28 answers

How Old Is Too Old for a Crib?

Hey moms! I just wanted to get some opinions on how old is too old for your little one to be sleeping in a crib. While I realize it is still early for my daughter who will be two next month, many of my friends kids have graduated to a toddler bed at or around 2 years old. My daughter is very happy in her crib. She does not try to climb out of it and she does not complain about staying in it when she wakes in the morning. She is the best child I have ever heard of when it comes to going to bed at night. We have a nighttime routine and she happily lays in her crib and listens to her music box and quietly goes to sleep each night. Many of my friends are surprised to see how easy bed time is for us. We are very lucky! I have read somewhere that as long as your child is not climbing out of the crib, then they can stay in it for as long as you like. I am wondering what the benefits are of having her sleep in a toddler bed? I worry that not having the crib could ruin our nighttime routine. At the same time, I don't want her to be sleeping in a crib forever either. What are some of your experiences with transitioning to a toddler bed?

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So What Happened?™

Thank you to all of your response and sharing your stories! I think I'll just leave things the way they are for now. No reason to change anything if she is perfectly happy with the way things are. Thank you!

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My son is almost 2 1/2 and is still in his crib. He has only climbed out once and that was actually on his 2 year birthday. I found him standing in the middle of the room, crying in the dark :(...he hasn't done it since. I read that ideally keep them in until they're 3. It provides comfort and protection for them. It could be bad if you make that transition too early when they're not ready. That's what I've read too...to make the transition when they start climbing out...

1 mom found this helpful

My daughter was the same way. The only reason why I moved her from the crib was because she was so big (she was born at 10.65lbs) that it was killing my back to get her in and out of the crib! I totally skipped the toddler bed. I frankly think they are a HUGE waste of money and went straight for the big girl bed. We discussed it together and really did it up for her (getting princess sheets, pretty comforter, night stand w/ light, etc.). I even attached the Fisher Price aquarium to the headboard so she could still play the music she loved! We bought the protective railings and a step stool so she could crawl up the end of the bed to get in. Never had one single problem and the transition was smooth from the very beginning! It was great because I could lay down with her and snuggle and read her bedtime stories to her where we couldn't do that in the crib!

Only thing I hated about it was that she is a morning person so was up wandering around at the crack of dawn where the crib was a very nice containment device! LOL.

1 mom found this helpful

DON'T CHANGE ANYTHING!! :-) If you have a child that is sleeping well without any dangers (climbing out, getting stuck, etc) then there is no reason to change, it will cause some problem or at least disruption. Most people take their kids out because they start climbing out or resisting the crib, then it's not safe. I wish my son could have stayed in until he was 2 or more, I can't even count how many times he managed to fall out of a toddler bed with side rails, but he climbed out of his crib at 19 months old and walked down the hallway where I found him.

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Hi J. - LET SLEEPING BABIES LIE!! Your kids sound like mine, they are now 6 & 8 and still we have no problems at bed time. My girls slept in their cribs until they were 4 - why some ask - BECAUSE THEY WERE SLEEPING! I talked to our doctor when my 2nd one was on the way and my oldest was about to turn 2. He asked me if she slept good in here crib (yes) he then asked if it was a money issue that we couldn't afford another crib (no - we could buy the crib) - so he told me to let her sleep in her crib for as long as possible. As long as they are happy and not in danger of hurting themselves getting out. Then they were 4 we got them full size beds (the only ones we plan on buying them ever) and never have had a bed time problem. Thank God for the wonderful sleeper that you have been blessed with and if you don't think she needs a bigger bed let her stay in it.

One funny thing, when my youngest was about 4 and still in the crib, we thought it was time for the big bed when she asked us why she had to sleep in a crate (yes a crate). We have a dog that at night slept in a crate, so I'm sure that's where she got it. I warned her pre-school that if they hear her say that she sleeps in a crate, it's not a crate, it's a crib.

Good luck and God bless!!

2 moms found this helpful

DON'T CHANGE ANYTHING!! :-) If you have a child that is sleeping well without any dangers (climbing out, getting stuck, etc) then there is no reason to change, it will cause some problem or at least disruption. Most people take their kids out because they start climbing out or resisting the crib, then it's not safe. I wish my son could have stayed in until he was 2 or more, I can't even count how many times he managed to fall out of a toddler bed with side rails, but he climbed out of his crib at 19 months old and walked down the hallway where I found him.

