Thursday, March 8, 2018

Tips for Moving Your Child from a Crib to a Bed (Guest Post)

  Hey folks! Transitioning a child from a crib to a toddler bed is a bid deal! ...And can also be really frustrating at times, for the parent, child, or both. Arguably, I think transitioning a child to a "big girl/boy bed" can be as nerve-wracking as potty-training! If you're looking for some ways on making this transition as smooth as possible for your own child, check out these tips from today's guest blogger!
As a child sleep consultant, I'm asked quite often about when and how to move a child from a crib to a bed.  As parents, we experience many exciting firsts with our children: Their first tooth, first steps & first solid foods just to name a few.  The switch from co-sleeping or a crib to a bed is another sign your baby is growing up.  Some parents wonder when and how to make this switch?  What will it be like if their child can get out of bed by themselves?  Will he be roaming the house at night?  Will he ever settle down and go to sleep?
First of all, there is no rush.  Is your child happy in their crib? And not trying to jump out head first, then by all means, keep them in their crib.  If your child has become a crib jumper, then safety is an issue, and you must make the change.
Maybe you're ready to not co-sleep because you have another child on the way or are just ready to get your bed back.
I want you to know that this transition to a big bed is hard for the best of sleepers.  That said, you want to make sure your child is a great sleeper before you make this change.  A great place to start would be with my 7 Best Sleep Tips.  This is a totally free resource and the foundation of what I teach my clients.
Here are three helpful hints for making that change:
1.  In my experience the closer the child is to age 3, the more smooth this transition becomes.  Anything younger than two-and-a-half years is a little too early.  Very young children don’t have the cognitive ability to understand exactly WHY they have to stay put when getting out of bed suddenly became so easy.  It can be tough to be consistent when merely communicating isn't easy.
2. A few items that can help with this transition are a clock and a big bed.  The clock helps your child know when it's ok to get out of bed in the morning and start his day.  You may be wondering why a big bed?  Children do so much better with this change if they move into a twin or full-size bed.  Since we're transitioning our children out of their cribs because they're getting bigger, then it would make sense to put them into a bed that is in fact bigger.  New bed, new expectations.  You can encourage your child to help with choosing some fun new sheets or a new pillow.  You want to make this fun and a big deal, because it is.  
3.  There may be a "honeymoon" phase where most toddlers do well sleeping in their new bed until the fun wears off.  This usually happens around week 3, and a child will begin testing their boundaries.  I want you to prepare ahead of time, so you'll know exactly how to handle this situation.
Here's what to do if your child keeps getting out of their new bed:
Maybe the "honeymoon" has worn off or maybe your child just never liked the idea of their new bed from the start.
First, you have to be consistent.  If your child gets out of bed, even once, and comes to your room, take him back to bed right away.  Try not to have a lot of interaction with him and don't waiver on this.  He may be asking for something simple like another hug or a snack, but it's important to reinforce that its bedtime and he needs to stay put.  If he gets out of bed again, then there needs to be a consequence.  Without one, there may be no reason for your child to stop getting out of bed.
You can also offer rewards to kids if they stay in bed.  If your kiddo can stay put until morning when their clock says 7:00, then they get a treat.  Be sure these rewards are immediate for this age or else they won't be useful at all.
Like all things to do with parenting, this takes persistence and consistency on your part. Toddlers need praise and encouragement and will soon enough yours will become used to sleeping in their new bed.  They'll also learn to understand that just because no bars are holding them in, this doesn't mean they can wander about the house at bedtime or during the night.
Have questions about your little one’s sleep?  Connect with me on Facebook and post your questions.  I’d love to help.

Jo Anna Inks is a sleep consultant that helps tired; frustrated parents get their babies sleeping through the night and napping well so everyone in the family can get the rest they so desperately need.  Jo Anna is passionate about all things sleep!  When she’s not busy helping babies sleep well,  you can find her hanging out with her husband and two amazing boys (both of whom are excellent sleepers, of course!), cooking or hiking with her dog, Cooper.
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  1. Just remember the first night is hell but slowly they will adjust to the change X #fabfridaypost

  2. My kids never really liked sleeping in their cots so luckily we use a small bed from an early age. #FabFridayPost