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A Parent’s Guide to Transitioning Your Baby From Their Crib To A Toddler Bed

A Parent’s Guide to Transitioning Your Baby From Their Crib To A Toddler Bed

Are you ready to take the leap for your little one? The transition from crib to bed is a significant milestone in his development, but it can also be a daunting task for parents. Don't worry, though; we've got you covered with this comprehensive guide to help make the transition smooth and stress-free.

Signs your toddler is ready to switch from crib to bed

As a first-time mom, I thought it was funny and didn’t think too much of it at first when my 18- month-old son, Artie, started attempting to climb out of his crib. But when he did it a few more times after that, I decided to look into it. After Googling why my kid was attempting a gymnastics routine each time he woke up, I discovered that it was probably time for him to switch from crib to bed.


@ashhalz Comment below if this helped you or if you have any other tips or tricks to keep my 2 year old in his crib!! #momsoftiktok #toddlermom #crib #toddlersleeptips #sleeptips #toddlerbed #boymom #toddlersoftiktok #sleeptime #sleepdeprived ♬ original sound - Ash💕Mom Life| Organization


Transitioning from a crib to a toddler bed marks a big step to independence for your child’s growth and development. However, it’s important to know when your child is ready for the change. 

Some of the common signs your toddler may be ready for a toddler bed include:

  • Climbing out of their baby crib
  • Showing interest in or asking for a toddler bed.
  • They’ve outgrown their crib and are too big for it. 
  • They’re currently potty training (or are potty trained).


When to move from crib to bed?

The timing of switching from crib to toddler bed varies, but it usually occurs between the ages of 18 months to 3 years. But regardless of this, there’s no rush to make the switch as soon as possible. I started transitioning Artie to a toddler bed when he was two, but some children may prefer to stay in their cribs until they’re 3 years old, so there’s no rush.  


@brighterdayssleep Full caption is on Instagram. Need more consistent and independent sleep? Click on the link in my bio! I have 1 on 1 packages, calls, customizable sleep plans, and more! #babysleep #babysleeptips #babysleephelp #babysleepconsultant #babysleepcoach #sleepcoach #sleepconsultant #sleepconsulting #babies #baby #toddlers #toddler #toddlersleep #tiredtoddler #tiredbaby #tiredmom #tired #earlymorningsearlymorningwakeup #sleep #sleepy #inconsistent #noschedule #sleepschedule #mom #mommy #momhelp #5am #6am #independentsleep #independent ♬ original sound - Emma


How to transition from crib to bed?

1. Introduce the idea to your toddler

If you think your kid is ready for a toddler bed, introduce the idea and see what they think. At the time, Artie went on playdates with my cousin’s boy who had a toddler bed. Each time we visited my cousin, we showed Artie how much fun it was to sleep and play in a toddler bed and choose their own toddler bedding set! 

When you’re introducing your kid to a toddler bed, it’s important to be patient and listen to your kid. Ask questions in simple terms or show them a real-toddler bed that they might love. If your partner is at home with you, you can loop them into the conversation too!  

If they’re ready, find ways to make the process more fun! After Artie decided he wanted a toddler bed, we started planning his room. We looked up toddler room ideas on Pinterest and listed down what we needed to get for the room. Then, we went out to IKEA over the weekend to go furniture shopping (and to enjoy the Swedish meatballs for lunch). 

Here’s a list of the links to some of the toddler room essentials that we got:

2. Prepare the room

Besides shopping for a toddler bed and other room essentials, it’s important to toddler-proof their room before making the transition.

Here are some tips to prepare your toddler’s new room:

  1. Cover all electric outlets
  2. Ensure all tall furniture is secured properly to the wall.
  3. Remove items that can be choking hazards
  4. Keep loose cords out of reach
  5. Place padding on sharp corners
  6. Remove or secure floor rugs 
  7. Look out for small and sharp objects 

Download a full checklist here on our community!



@sara.macinnes My heart! 🥺 #toddler #mumtok #mumsoftiktok #toddlerbed #foryou #fyp #foryoupage #homemaker #viral ♬ Good Vibes (Instrumental) - Ellen Once Again


3. Toddler-proof your toddler bed 

During the first few nights of the transition, my husband’s biggest concern was the risk of Artie falling out of his bed at night. That was when we discovered bed rail guards online. They act as a protective barrier that attaches to the side of the bed and it adds a layer of security between your toddler and the room around them.

We love rail guards because they give us peace of mind during the transition, and because they’re so easy to use. On that note, if you’re shopping for your toddler’s room essentials, here are some things to look out for in toddler bed rail guards: 

  1. Safety standards and certifications: Make sure the bed rails meet current safety standards and certifications and comply with the  Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) in the US. 
  2. Non-toxic materials: The bed rail should be made from toxic materials in case your toddler puts their mouth on it. 
  3. Bed size and type: Check if the bed rail fits the size and type of your bed. 
  4. Installation tips: Ensure your toddler bed rail is easy to install and attach to your kid’s bed. The instructions should be concise and clear so that you can ensure safety for your toddler. Check if your bed rail installation process needs any specific tools that you might need to buy later. 
  5. Height and length: The bed rail guard should be tall enough to prevent your child from falling out of their bed or climbing over it. At the same time, it should fully cover the length of your bed. 
  6. Material quality: Your bed rail guard should be sturdy and made from high quality materials so that it won’t collapse or break during use. 
  7. Convenience: Your bed rail guard should be easy to use and access during bedtime routines or when you need to change your kid’s bedsheets. They should easily swing down or fold away.
  8. Comfortable design: The bed rail guard should be padded or feature a soft material that’s safe for your kid to use. 



