How do you know when it’s time to say “Goodbye!” to the crib and “Hello!” to the big kid bed? This is a big step and it means your little one is getting older. I know as a parent, it was a big day when we finally decided to allow my boys to finally start sleeping in their very own big kid bed. But how do you know you have the timing right?
I would personally recommend waiting until your child is at least 3 years old to transition them to a big-kid bed. If your little one isn’t quite 3 but is already climbing out of the crib on their own, you may think it’s time to make the transition. However, I’ve seen a lot of families make this mistake and it’s hard to back track once you make the big move!
Here’s are the big two reasons I suggest that you let your little one develop and grow just a little more before making the move:
Cognitive Development Isn’t Quite There Yet
Younger toddlers do not have much impulse control, nor are they cognitively able to understand that there are consequences to behavior. Whether your toddler is an independent sleeper or not, when they get into bed awake, it is not likely that they will stay there. This can lead to a whole new realm of sleep issues: bedtime battles, frequent visits during the night, and early-morning wakings.
Younger toddlers really need the physical boundary of the crib until they are a bit older. I know you’re thinking…well they’re already climbing out on their own, so what’s the difference? Well, the physical barrier can actually be a deterrent for your child. It becomes more hassle than its worth for your child to try climbing out. It is also a safety issue when a very young child has free-rein to wander the house in the middle of the night. If there’s no barrier there to stop them, what’s to keep them from getting up all night long, without your supervision to keep them safe.
Some parents are eager to transition their little one from a crib to a bed. Many do it out of urgency when their toddler is suddenly able to climb out of the crib, others do it out of excitement about the event itself or in preparation for a new baby. But as the saying goes, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” If your child is sleeping well in their crib (for the most part), ride that wave as long as possible.
Did your family already make the crib to big kid bed transition and things aren’t going quite as well as you imagined? You don’t have to go it alone! So many families reach out to me during these big transitions because sleep suddenly becomes harder than it ever was before. If you need a little extra help getting your families sleep back on track, let’s talk!