1 mom found this helpful

J.,

LUCKY you!

If it isn't broken, don't fix it! Sounds like everything is going well with your little one. She will let you know when she is ready to move into a bed.

N.

www.lovems1.etsy.com

1 mom found this helpful

I don't know that there is any reason, other than climbing out and risking safety, or not fitting in the crib anymore, or maybe potty training issues, that a child has to transition to a big-kid bed at a given time. Heck, I'm hoping my DD will stay put in her crib till she's 3 (or 13!!!)
She's like your daughter...happy and a good sleeper in there! We have a new baby coming in December and decided to just buy a new convertible crib rather than move her to a bed right now. Sleep is priceless for all of us right now, and if she's contained, sleeping well, and happy...we're not changing a thing! Even with potty training, she's been staying dry at night for a week or 2 with a diaper on and she doesn't seem to have the need to get up to pee at night, so at least right now that's a non-issue. She did climb out once about 2 months ago and fell, but scared herself enough to just call for me if she wants out now and we talk about how she is not to climb out of her crib.
Good luck in what you decide!

1 mom found this helpful

The Drs say to wait until closer to 3 yrs before moving out of the crib, unless the child is climbing out and therefore in danger of injury from falling. The rational is you don't really want a 2 yr old to be able to freely roam the house if she was to wake up in the middle of the night while you were asleep. I actually moved my climber out of his crib and put him on a twin mattress on the floor (skipping the expensive and pointless toddler bed) and just put a baby gate in the door of his room, essentially creating a room sized crib. This worked for us. I took the gate down once he started needing to go potty by himeself, and put the mattress up on a twin bed frame once he was tall enough to get in and out himself. It sounds like your little one is just fine in her crib and I would leave her there as long as possible :)

1 mom found this helpful

I am totally with you! My daughter has a great, easy bedtime routine including her crib. She's almost 3, and I'm not moving her until absolutely necessary. She's shown no interest in it, and neither have I. My husband is afraid that we should because everyone else is, or did months ago, but I dont want to ruin our routine when she still fits in her crib and doesnt try to climb out of it.

1 mom found this helpful

My husband and I disagree on this issue for our son, who turned 2 in June. I, like you, don't see any reason to rush into a toddler bed when everything is going so smoothly at the moment. My husband is very excited to get him into a "big boy" bed, I think because he likes the idea of him being a big boy. Right now we're potty training (which is going really well!) and I didn't want another disruption to his routine, so my husband "gave in" and my son is still in a crib. We'll be transitioning to the toddler bed once we start night-time training. Best of luck to you!

1 mom found this helpful

We are also very lucky to have an easy sleeper, and he moved easily into a toddler bed around 20 months. We put the toddler bed in his room along with his crib, and he started to ask for it, so we put him in there. We went in thinking if he gets up more than once he'll just go into the crib, and to our surprise he never got up. He is not 2 1/2 and still stays in his bed until we go into his room to get him, I have no idea why, but I'm happy he does! He also loved his crib, and had no problem with it. We just bought the bed, and were tired of keeping it in our room, so we moved it into his. Just wanted to give you our experience since it seems like they are both pretty easy going kids.

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Hi J.!
First of all congrats on having such an easy time getting your daughter to bed! Enjoy it! I know lots of moms sound like they've had an easy time with their little ones in toddler beds. I am not one of them. My son was difficult to get to bed in his crib and is even more difficult in his toddler bed. However, now he wakes up in the middle of the night and cries for me. He didn't do that in his crib. I think he must have felt more secure in his crib. I moved him to a toddler bed because he was starting preschool and they take naps on cots. I know-- a silly reason right? I definitely would hold off on moving your daughter until you absolutely have to. Especially if she is going to sleep so well now! Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

My daughter was the same way. The only reason why I moved her from the crib was because she was so big (she was born at 10.65lbs) that it was killing my back to get her in and out of the crib! I totally skipped the toddler bed. I frankly think they are a HUGE waste of money and went straight for the big girl bed. We discussed it together and really did it up for her (getting princess sheets, pretty comforter, night stand w/ light, etc.). I even attached the Fisher Price aquarium to the headboard so she could still play the music she loved! We bought the protective railings and a step stool so she could crawl up the end of the bed to get in. Never had one single problem and the transition was smooth from the very beginning! It was great because I could lay down with her and snuggle and read her bedtime stories to her where we couldn't do that in the crib!