@the_useful_mom @ComfyBumpy #guardrail #bedrail #toddlerbed #toddlersleep #toddlertok #toddlersoftiktok #momtok #momsoftiktok #dadtok #dadsoftiktok #parentsoftiktok #comfybumpy ♬ original sound - The_Useful_Mom


If you’re looking for recs, we love ComfyBumpy’s toddler bed rail guards! They’re safe, easy to install, and fit most bed sizes. Plus, they’re also easy to use. When you wanna cuddle with your kiddo before bed, just pull it down and you’re good to go. 

4. Gradually introduce them to their new toddler bed

Introduce the toddler bed to your child while still using the crib. Move some of their toys into their new bed for some familiarity. Let them explore and play on the bed during the day to familiarize themselves with it.

What I did was make the introduction more fun with positive reinforcement. I got Artie involved in small chores like cleaning the room, arranging the furniture, tidying up his toys, and changing the bedsheets. I also encouraged more playtime in his new room and let him take more naps in his new room. 

Also read: 9 Toy Organization Tips to Help Reduce Toy Tornados

5. Establish a comfortable bedtime routine

Create a comfortable bedtime routine for kids in their new bed. It’s important to have a consistent bedtime routine because it teaches your kids how to have structure in their lives and helps them relax before bed. Plus, it also teaches them when it’s time to head to bed for a good night’s sleep

Here are some of the ways we established a bedtime routine with Artie:

  1. Winding down with calming activities: You can do puzzles together, read them a story, or sing them to sleep thirty minutes before bed. 
  2. Setting a specific time for bed: That way, your toddler can get enough hours of sleep.
  3. Create a soothing environment: Make the toddler bed more inviting and comfortable with soft pillows and blankets. 
  4. Reduce stimulation: Dim down the lights and make noise minimal to promote relaxation. Try to avoid using your phone or tablets before bed as well.
  5. Include their comfort items: Allow your child to choose a comfort object, like their favorite plushie or a quilt. If your kid has trouble sleeping, you can consider a weighted stuffed animal to help reduce their anxiety before bed. 
  6. Positive affirmations: Offer gentle, reassuring words that it's safe to go to sleep and that you'll be nearby. Positive affirmations can help ease any anxiety about sleeping in a new bed. 


@babysleepdr For more detail, find this post in my Instagram reels 🤍 #toddlersleep #toddlertips #toddler #momsoftiktok #sleeptraining ♬ Night Changes (Live Acoustic Session) - One Direction


Consistency is key to helping your child feel secure in their new sleeping environment. 

6. Monitor and adjust

While your kid adjusts to their new toddler bed, it’s important to be prepared for any setbacks. For me, it was Artie having trouble sleeping for the first month, but we gradually fixed that with gentle reinforcement and working on creating the perfect bedtime routine. If he couldn’t sleep before bed, we’d try a relaxing activity like board games and books, or we’d run a bath to help him wind down. 

Another tip is to keep a close eye on them. I’ve had a friend (a fellow mom like me too!) whose little girl kept slipping out of bed throughout the night with her blankie. Her kid would ask for comfort or cry on bad nights, but what my friend did was reassurance and offer a gentle presence in her little girl’s new room for a bit. Over time with patience and consistency, her little girl was able to sleep in her new bed without any issues. 

For parents struggling with their kid waking up earlier than usual during the crib to bed conversion, you can work on creating boundaries and rules with your kid. For example, if they woke up an hour before you did, you can have a rule where your kid can play quietly in their room until you wake up. This helps teach your kid patience. My sister had this issue with her two kiddos, and she introduced the idea to me when I was looking up ways to help transition my kid to his new bed. 


When do I not transition my child to a toddler bed?

Most toddlers love a consistent bedtime routine, and starting the switch to a toddler bed can disrupt it. Here are some of the signs to know when you shouldn’t make the switch just yet:

  • If you’re expecting another little one: Instead, borrow or get another crib until your toddler is ready for the switch. 
  • If people are telling you to make the switch right now: At the end of the day, it all depends on your toddler and their readiness for a change. 
  • If you think it’ll fix their sleep problems: Your toddler may end up having more sleep difficulties if you make the change too soon. 

Also read: 7 Common Sleep Challenges for Babies and Toddlers and How To Overcome Them

By following the tips outlined in this guide and paying attention to your child's cues, you can make the transition a smooth and positive experience for everyone involved. Remember, every child is different, so trust your instincts and take it one step at a time.

For quality toddler bed rail guards and other essential toddler bedding accessories, check out our collection at today. Your child's comfort and safety are our top priorities as they embark on this exciting new chapter of growing up. 

For more sleep guides for babies and toddlers, join our bustling community of parents today!


Featured image via Freepik

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