The Lullaby Blog.
The Lullaby Blog.
TODDLER SLEEP – PART 2
COT TO BED TRANSITION
There are a lot of transitions and milestones in the first 3 years of life. One of the transition that can make you realise that your baby is no longer a baby is the transition from cot to bed. We can try to make this transition easy and pain – free (for the whole family) if we think about some key areas that we need to keep in mind. This blog can help you with that decision.
· Sometimes the reason that this transition can end in disaster is that some parents are making the switch too early. Ideally you want to keep your toddler in the cot to as close to 3 years as possible.
· WHY – children before 2.5-3 years are simply too young to understand the ‘imaginary’ boundaries of a bed. When you remove the bars you remove these boundaries. Even if your toddler can understand they have to stay in bed before this age they lack the impulse control to actually follow this through.
· You may get a few nights/weeks/sometimes months that are blissful. However, it takes just one time when your toddler realises he/she can get out of bed and free to roam….this can lead to them getting in and out of bed everytime you leave the room - EXHAUSTING!!
· If your toddler is starting to climb out of the cot early, there are some tricks you can try before actually making that move due to safety issues.
-A gro bag – if they are in one, don’t stop now! It makes it that bit harder to climb out the cot
- Turning the cot – If you have a cot that has sides that are taller on one side, simply flip the cot so the shorter end is against the wall
-Lower the crib mattress and remove anything that could give leverage
-or if it is at it’s lowest take the bottom part away so the mattress is pretty much on the floor if the cot is designed to do this.
· If your toddler is happy in the cot then keep them in there until they ask for it 😊 As soon as they are able to ask for it, then they are able to understand why and what is happening.
· Some parents decide to move their toddler to a bed in the hopes of correcting poor sleep habits. The transition should be a reward for good behaviour, not a solution for poor behaviour
· An 18month old can’t get excited about picking new sheets, or understanding the rules of a bed, but a 3 year old can.
· Parents with a new arrival of a sibling sometimes feel this is a reason to transition. However, this needs to be done with caution as it is common for older siblings to ‘regress’ in certain ways (sleep being one)
· If there is no choice and it is impossible to get another cot for the new baby, then make the transition after the baby is born. This will avoid the older child feeling ‘pushed out’ by the baby.
· Start by removing a side of the cot to get them used to sleeping without the bars making it a smoother transtion
· Involve your child in the process of picking out the bed and the accessories. It will help them understand what is happening.
· Toddler proof the bedroom
· Sit down and explain to your child what is happening and why and what the rules of the new bed are. They need to know exactly what is expected of them and what the consequences are.
· Have a game plan if things don’t go to plan – if your child starts to get out of bed and roam, take them silently back with little or no emotions. Making it unrewarding to leave the bed is the key. Even negative attention is still attention.
· CONSISTENCY – Toddlers love to test boundaries but it is our job as parents to set those boundaries and stick to them as much as possible.
Stay tuned for the next part of toddler sleep.
I am also offering a discount to any parents who have children attending Mount Carmel Kindergarten. Please feel free to take a look at the ‘parents offers’ page at