Three of the scariest words to a parent with children who sleep well are BIG. KID. BED. Just like our children, we don’t like change. Even more than that, we don’t like changing a good thing! There is something so wonderful about a crib. In fact, we can name many good things about a crib. For me, the most important thing was that she couldn’t get out… until she could! The moment she jumped out, I knew that it was time to make a change — whether I wanted to or not. Here are a few tips for a successful transition from a crib to a bed.
Don’t wait until they jump out to make the move
I’m sure you think it’s funny that I had not only one, but two children who jumped out of their cribs and that this is my first tip. With that said, you should trust me on this! When they jump out and make the decision that it’s time for a bed, they are the ones in control. You know what happens when a toddler is in control, and it is not a good scene! If they have figured out how to get out of a crib then have no doubt that they will very easily find their way out of a bed. I spoke to countless people who have told me when they decide it is time for their kids to transition, their kids don’t attempt to get out of bed because they don’t think they can. Now that is a dream!
Moving to a bed is a big transition. It doesn’t just happen. And if it does, it’s because you’re like me and your child is sleeping in a “bed” aka, a mattress on the floor! There is nothing enticing about a mattress on the floor — and your kids know it! Start thinking about everything you need in advance to ensure an easy transition.
Start with the most important item first
You will need a great mattress to set your child up for sleep success. We gave this lots of thought. The same way every mattress won’t give you the best sleep, a mattress that is made without a child in mind won’t give them the best night’s sleep. Your child will be in this bed for many, many years to come, so don’t buy just anything.
When we made the move, we went with a 5 Little Monkeys bed for many reasons. What caught my attention first was that these beds are designed for childhood. With the perfect balance of pressure-relieving comfort and cradling support, they are made to support growing children. Not only that, but a huge bonus is that accidents are no big deal as the mattress comes with a waterproof mattress protector that is so soft and durable. Most importantly, the mattress foam is CertiPUR-US® certified – no formaldehyde, heavy metals, phthalates or any other dangerous chemicals. This is a must. Make sure you know what you are putting your child to sleep on. Order you mattress ahead of time, so it is there when you need it.
Make it fun
Once you have your mattress and you have decided what size to order, start picking out bedding that will excite your child. Have them help you create their big kid bed so that they can’t wait to get into it each night! Select sheets that represent their interests or their favorite color, add fun pillows and maybe even add some new items to the rest of the room that match the theme! Addi is obsessed with these sequin pillows that change colors when she moved the sequins up and down!
Prepare for a routine
A new bed changes everything, but you don’t want to lose that routine you have worked so hard for. With the ease and excitement of being able to get out of bed easily, make sure you have a plan in place to encourage your child to remain in bed. We included a My Tot Clock to help her understand when it was bed time and when it was time to wake up. We set the bed time and the awake time on the clock. When it’s time for bed, the screen of the clock turns blue and begins reading a bed time story which she is excited to hear each night.
Then, when it’s time to wake up, the clock turns yellow. Whens she sees the yellow clock, she knows she is allowed to get out of bed and start her day. I also love the additional features it has such as being able to set white noise for specific hours so that we don’t have to have a sound machine as well as a clock. The My Tot Clock has given her a better understanding of time as well as when it’s ok to wake up for the day!
Give them the right support from head to toe
My kids didn’t sleep with a pillow in the crib, so I felt unsure about what type of pillow to use. When I think about my own bed, my husband and I use different pillows, so how was I to know what would be right for her? The sleep system from 5 Little Monkeys came with a pillow designed for proper spinal alignment. It’s hypoallergenic, machine washable and covered in organic cotton. Hands down, I feel we found the best pillow for my kids!
If you are about to transition your kid, good luck! Let us know how it goes below!
Your Meet the Author has to be updated…LOL !!! The little ones are not so little ….they are not 4 and 2 anymore.