31 answers

Big Girl Bed - Imperial,MO

My daughter is 18 months old. I am wondering when we should convert her crib to a toddler bed? Are there signs I should look for? Should we wait until she's talking more?....I have no idea

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So What Happened?™

OK, after the multitude of responses (thanks so much!) and much conflicting info...I have decided that we're gonna put it off for a while. She's doesn't communicate all that well and she's perfectly happy in her crib. I figure, "if it ain't broke-don't fix it" right? Thanks to everyone for all of the helpful info and when we do decide to make the transition, I'll be asking for ways to do it :o)

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is her room free of danger? wall sockets covered, no cords in reach (electrical or window treatment)? can she get in and out of the bed without falling? does she wallow in her sleep? do you have a gate aross the door to keep her safely in her room if she gets up before you. If you can answer yes to all of these then you should try it. I would go for a toddler bed first.

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I know it's exciting to think about a new bed, bedding, etc. but I've read and heard from other parents that it's best to wait until as close to 3 as possible before moving a child to a big girl bed. My daughter is 19 months old and I have no plans for moving her. If she ever starts to climb out (and many children never do), I'll just put a crib tent on. At 18 months or 2 years, they lack the impulse control to choose sleep over getting out and playing, so it really seems best to put off the move for as long as possible. And she'll have the rest of her life for a big bed!

With my daughter ( who is now 2 and a half ) we waited to convert her bed until she was talking clearly in small sentences and able to climb. We did it at the same time we began potty training as an extra " big girl " thing. Coinciding the two seemed to work out really well with Brenna. It's worth a try :)

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My daughter will be 2 in May. I've barely considered converting her crib into a bed yet. I'm so affraid she'll fall out! I've heard that if your toddler start to try climbing out, that's when you should convert for safety reasons. My daughter is still satisfied in her crib. She even still has the bumper pad in there.
I know my mom converted my crib when I looked straight at her and said "No more cage!" Just a little humor for you.
I hope I helped in some way.

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It sounds like you've gotten some good advice here. My best advice would be to leave her in the crib as long as you can, until she starts trying to climb out. My older daughter started to climb out of her crib when she was about 22-23 months old, so I had no choice but to move her to a toddler bed. The transition did not go well; she would get up in the night and come into our bed. I was so worried she would wander around or find her way out the front door while we were sleeping that I finally put up a baby gate in her doorway. I never tried the crib cover but I have heard they are great for keeping them in the crib longer.

My younger daughter is 19 months now and still in her crib, and I hope to keep her there as long as possible. Some babies are just born climbers (like mine!) and you just do what you can to keep them safe. :) Good luck with whatever you decide!

1 mom found this helpful

Wait until she can get out of the crib. I knew it was time with my youngest when I came in to find him stretched out along the crib rail, grinning at me! Both my boys had the convertible cribs, so that same day, I was reassembling the crib into the toddler bed. I made each of my boys special new pillowcases for a new big-boy pillow for their "new" beds.
I also have to keep a gate up, to keep the little one in. Otherwise, he's roaming the house at 2am, heh.
So, really, age doesn't matter. When they can climb out, tho, does, as they could fall and hurt themselves.

J.

1 mom found this helpful

is her room free of danger? wall sockets covered, no cords in reach (electrical or window treatment)? can she get in and out of the bed without falling? does she wallow in her sleep? do you have a gate aross the door to keep her safely in her room if she gets up before you. If you can answer yes to all of these then you should try it. I would go for a toddler bed first.

1 mom found this helpful

hi B.,
our little girls are very close in age...mine was born 6/29/05. however, she is still in a crib. we actually took her crib down and set up her toddler bed, but it was really hard to get her to sleep. does your daughter go to bed willingly, or is it still a battle? does she sleep through the night or does she still wake up? the reason i ask is because my daughter still cries a lot when she goes to bed and still occasionally wakes up in the night. so we ended up just having to set up the pack n' play next to he toddler bed, and she sleeps in that. we initially thought the toddler bed would be ok b/c she was trying to climb out of the crib, but we sort of jumped the gun. we are still getting the sleep routine down, but it has improved drastically. she now mostly sleeps through the night but cries when we put her down. anyway, our goal is to have her in the toddler bed by the time her brother/sister is born in july. i would say if bedtime is drama-free and she sleeps through the night, a toddler bed might be fun.

good luck!

