision, if you think he is ready switch to a toddler bed, "experts" recommend you to switch when they are able to climb so they dont try and climb out of the crib and hurt themselves, my son is 16 months old and i am also thinking about switching to the toddler bed, luckily we dont have to buy any because we have the convertable crib. my friend switched her son from crib to toddler bed recently and he's only 19 months old she said he fell out once but wasnt harmed, and he gets out every once in awhile but they have a step next to the bed to make sure he can get back in because once he got up played with his toys and i guess fell asleep on the floor cause he could not climb back into bed.

Georgina - posted on 04/18/2010

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I waited until they could climb out of the cot i figured there was no point leaving them in there after that. Which was around 2.5 years old.

Tammera - posted on 04/18/2010

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I love the alarm on the door thing. I definatly wish I would have thought of that when my kids were at that stage. My middle son (aka the dare devil) has no fear. He had to be put in a toddler bed Very Early due to him climbing out. I was so scared that he would be hurt. A toddler bed just made more sence to me. Dont forget the baby monitor. You will more than likely sleep lightly for a while till you know how your child accepts the change. Best of luck.

Charlene - posted on 04/18/2010

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i have three kids only 1 is in a single bed my other daughter is 20 months i dont have her in a toddler bed yet because i fell the same way what if i dont hear her. i waited until my 4 year ild was 2 until i put her in one and it took a long time for her to adjust. eventuallyu it all worked out. you could always try and if he downt like it try again when hes a little older.

Mindy - posted on 04/18/2010

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Funny my son was a yr old and we transfered him into a bed that takes the crib matress he did extremely well and still is, Id say when u see signs, my son hated to sleep in the crib would scream in the middle of the night for me to take him out of the crib, or he would hit the bars with his hands and get mad everytime i put him in his crib.. So one night i told my hubby i thought it was time for a big bed... So we did we brought him with us picked out a bed, brought it home put it together and that night he slept all night!! at a 1 yr old they should really be sleeping all night. I think he hated knowing he was in a cage really!!!
Goodluck hope this helped a bit

Tiffany - posted on 04/18/2010

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I transfered my daughter in her toddler bed the day she started to try to get out of her crib. Hope it helps :)

Kristy - posted on 04/18/2010

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I transferred my daughter at 16 months because baby number two was arriving a few months later. She did great. Although she was waking up around 11pm every night and crying. It wasn't until we watched the video monitor and found she wiggled so much she fell out of the bed. I then pushed the bed against the wall and the problem was solved!

Brittany - posted on 04/18/2010

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When your child is starting to clim out the crib is the best time to do the change. I didnt wait till then. I put my daughter in a todler bed at 1 1/2. Im glad it tought her some independence

Lydia - posted on 04/18/2010

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We just put my daughter in a toddler bed, she"s 2 1/2. We put up a bedside rail to keep her from easily rolling out then to keep her from roaming the house freely we put a baby gate on her door. We still use a baby monitor so we hear her wake up and get her.

Raquel - posted on 04/18/2010

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I transferred my daughter at about 17 months and small barrier (so that she doesn't fall out) - I was awake almost the entire first night waiting for her to get out but amazingly enough, she tried coming out a couple of times as soon as we put her to bed but once asleep she slept through the entire night. She now wakes up and comes to our room when she wants her milk in the morning. She has 3 older sisters so sometimes that makes it a little hard if she wants to stay awake with them but otherwise I thought it was the best thing changing her over so young. We also have a baby gate which stops her going to the bathroom, toilet and sisters' area and the baby monitor is enough to hear them climb out of bed. Good luck!

Ashlee - posted on 04/18/2010

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i switched brice when he could (and would) climb out of his crib on his own! and we always put a baby gate on his door at night, so if he got up, and we didnt hear him, he couldnt get into anything that would hurt him! it was 18mos for him!

Jonquil - posted on 04/18/2010

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I think I transferred my son when he was around that age. I just went by his ability to climb in and out of a bed and stay relatively still in his sleep since he was doing good in every other aspect. Once he started staying still when he slept and demonstrating the ability to climb in and out of my bed I knew he was more than likely ready to start sleeping in his own bed. I know some people say to wait until they're climbing out of the crib but I didn't want to wait that long and risk him getting hurt since he was already a climber.

When I thought he was ready, I made sure to put a bunch of blankets down on the floor next to his bed in case he missed the rails on the sides and managed to fall out of bed. I'm very glad I did this because this is exactly what happened his first night because he was so used to sleeping up against the rails of his crib and his new bed only had them on the sides. It happened a couple more nights and then didn't happen again as he was finally used to not having rails all around him. This week he'll be turning two and he's already fully accustomed to being tucked in to bed and sleeping in it. I think it may have been a lot harder if I had waited until now to try switching him over to a bed.

Alberta - posted on 04/18/2010

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Well, My little girl is turning two and she has been in a toddler bed for about 3 weeks now, even though I think she was ready long before. As for the little one getting up during the night and not hearing him... generally in my experience they are looking for you anyway so even if you don't hear him right away i'm sure he will find you.... I was worried about this also but so far it's definitely not a problem..

Jonna - posted on 04/18/2010

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I moved my oldest to a big girl bed at 14 months and she did great, never got out of bed. We put a gate in front of her door just in case she got up. My second we began moving him to a bed at 16 months and he did get out of bed a few times, but we just put him back in it over and over and he eventually stayed. We did have to remove all of the toys from his room in order to have success. He is 2 now and we don't have a problem with him trying to play with his toys at nap time anymore. I think it all depends on your child and how comfortable you are with moving him to a bed. If you want to then go ahead and do it. For us it was circumstance (we needed the crib for a new arrival), but I will continue to transfer my kids to beds between a year and 18 months.

Liz - posted on 04/18/2010

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My lil girls just gone 17 months and we transfered her a two weeks ago. She's only spent one full night with no problems. Every other night she has fallen out and/or crept into my bed (we're in the same bedroom). We've put cushions by the bed so she doesn't get injured but the cot beds quite low to the ground anyway and we have carpet. Few crys but just from shock. We let her stay in our bed when she does creep in. It wont last forever, she'll want her own independence soon enough so I'm just gona go with the flow and hope for the best. Good luck! :)

Lyndsay - posted on 04/18/2010

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I think 2 is a good age. That was when I switched my son, but I just went straight to a single bed and skipped the toddler bed. (I bought a toddler bed and never used it... lol) Some people have to transfer earlier because their kids begin to climb, but my crib had a weight limit of around 35 lbs, which is about average for a 2 year old.

Debbie - posted on 04/18/2010

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i had my little boy in his own bed when he turned 1 as long as it has the block things at the side so your child doesnt fall out you can do it when u feel your child is ready xx

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