Tips and Tricks to Make Transitioning To A Toddler Bed Easier

Moving to a toddler bed from a crib is a big step in growing up, and it can also bring big emotions from both you and your toddler! We just recently transitioned our 3-year-old daughter from her crib to a toddler bed, and I’m sharing everything we did to make this transition as easy as possible.

When To Make The Transition

Contrary to what you might expect, the experts suggest delaying your child’s transition from a crib to the toddler bed until your child turns three. But remember that every child is different, and some toddlers might be ready sooner than others. Our daughter was not climbing out of her crib, she was still comfortably sleeping, but we needed her crib for her little brother and we figured she was ready for an upgrade. 

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Also, don’t let others make your decision to move your toddler early! I’ve had many friends tell me they were pressured by their parents, friends, etc, to move their toddler sooner, and they instantly regretted it. Don’t be pressured because you will be the one who has to deal with it, not them! 

Other reasons your child might be ready for a “big bed.”

  • Your toddler is trying to escape their crib.
  • They are very interested in a “big bed.”
  • A new sibling (like us) and you need the crib
  • They’ve outgrown their crib in size and need something bigger.

How To Start The Transition To A Toddler Bed

Make it Exciting

Involve your toddler in the process. Let them help you pick out their new bed (if possible) and new bedding. Build up the excitement by talking about the move to a big bed ahead of time. Let them be involved as much as possible. I think allowing my daughter to help with the process really helped her own the idea of moving to a toddler bed and get comfortable with the idea.

Keep it Familiar, but New

Transitioning doesn’t mean everything has to change. Keep their favourite toys and bedding (if it fits) to bring a sense of familiarity to their new sleeping environment. A well-loved blanket or teddy can make all the difference. Keeping the bed in the same location as where the crib was once may also help. We also decided to keep the crib in her room, beside her toddler bed to allow her time to get use to the change. I didn’t want her to feel like we were taking away her crib and giving it to her brother. I wanted her to be ready to have the crib leave her room. (This actually worked well, and she told us when she was ready for it to leave) After we moved her crib, we didn’t let her see it for about a week or two. Once she saw it again she didn’t even care it was in her brother’s room.

How To Get Them To Stay in Their Bed

Do yourself a favour and don’t talk about the idea of getting out of bed. And by that I mean don’t tell your toddler “not” to get out as if you know toddlers they like to do the opposite of what you say. Keep everything very simple. Mentioning that they can’t do this can put the ideas in their heads. I wanted her to think about her toddler bed just like she did with her crib. If she needs something, she calls for “Mommy and Daddy,” and we come to her. Every time we put her to bed, we remind her that if she needs something, all she has to do is call for “Mommy and Daddy.” She really has only called us in the middle of the night if she has to pee, had a bad dream, or needs a sip of water. We went into her room helped her with whatever she needed, calmed her down and she stayed in her room with no issues.

Stick to Your Routine

Toddlers thrive on routine, and regular bedtime routines can provide comfort with all the changes. Keep the routine the same, whether it’s a bath before bed, storytime, or a particular lullaby. 

One fun thing that you can do, is have your toddler help you make a checklist of things that need to be done before bedtime. This is a great way to get them to stick to their routine but also allow them to have a little control in the process will really help. For example: How many books they want to read, do they want to put on pjs first or brush their teeth, what song they want you to sing, etc.

Toddler Alarm Clocks

We’ve incorporated this into the transition, and it’s been super useful. We have the Hatch sound machine, which has the option to change colours when your toddler goes to bed and a color that lets them know that they can get out of bed (sice they can’t tell time yet the colours are a visual cue). Our daughter gets really excited in the morning when her clock turns from red (nighttime) to green (time to get up). It’s been a fun tool that has helped her understand when it’s okay to get out of bed. We use the app to preset everything so we don’t even have to think about it, it just does it automatically.

Celebrate this Big Milestone!

It’s so important that you celebrate this big milestone with your toddler! Celebrate them when they wake up in the morning and have slept all night in their toddler bed. Make sure to share pictures with friends, teachers and family in front of them. Make sure that they know how excited and proud you are of them. 

I hope this has helped! Remember to take it one step/night at a time. This is a big transition for everyone involved. If you have any questions about how we transitioned our daughter, please let me know in the comments below! If you have any tips or tricks I didn’t mention, please also share those in the comments, I’d love to hear from you.



Sage’s Floor Toddler Bed

Hatch Sound Machine

Sunshine Mattress Co. products we purchased: (Use code NIKOLE for 5% off all mattresses) (Use code HEALTHNUT for 10% off all accessories)

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