Switching your little one from a crib to a bed is a huge transition! Not just for the child, but for the parents, too. I like to remind parents that you probably don't want to rush to switching a child out of a crib until they show they can climb out themselves. Babies like the feeling of being cozy and contained in a crib. It's safe to them...until it's not anymore. Climbing out of a crib and falling can result in broken bones. Here are a few tips and sleep related concepts about switching your little one from a crib to a bed, to make it a smooth transition for you all.
Sleep Sack: Try putting your little climber into a sleep sack (wearable blanket). This will give them less mobility to climb out of their crib. Make sure to put it on backwards so they have less success unzipping themselves!
Lowering The Mattress: Many sleep clients of mine have taken the bottom out of their child's crib and put the mattress directly on the floor. This makes the height simply too high for them to climb out. It will buy you some time until you're ready for the big switch.
Positioning Away from Corners: Make sure the crib is not positioned against any corners or larger furniture (dresser) that they can grab on to or leverage themselves on to climb out of their crib.
Go right for the twin bed! I personally think that twin mattresses are a better investment for your family than a toddler bed. One reason is that you may want to use your crib again soon for another baby. Another reason is that your child will need to grow out of a toddler bed before you know it. Some people put the mattress directly on the floor and some will purchase a proper bed frame for their toddler. If you go for the proper bed frame, be sure to secure the sides up against a wall or with a bed rail to prevent them from falling out.
Giving a small child the freedom to climb in and out of their bed is risky! You may get lucky and have a child who stays in their bed, already understands the red/green light method, or simply isn't a troublemaker. If they've been sleep trained from babyhood, the bed transition can be a seamless process. For others, it becomes the most dreaded moment for parents. Lullaby Magic Sleep consulting can help re-train your little one to sleep in their bed for the entire evening. Reach out to book a goal-setting call and we can work together on best practices for long-lasting sleep hygiene that will get everyone sleeping well again!