Moving from a baby cot to the bed is a huge transition for all children. It makes them feel that they’ve grown and now ready to sleep in a bed just like the older folks do!
The big question is when to make this transition for your child.
There’s no specific right age or time for this to be done, taking into consideration that each child is unique. But a toddler will commonly make the transition from cot to bed between around 18 months and three years old.
Since every child is unique, however, this can make it inappropriate to take a universal age at which you transition your children from the baby cot to bed. However, there are certain guidelines that can help inform your decision.
How to know it’s the right time
Setting some age or time to move your child from his/ her baby cot is not the right way to go if you want them to be happy. The following signs can really be helpful in making the decision to move them to the bed:
1. The child has outgrown the cot
When you notice that your child has clearly outgrown the cot, it would be the right time to make the move. One of the things to look for when you want to make this decision is when he’s not able to lie in the cot straight. Also, if he hits himself on the sides of the cot often when he moves, it’s a sign that his size is now bigger and needs to be moved to the bed.
2. He’s able to climb out of the cot
Babies are quite explorative. They will always attempt to climb out of the cot and give everything they’ve got to manage.
Your toddler’s main aim here is to see if they can get out and play while everyone else is asleep! However, this is quite a task for them and they won’t be successful until they get to be able to coordinate their moves and have enough effort. This will only be possible when they attain the age of one year. So, if you realize they are able to do this, consider the transition.
3. When there’s another baby who needs the cot
Moving a baby from the cot to the bed may be necessitated if the former is required for use by another baby. Moving the older lad to the bed will create room for you to be able to use the baby cot for the younger family member. However, in such a case, the older baby must be given a smooth transition. Ensure that they are comfortable with their new place of sleeping. This should not be less than two weeks before the new baby is brought.
Preparation for the Move
To successfully move the baby, you should ensure the process is as easy as possible for the baby and yourself. They most likely won’t be able to quickly adjust to the environmental changes involved and it can be difficult and confusing for them. To get them excited about the move, the following tricks can help:
• Talk to them about it and promise them how exciting it’s going to be sleeping in a bigger bed.
• Give them a choice by taking them to shop for their preferred bed in case they resist the idea of moving.
• Place the new bed in the same room with the baby cot if the baby wouldn’t like to change the environment.
• If you’re moving the toddler as a result of another baby, do it in a way that they won’t think of the new baby as one who has come to take their place.
• Make the new bed as close in structure to the cot as possible by using the same things such as sheet colours and pillows.