We converted our daughter's bed to a toddler bed when she started climbing out of her crib so she wouldn't get hurt. I'd wait a little while yet till she's between 2 or 3 years old before converting her bed to a toddler bed.

WOW...congrats on the big girl bed...my son is 4mths old, and this time instead of paying 300.00 for a crib, we went to a thrift shop and found a beautiful, toddler wood sleigh bed, for like 25.00! and he sleeps in that (on his back) every night.We bought a crib mattress that fits the bed and it even has rails up on the sides, and it works perfectly!...so it's never too early, for a toddler bed, just make sure it has rails to keep her from rolling off the bed, and make sure the mattress fits the bed, you wouldn't even want the slightest crack on any side.

With my kids, we waited until they were old enough to understand the transition, then made a big deal out of it. We let them pick out the sheets & blankets, and built up the whole idea of moving to a "big kid" bed. I'm not sure 18 months is old enough to really understand, and you also need to ask yourself if she's old enough to stay out of things if she gets up in the middle of the night. One of the benefits of a crib is keeping the kids confined if they do wake up. Our kids were 2 1/2 and 3 when we moved them into big kid beds. My daughter was 3 when we put her in her toddler bed, and she did better at staying in bed than our son, who we put in a bed at 2 1/2. He was always up playing, getting into cereal, etc. One time he even got outside, but thank God we heard the door open. Good luck with whatever you decide to do!

B.-

I can tell you my son just turned 2, the supposedly magical age to move to the todler bed, but he has no interest in it. You're supposed to wait until you see them try to climb out of their crib to convert it. My son loves his crib and won't be leaving anytime soon, I'm afraid. So I would look for her to want to be out of it and my doctor told me that's usually around their second birthday.

Good luck

R.

I would wait until she starts trying to climb out of the crib or doesn't want to go into the crib anymore. The adjustment can be extremly hard on everyone if she is not ready. Both of my kids were out of their crib at about 15 months but that was because they were climbing out on their own. With my daughter the transition was horrible, she wanted nothing to do with the toddler bed, she would wake up in the middle of the night and end up in bed with us. With my son we skipped the toddler bed and went straight for the twin bed and he did fine with the adjustment. I would also invest in baby gates, we put one at my sons door so he can't get out of his room. With my daughter all the rooms in our house were on one long hallway and we just put a gate at the end of the hall so she could only come to our room. We would shut all the other doors in the hall and leave our door open. Hope this helps with your decision.

We just moved our 2yr old into her big-girl bed & were very blessed w/ an easy transition. But, the only reason we moved her is because I am due in march w/ #2 & I wanted plenty of time for the crib to be behind her before it was used by the 2nd baby. I can say that I would not have moved her yet if I didn't have to! I was very spoiled w/ the confinement of the crib & she loved it too. It was a nice feeling of security knowing she was not able to wander around at night. Is there a reason that you want to move your 18 month old? If she seems happy in her crib & she's not figuring out how to climb out, etc, then maybe you should put it off a while...?
If you're really gung ho about moving into the big girl bed, good luck! We used a trundle twin bed & had the trundle pulled out but not raised up. That way, if she rolled off, she just fell a tiny way & landed on another bed. This worked really well for us & it meant that we didn't have to buy a toddler bed just to replace it a little later w/ a 'real' bed.

Good luck!!

My son is also 18 months old and my husband and I were just discussing this yesterday. We concluded that he was probably not ready yet because he still seems to like his crib and sleeps in it very comfortably. We switched our older son to a twin bed when he was a little over two, not because he was climbing out, but just because he seemed uncomfortable in his crib and would wake up crying every night - something that was unusual for him. Since he was older, we made a big deal out of the switch and he adjusted just fine (he did fall out once, even with a guard rail, but was not scared to get back in). Personally, I don't feel like our little one would understand right now if we tried to talk to him about switching, but every kid is different, so I would say go with your gut - if you feel she is ready, then go ahead and switch. Kids are very resiliant and she will likely adjust just fine.