Only thing I hated about it was that she is a morning person so was up wandering around at the crack of dawn where the crib was a very nice containment device! LOL.

1 mom found this helpful

I'm going to use two cliches: safety first..... & size matters. Since safety is not an issue, then as long as your daughter still has enough room to move around comfortably....then don't make any changes.

Ultimately, as with every issue, you have to make the choice that works best for your family....not always in sync with the rest of the world!

1 mom found this helpful

My daughter was 3 when we transitioned her to a full-sized bed (like a bit smaller than a queen). She was happy and safe in her crib and didn't try to get out of it. I was pregnant and happy that I had a sense of peace when I'd put her down for a nap and if I needed a snooze, too.

She also did great in moving from her crib to a bed in another room. We kept the same routine. We have a "gate" that goes between the mattress and the springs to help prevent her rolling out of bed. We never told her she couldn't get out of bed on her own, but she always waited for us to come get her up. Then, it changed to she waited for us to come open her door to let her know she could get up. Now, 8 months after she left her crib, she is just beginning to get out of bed to check the closet for monsters or get a toy she wants, then she hops back into bed. We recently had to tell her it was OK to get out of bed on her own to go to the potty; that she didn't need to wait for us to help.

Lastly, I know of a kindergarten boy that went to school, still sleeping in a crib. He told his teacher he sleeps in a crib and she "corrected" him with, "You mean a bed. You sleep in a bed." and he said, "No, I sleep in a crib." His mom was embarrassed (he wasn't), but she had a full house and didn't have anywhere else for him to sleep! So, sometime before high school is too old for a crib. :)

1 mom found this helpful

Relax - mine is almost 3 and I am just beginning to think about a toddler bed. If you have a good routine going then count your blessings. Mine is like yours - loves his crib, doesn't want the side down, great nap and night routines and he can climb in and out when he wants to. He is my 5th and the first one to be this easy..!!!

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If she's happy then I say leave her in it! I have four kids and with my first I moved her out too early, really for no good reason at all. She went through a phase of getting out of bed in the middle of the night and really made for a few months of terrible sleep for my husband and I.

The crib is a secure place for her. Why rock the boat? Sleep is way too important to mess with. I mean YOUR sleep!! Congrats on having easy bedtimes. I moved my other kids when they were between 3 and 3 1/2. Seemed later than my friends' kids but we were all happy.

1 mom found this helpful

My son is almost 2 1/2 and is still in his crib. He has only climbed out once and that was actually on his 2 year birthday. I found him standing in the middle of the room, crying in the dark :(...he hasn't done it since. I read that ideally keep them in until they're 3. It provides comfort and protection for them. It could be bad if you make that transition too early when they're not ready. That's what I've read too...to make the transition when they start climbing out...

1 mom found this helpful

I think it is up to you! I had my son in a crib until he was 2 1/2. The reason we left him in there so long was because we were moving when he turned 2 and we didn't want too many changes for him. My son, who is now 5, was (and still is) a great sleeper just like your daughter. We had a bedtime routine for him as well and he never minded going to bed. All of our friends and family were also surprised with how he would go to bed so well even if we were at someone else's house. I thought all of this might change once we put him in a twin bed. He did great! He transitioned to the twin bed with no problems. He never even would get out of the bed at night. Since you also have a "happy sleeper" I don't think you will have any problems with it. Change her to a bed when you are ready.

Jenny
Mother of 2 boys (5 and 18 months)

1 mom found this helpful

Age 3; even though she could climb out for months, she was very good about safely climbing out and most of the time just called out for me. She loved her crib. Keep your child there for as long as you can. Get her a new big-girl bed at her 3rd b-day with fun sheets and she'll transition well.

