When it comes to baby and toddler sleep, it feels like just when you get one thing under control, something changes. It’s like a sleep version of whack-a-mole! And today we’re here to help you whack one particular problem – the transition from cot to bed.
Firstly – every child is different, and you know yours best, so keep that in mind when we talk about what we know is generally true, ok? Which is:
The biggest key to success is timing and from our experience, lots of people try to make this transition too early, for reasons such as needing the cot for a new baby, the toddler’s sleep is poor or disrupted, they can get out of the cot so they must be ready etc. etc.
Fact is – transitioning for these reasons are why you hear of so many people having lots of trouble getting their child through this step! If you need the cot – does a friend have one you can borrow? If sleep is disrupted, what else could be causing it? Can it be fixed with some a few key actions you could take?
Our best advice is to keep your child in the cot for as long as possible. They are safe and contained in the cot, and if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it! The later you move them, the better your chances of having a good transition. While it might be hard at times, try not to compare with your friends or even (gasp) listen to your Mother in Law – their child isn’t your child, their choices don’t need to be your choices!
Things that may tell you your baby is ready for a big kid bed include:
- Not safe in the cot – climbing out even in a sleeping bag etc.
- Running out of room – bumping their head and limbs and waking up
- Becoming attention seeking in the cot or refusing to sleep in the cot (make sure it’s not a sleep issue before you decide to transition though!)
- Showing interest in a big kid bed
- Toilet training, and need to get out to go to the toilet overnight.
If this sounds like your babe then it may be time to get that big kid bed!
We have over 20 tips in our Toddler Guidelines to help you and your babe through this step; definitely check them out if you think you could be ready! Also includes information on how to ditch the dummy, a nutrition guide, phasing out the day nap and beating early rising.
Good luck, mama! Let us know how you go