Amy,

If she can get out of the crib then it is time. My daughter did that for the first time right before Thanksgiving. We convered the crib the same day. She turns three in May so the crib worked for quite a while. We waited that long because her room is on the second floor and ours is on the ground floor. My husband worried that she would fall down the stairs when she was younger. Good luck!

J.

My daughter is 15 months and has figured out how to climb out of her crib even with the mattress as low as I can get it. When we move at the end of this month we will probably convert it to the toddler bed for her.

If your daughter is climbing out of the crib or if you think she will stay in the bed for nap/bedtime then go ahead and move her. Otherwise, there's no harm in keeping her in the crib for a while longer.

hi B. my name is W. i am a child care provider and a mother of 4. first off where does she take a nap every day ? i would start with having her take a nap on a mat or something like that a little girl i watch is 18 months and she sleeps in a toddler bed now. her parents were moving and we started here all the kids pick out a pillow and a blanket and lay down for nap so we started here about 2 months before they actually moved. if you do it now expect her to come to your room a couple nights a week in the middle of the night, but also if you do change the room into a big girl room such as new bedding and those things. do it now before she learns to crawl out of it. my daughter is 2 1/2 now and she has been sleeping in a toddler bed since she was 9 months she refused the crib now she sleeps on a full size bed. i hope this helps you.

I know it's exciting to think about a new bed, bedding, etc. but I've read and heard from other parents that it's best to wait until as close to 3 as possible before moving a child to a big girl bed. My daughter is 19 months old and I have no plans for moving her. If she ever starts to climb out (and many children never do), I'll just put a crib tent on. At 18 months or 2 years, they lack the impulse control to choose sleep over getting out and playing, so it really seems best to put off the move for as long as possible. And she'll have the rest of her life for a big bed!

I am a first time mom and by no means an expert but I think when she is ready you will start seeing signs. My son will be 2 next month and we had to go for the toddler bed in November because he started climbing out of the crib -- his signs were a little more obvious than some. A friend of mine who has a little boy who is 5 weeks yonger and he is still in his crib - she has tried converting it to the toddler bed but he has been able to express to her that he wants the crib so they have converted it back....it may be a trial and error type situation where you try it out for a little bit and see if it works for your family right now. If your little one is anything like mine, just be prepared for a full night of "go back to bed" so maybe you should try it on a weekend vs the middle of the week because I was up ALL NIGHT! the first night becaus Aidan was so excited about the change!

With my daughter ( who is now 2 and a half ) we waited to convert her bed until she was talking clearly in small sentences and able to climb. We did it at the same time we began potty training as an extra " big girl " thing. Coinciding the two seemed to work out really well with Brenna. It's worth a try :)

If she's not trying to climb out and you have no reason to need the crib for another child right now, then I would leave her in it until she's either climbing out, you need it because your expecting another child, or until she's old enough. 18 months is a little young to be out of their crib. If they wake up in the middle of the night and don't come directly to you, who knows what kind of things they could get into or falls they could take before you heard them. My daughter will be 3 in June and we will be making the transition then. Unless of course she starts climbing out of her bed before then. I actually talked to her pediatrician about this last Aug. because I was thinking about putting her in her toddler bed about the same time she was going to be starting preschool. I wanted to know which I should do first so I didn't disrupt her life too much. It was then he told me to leave the bed issue alone unless she was climbing out.

My little girl is a June 05 baby. My husband and I have been tossing around the idea of a big girl bed too. Her brother was around 20 months when he got his big boy bed (we needed the crib for sis). I remember talking to him more about it. She is not really communicating well enough to talk about it and undersatnd yet. We decided to wait a few more months to see if she is more ready.

I decided that it was time to get my 2 year old a bed when he started refusing to sleep in his crib. So if your daughter is not climbing out of her crib exesively or refusing to sleep in her crib keep it as long as you can

If she sleeps well in her crib, then I would leave her in it. We had to move my son to a toddler bed at 15 months after he started crawling out of his crib. I would wait for her to let you know that's she's ready for a bigger bed...like if she starts waking up at night, or doesn't want to go in there anymore. When we moved him into his bed, we made a big production out of it, buying him new bedding, and getting rid of the "baby" stuff in his room.

