Moving our spirited toddler from a crib to a toddler bed ended up being a lot harder than we expected. But, once we figured out a few key things, we had him sleeping in his own bed in no time.
Remove all toys
Asking a toddler to stay in bed when their favorite barn is in the middle of the floor is just cruel. Plus, a toddler with new-found freedom to move about his room can make one heck of a mess. We put all of his toys in his closet and put a child-proof doorknob cover on the knob. No distractions. No mess.
Use a Pack ‘N Play as a threat
If you are lucky, like we were, the slippery sides of a Pack ‘N Play make it harder to climb out of than a crib. We started calling it his “baby bed” and let him choose where to sleep. “Would you like to sleep in your big boy bed or the BABY bed tonight?” When he chose his toddler bed, we made it clear that if he got out of bed, he would have to sleep in the BABY bed.
Don’t close or lock the door
Closing the door on our toddler scared him half-to-death. We ended up putting a gate in the doorway and leaving the door cracked.
Don’t stay in the room with them if you can avoid it
With our toddler, staying in the room was not an option. If we started sleeping in his room while transitioning him to a toddler bed, we would have been staying with him in his room until he went off to college. Instead, we gave him a good night light and made it clear that we were there for him if he needed us.
Make sure you have a good bedtime routine
Changing from a crib to a toddler bed is hard enough. The rest of their bedtime should be consistent. Whether it is reading books, watching educational TV, or saying goodnight to all of their stuffed animals; a consistent bedtime routine will make it much easier to transition your toddler to a toddler bed.
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