Transition to the Toddler Bed
When a child is ready to move out of their crib or family bed into their own toddler bed, there is a lot of excitement as the bed is picked out and as the room is done up. At the same time, there are sometimes feelings of anxiety and fear as the toddler is now going to sleep on his own. The family may face situations where the toddler appears at the parents’ bedside a dozen times during the night and become inconsolably cranky the next day because of the lack of sleep.
This transition phase is a big one for any child as they are now expected to go to bed and go to sleep on their own. There are some ways parents can make this transition an easier one, here are some tips!
It is important to first ensure that the toddler has a regular bedtime routine. This is crucial to ensure that the whole process of sleeping in their own bed works out.
Before parents start the process of buying a new bed or talking to their child about sleeping on their own, it is a good idea to point out other children of the same age in their circle of friends who are sleeping in ‘big kid’ beds. Another way to introduce the idea is through books. Your Own Big Bed by Rita Bergstein is a great book for this.
It may seem like a good idea to make this transition when the family is moving to a new house, but little people may not be able to handle so many changes at once. This change should also not happen when the little people are going through toilet training or any other major change in their lives.
The child should be a big part of the whole process of the new bed. From picking it, to helping the adult to assemble it, this helps with the sense of identity.
Parents should introduce a music routine for bedtime. This calming music will help the child feel a sense of familiarity and help them go to sleep on their own. It is best to start this music routine at least a month before moving to the toddler bed.
When children have begun to sleep in their beds, parents should lots of words of encouragement and positive reinforcement for them to know what a good job they have done.
Parents should remember that moving a child to a new bed is a big deal for them, give the little ones a lot of understanding and love and patience and they will get there.