My daughter is 16 months old and we put her in a toddler bed at 15 months. She has only had one bad night. We put her in the dora bed you get a wal-mart and online i ordered the bedding set, and it comes with a princess drape that you hang on the ceiling that she just loves, and a padded headed cover that helps alot to. She loves dora and watches her everyday, so it may help to try to get something shes interested in, and the princess drape helps alot to, its like shes in her own world. Of course you are going to have rough nights!!!!

I always moved my kids to the toddler bed when they started climbing out of the crib. That is a sure sign they are ready. Good luck.

I think 2 yrs is a good age unless they fall out or climb out before that. Put a gate in the doorway so if they get up, they can call out to you, but they can't wander around the house and possibly get hurt. I think most things like this you should just go with your gut feeling, you know your child best. Good luck!
B.

I switched each of my boys to a toddler bed when they started "climbing" out of playpens, highchairs, and eventually, the crib. That's a pretty good indication it is time to make the switch. I have to admit though, it is different with each child-my first boy loved the idea of the "big boy" bed and had no problems staying in it. My second boy would venture out occasionally, but for the most part, transitioned well. My third boy has been in his toddler bed for about two months now, and in the last week, has finally realized he has to stay in the bed(he will be 2 on the 31st). I think you will know when she is ready. Let's just hope it's before you hear a "thud" from her room. Sorry-I know that's not funny, but that's how I found out!-------A. L.

We transitioned our son around 18 months because his little brother had to use the crib. We were very lucky in that he liked moving into his big boy bed. So for us, the transition was fairly easy. I can't remember the signs to look for exactly, but I found good information on several websites: babycenter.com, babyzone.com and parenting.com. I think the biggest problem with moving them is their ability to "escape" more easily. For this, I highly recommend you have a very consistent routine of going to bed and also how you react to when she gets out of bed. It took us about a week, but it worked. Good luck!

we moved our 1st at 15 mo--had no issues and really didnt make that big of a deal of it-- he hardly knew the difference- he had fallen out of the crib 2x and that was enough for me(and we had a second coming in 2.5 mo anyway)-- we went straight to a twin w/ box spring on the floor(not as high) and a saftey rail(from BRU)-- we put the mattresses in his room for a couple weeks and he would play on it and then I made it and he would play on it in the mornings, then on mother's day my hubby just put him down like regular and he went to sleep! We did have a baby gate at his door for the first couple weeks because he would get out and play for a while then get back in bed and fall asleep, he only climbed out and slept on the floor one night ever! I have 'soft' toys and books in his room for the times he wants to not go to sleep, but he gets right back in and covers himself up to sleep! I plan on doing the same thing with my second!

Tiff
Mommy to 2 boys- 24 mo and 7 mo

I have read a lot of your responds that was givin! A lot I think are really good! One really took me for surprise! Okay children will be children! I am a mother of 3 the bad thing is I have 2 children that are a year and 24 days apart! So I took my children out of a crib as soon as possible! I think about 1 was around the ages I started introducing a big bed to them! Okay yeah at first they won't want to sleep in it because it's new! But do it at nap time! Keep an eye see how it goes! Some children will be ready right off the bat! Some won't but we as parents have to take the step! You might be surprise! My children took to a big bed fast! Although my children are 4 & 5 and still I find them in my bed some mornings!

They say to leave them in their crib until they try to climb out. We, however, decided to move our youngest daughter to a toddler bed when she was just a little over a year old. We had moved to a new house and saw it as the perfect transition. I would say, if you want your kido in a toddler bed, do it. With our oldest, we set the toddler bed up next to her crib and asked her which one she wanted to sleep in. She picked the toddler bed and did great with it. Since you have a convertable one, you may just want to take her to a store that has toddler beds on display and ask her if she wants to go night night in a bed like that. Good luck and keep us updated!

When my daughter started climbing out of the crib is when we got her a toddler bed.

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