1 mom found this helpful

from another mom of a GREAT sleeper! i was not in a rush to change my son's routine either - that good sleep routine is priceless and i didn't want to mess it up! we found a REALLY cool firetruck bed (my son LOVES firetrucks) on craigslist for a great steal, and had to jump on it, so that's how he transitioned. in my experience, good sleepers are good sleepers. it's not going to hurt her to stay in it, like you said, as long as she isn't crawling out of it - but on the other hand, switching her BEFORE she starts to try crawling out, might be beneficial too! my son never did try to crawl out of his. i was happy to go ahead and switch him. it was a good coincidence that we found the perfect bed for him, so we talked it up and he got real excited about it. it took him several months before he even realized he COULD get out of bed without mom or dad right there. i think your daughter will be fine...good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

Good Morning J., If it's not Broke don't fix it...LOL
Let her have her crib if she likes it. My daughter in law wanted Zane,2 next month, to be in toddler bed before they went to TX over Labor day, she had sit up his toddle bed in his room and tried getting him to nap on it on weekends. No go.
Since she was so insistent this happen I helped her one sat. Put Zane to bed, kissed him, tucked him in, nap time baby..
He got up twice and all I did was put him back once and then pointed to the bed once, not saying anything.
He now sleeps in his toddler bed, she took down the crib that day. He can get out of my pack n play now also, so he sleeps in my living room on a kids fold out couch, he does pretty good on that also, takes a bit of sticktoitivness on my part some days. I send Corbin to the bedroom for cartoons or outside to play in the fenced in yard, so I can take care of Zane. I have only had to resort to a swat on hinny once. One day I got so tickled I couldn't do a lot. Zane was in the living room, I was checking on Corbin, I came back and Zane was gone. I looked under the table, favorite hiding place, under papa's chair, then i heard a clink. I turned around and Zane was in the dog kennel with door shut curled up on Amber's cushion. They love playing in there. If anyone saw my pictures of the boys in there they would probably think I put them there on purpose. LOL

Move her when you think she is ready or she shows she is ready.
God Bless you, Like i Said if it ain't broke don't fix it!
K. Nana of 5

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My sister slept in the crib until she was 5 1/2 with the side down after she turned 4. I don't think there is a right answer.

For my daughter it was potty training.. :o) I wanted her to be able to get up to go at night if she needed to.

My daughter turned 2 in August & is still in her crib. She is fully potty trained & her room is right next to ours. I have never really had to get up in the middle of the nite so she could go potty. I always makes sure she goes before bed & she holds it all nite. We are planning on keeping her in her crib until we finish the construction on the rest of our house. Right now, we have a 2 bedroom house & her & her brother share a room. When we move one of them to the new room, we will move her out of her bed. Good luck!

Our son loved his crib too, and we had the easy bedtime routine because of it too! He was in his until he was 3, and had no problems transitioning to his big boy bed! Good luck.

We co-sleep and never (basically) used cribs, but I am a firm believer that if it works for you guys, no need to change it. You'll know when it quits working. If you're all happy, why shift?

K.

My son was 3 years old when we moved him to a toddler bed. He slept good in his crib and didn't try to climb out either so we didn't see any reason to. Go w/ your gut and do what you think is best for you daugther. If she's fine in the crib and you're fine - then leave her in it. :) When we moved him to a toddler bed at 3 there was about 1 or 2 nights that he was a little scared but it worked out fine.

As long as she is happy and safe I see no reason not to let her continue to sleep in her crib, when you get to potty training then i would switch to a toddler bed so that she can start to learn to get up and go potty = ) Lucky you with an angelic sleeper!

You have plenty of advice but I'll add mine too. Keep her in it as long as she is not climbing out and she is happy in it. My two and a half year old just transitioned to a big-girl bed. She was also a WONDERFUL crib sleeper. We only moved her because we wanted to put our second child (who had been sleeping in the pack and play) into the crib. My two and a half year old was really good about the move, but she regularly now gets up in the middle of the night yelling for me. She wants to know if it is morning. I tell her no and she goes back to bed, but it was so nice when she didn't get up until I got her up! Anyway, if it isn't broken, don't fix it! There is no right age to give up the crib. If it works for you and your daughter, keep it!

My daughter, Briana, loved her crib too. I transitioned her to a toddler bed on her 3rd birthday. She was really into the Disney princesses by then. I took her to the store and told her that she will need to be a big girl soon and sleep in a big bed. I asked if she wanted to help mommy pick out her big girl bed. Of course, she picked the princess one that I showed her. She doesn't get out of her toddler bed now either. She will sit up and call mommy until I come in. However, she is starting to get up in the morning and if she hears me out in the rest of the house she will come out of her bedroom on her own.

If you want to leave you little one in the crib a little longer than I say go for it. When she looks like she is starting to get a bit long for the crib or it is starting to look uncomfortable, then move her. Maybe she will get into the Disney Princess craze too and she will want a princess bed too. Ya never know!! Good luck!

J. T

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