As a new parent there’s a whole new world of challenges and dangers – sometimes it can feel like you’re in a scene from Jumanji! As time goes on these obstacles become far less scary and you will learn how to handle them and will realise that what once seemed dangerous just requires patience. One of these new milestones will be transferring your little one from their cot to a bed.
It can be tricky knowing when the time is right to go from a cot to a bed, but there are some signs that you can look for. A couple of flags will be if you child is climbing out of the cot or if they’re needing to go to the toilet at night. I recommend keeping babies in their cot as late as possible, typically to between 3.5 - 4 years.
If you need to transfer your little due to the birth of a new baby it is best to do this either before the birth or just a few months later. This will avoid your toddler resenting the new bub or feeling territorial over the cot. It is also important to note that before 2 years of age most children will not be emotionally or developmentally ready to move to a bed. Therefore, if you have a new baby and a child under 2, you may want to consider two cots.
Now, safety, which is one of the most important things to consider! Before setting up the new bed check your child’s room in case there are possible hazards. For example, are there any cables or curtain cords where they could tangle themselves? Is there an open window where they could climb out? Are there any stairs they may access and hurt themselves? Any small toys? These things may seem farfetched but unfortunately they are all possible. Vigilance before the transition is key.
Another safety consideration is making sure falling out of bed is avoided. Pushing the bed against a wall is highly recommended. You can also buy guardrails from most baby/child specialist stores that will tuck under the mattress and avoid them rolling out. Let them practice a few times in the ‘big bed’ before it is time for them to sleep the night.
Now, for some fun and exciting things to note – let your little one help pick the sheets and quilt cover for their new bed. If you involve them in setting up the bed and packing away the cot they will feel a sense of ownership and excitement. Praise them for being grown up and moving to this new phase. You may even want to add some small decorations to the child’s room to signify a new beginning. A night light can be very reassuring for them, as well as tucking in their favourite bed toys.
These tips will hopefully help you and toddler make a smooth and safe transition to bed land! Don’t forget, resistance and teething issues are natural, just as us adults often don’t like change either! How many grown children do you know that sleep in a cot? Hopefully none! Meaning, success will happen, soon enough. Please reach out to the SleepBaker team if you need assistance with Cot to bed transfer. We are ready to help with the next exciting chapter in your toddlers life!