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Moving Your Toddler from a Cot to a Bed

Moving from a cot to a bed is a milestone in your toddler’s life, but unfortunately it’s not always an easy one. It can be difficult to know if your toddler is ready to move to a ‘big’ bed. Some signs which show that your toddler is ready to make the move include, needing to get to the toilet in the middle of the night and attempting to climb out of their cot. However, this change may also be forced if you are welcoming a new baby into your family and they need the cot.

Here Are Some Tips On How You Can Help Make This Change Easier For Your Toddler:

  • Choose a time when there is minimal family stress in the home
  • Let them know they will soon be sleeping in a ‘big’ bed a few days before you move them so they can prepare for the change, emphasise how fun and exciting the move will be
  • Tell them you are proud of them and that you are excited they are moving into their ‘big’ bed
  • If you need to move them to make way for a new family member it is best to make the transition a few months before the baby comes or when the baby is a few months old. It’s important that your toddler doesn’t feel they had to make way for the new baby
  • Make the change fun and involve your toddler in the process, let them pick out sheets and covers for their new bed
  • Redecorate their room even slightly with new cushions or pictures on the wall so the room looks different and they see it as a ‘big kids’ room
  • A quick transition is usually best. It’s not necessary to leave their cot in their bedroom as they may want to keep sleeping in it instead of their new bed
  • Stick with their usual bedtime routine so they don’t experience further change
  • Allow them to sleep with an item familiar to them from their cot, such as their blanket
  • If they are calling out to you or getting out of bed in the night, be patient and reassure them
  • A night light may help settle them if they wake in the night as they can see where they are
  • Celebrate the move by cooking your little one their favourite meal or taking them to their favourite place such as the park.

If your toddler is not ready to make this change, there is no need to push them. In this case, it may help to have their bed set up in their room while they are sleeping in their cot so they can get used to it.