It's one of those milestones; your toddler who once looked so lost in that big cot is now old enough to graduate to a big bed. While it is an exciting time, there are a few things I always tell my clients to keep in mind to make it a smooth and easy transition. Not just for your toddler, but also for you!
Don't rush it! I know it's exciting and cute when you can finally pick out a cute bed and pretty bedding. But it's best to wait until they have some understanding they need to stay in bed (instead of being confined to a cot). I recommend keeping them in their cot for as long as possible, but if you notice they are trying to climb out or are getting too big, then it's time to move them to a big bed.
Don't transition them too close to a new baby's arrival Another really common one; you have a new baby on the way and need the cot. Instead of waiting for the new baby to arrive, I suggest you pack up the cot a couple of months beforehand so your toddler doesn't feel like the baby is "stealing" their cot. Instead, the cot is out of sight and out of mind, and the focus is on them getting a new bed, which is exciting and new. Then once your toddler has settled into their new bed, you can set up the cot for your new arrival
Practice Instead of going straight to a big bed, it's always a good idea to practice an open bed by taking down one of the sides of the cot. It's a different feeling for them not being confined and being able to snuggle up against the sides. My kids both loved having the cosy feeling of a cot, and weren't super keen on having an open side. It took a few nights and a bedrail to get them used to it.
Get your toddler involved Toddlers LOVE helping, so get them involved when it comes to picking out bedding or decorating their room. This will give them a sense of ownership and responsibility that can help you during the cot to bed transition.
Make their bedroom safe Now that your toddler can get out of bed whenever they want, it's even more important that their bedroom is safe and secure. Check for and secure any falling, tripping or other hazards. Remove any clutter and distractions, so your toddler has a calm sleep environment.
Be patient and consistent And last but not least, be patient and super consistent with your child. There will likely be some hiccups along the way, but if you can stay calm and consistent in how you put your child to bed, they will soon find their groove and go back to sleeping beautifully again.
Have you got any questions about the cot-to-bed transition? Send me a DM over on Instagram or leave a comment below. Henriette x