29 answers

Switching to Toddler Bed

My son is 17 months old. When is the best time to switch to a toddler bed? I haven't had any problems with him trying to climb out of his crib yet (I have no doubts this will happen sooner or later, though). I've read a lot of other moms have had their kids in toddler beds at a much earlier age than my son is, so I was just hoping to get some input.

Thanks!

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In my experience I put my first son (now 8) in a toddler bed way too early! He was about 15 months. I wish I would've waited until he was climbing out of his crib or at least until he understood, "stay in bed", not that he would have but you know what I mean. I don't plan of getting a toddler bed for my second son (1 yr) until he's at least 2.

1 mom found this helpful

My boys both went into toddler beds around, two, but they were climbing out of their cribs. My daughter stayed in her crib til she was almost 4 (it converted to a daybed). If he's not climbing out yet, then I wouldn't worry about it. They have plenty of room in their crib for quite a while. :)
S.

I skipped the toddler bed & went straight to a twin. I moved my son into the twin when he was around 20 mo or so. It was only the box springs & mattress, no frame. Both beds we set up at the same time for a couple months or so. He started taking naps in the twin first until he wanted to sleep in the big boy bed at night some too. I put some of his toys to bed in the twin so he knew it was ok at night also. No rush though. Good luck.

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In my experience I put my first son (now 8) in a toddler bed way too early! He was about 15 months. I wish I would've waited until he was climbing out of his crib or at least until he understood, "stay in bed", not that he would have but you know what I mean. I don't plan of getting a toddler bed for my second son (1 yr) until he's at least 2.

1 mom found this helpful

I waited with my first daughter until she was just past 2 before I switched her to a toddler's bed. She was totally content to still sleep in a crib and I figured why rush it, especially my second daughter was born when my 1st was 20 months, so another reason I waited. Anyway now my 2nd daughter is 20 months and she too, is content in her crib and I think we'll wait until she's 2+ as well.
If you're interested and depending where you live, I have a toddler bed that we purchased at Babies-R-us and the mattress, that we're looking to get rid of. We barely used the toddler bed since my 1st daughter was big (always been in the 100%)and grew out of it fast and for my second daughter we have a converter crib. Let me know if you would be interested and I could email you pictures of it.

I am actually going through the same thing with my 22 month old. I just ordered a twin bed and rails. After a lot of consideration and talking to other Moms, I decided to skip the toddler bed all together. It just ends up being another transition. They get use to the toddler bed and then you have to transition them again. My son also does not climb out of his crib, but I want to get him use to his big boy bed so we can start potty training. We are making a big deal out of it...painting his room, and inviting family over for a "party" to see his new room, so hopefully it will work well! I am terrified of him getting out of bed too, but he has a gate on his bedroom door, so hopefully he won't wander far! Good luck!

N.,
I left my daughter in her crib until she climbed out at almost 2. The problem with the toddler bed is that she wouldn't stay in it after she discovered she could get out. I also know that if they are too little, they may fall out. I say don't rush him if you don't need to (ie another baby is coming and you need the crib). I have a son also that is 15 months old now and I have no intention of moving him to a big boy bed for the time being. He is content in his bed and I am content to leave him there until he starts putthing that foot up on that top rail.
B.
Gymboree Play and Music

I waited until my son was 27 mos old, but only did it that early since he was getting too big for it (he's tall). I was scared to do it, since I was afraid he wouldn't stay in bed and it would be difficult to made him go to bed. I took him straight from his baby bed to a twin and had absolutely NO problems at all. He's only fallen off once, which was actually pretty funny, to me anyways, since he was still asleep.
Do what feels right to you. If he's fine in his baby bed, there's no rush, in my opinion, to do what everyone else is doing. But from what I've read, once they start climbing out, get him a big boy bed.

There is no mandatory age for child to move to big boy bed. My son is Going on 3 and just moved into toddler bed 3 months ago. My advice is he will let you know when its time. Usually a sign is if they are getting in /out of crib by himself. what I did was just left it set up in his room, so if he wanted to lay in he could even just for a minute. It definitly works out when you let them tell you when. Trust me don't be in a hurry and if he does move put safety knob on his door so he can't escape when you're sleeping.

Godluck!! Tara

Hi N.,

My daughter wasn't showing "signs" really but I had borrowed the crib from a friend and her baby is due at the begining of March so I wanted to get her crib back to her.

The other reason was I have 4 kids and we did have the 3 younger ones in the same room my 2nd child is getting older and since I have 2 boys (older) and 2 girls (younger) we made "the boys room" and "the girls room" so we made the switch to a toddler bed at the sametime.
So I think it's different for everyone. I have a friend who has twins the same age as my daughter and she is no where near moving them to toddler beds or even twin size beds.

Every kid is different. We only switched our son at 20 months because he had been climbing out before he could walk! (9-10 months) I know they make crib tents, but I couldn't see the expense when he was going to go to a toddler bed anyway and would probably figure out how to tear down or get out of a crib tent! I'd say if he's not climbing out and there are no issues (back problems, etc.) with you getting him in and out -- keep him in the crib and enjoy it!

I transitioned all 3 of mine to a toddler bed when they started climbing out a the crib. There's no "right time" or "wrong time", just when your little one is ready. Due to the size of my youngest, he was in a toddler bed until he was about 4! Why not? It was a perfect size! No wories!

I switched my daughter when she was almost 2. When I switched her, she didn't ever try to climb out either. I had to switch her because I was having another baby and needed to get the crib out of sight so when the new baby came she didn't think the crib was still hers. Once you switch, they are no longer "contained" and nap time is a little harder cause they can just get right out of bed:) Good luck,
J.

I have 4 children who all went to a toddler bed at different ages. I had my youngest girl in a toddler bed at a year old. My oldest daughter was in her crib until 18-19 months.
I waited until they were trying and able to climb out of the crib. My oldest son was happy in the crib until almost two years of age. I don't think there is a set time to move from the crib to a toddler bed. It just depends on the individual kid and when they start climbing out of the crib. Every child is different and don't feel pressure to move him because someone else has a child the same age in a toddler bed. You are his mother and you will know when the time is right, climbing out or not. Good luck!

My son was always large for his age, so he started running out of room in his crib around 18 months, plus he was trying to climb out. Even thought he was nowhere near succeeding, the first thing we did was put the rail down, move the mattress up, place a chair by the crib and teach him to climb out safely. That was at about 18-20 months. At around 22 months we had visitors and put up his regular twin bed for one of them to sleep on in his room. Then we just left it there. We switched him to it at 24 months and haven't had any problems. We did it gradually -- first we took the crib down and put the bed where it had been, same pillow, same blanket, no frame for the mattress. Then we switched to regular sheets and full-size blankets; later we added the frame.

Now my daughter is 18 months and since we have a little one coming in a few weeks I'm considering teaching her how to get out so I won't have to lift her in and out while recovering. Problem is she isn't a very good climber yet -- she falls all the time. So we're considering whether it's the best time for her or not.

Hope all that helps a little! :-)

Our son is 2 1/2 years old and STILL in the crib. He sleeps well there. Recently, he started to climb out of the crib. I bought a crib tent and he loves it. He sleeps like a charm. For our other two girls, we HAD to put them in a toddler bed right before they turned 2 1/2 because a new baby was on the way. Now that he is the last one, I am going to keep him in there as long as possible. It is in our opinion that he is doing great there so why rock the boat. We will move him when the time comes, but now he loves it in there. So, I wouldn't be in a hurry to switch him because you may find like we did, they like to get out of bed and then you have a new set of problems on your hands. Hope this helps.

Hi N.,

I didn't move my daughter to a toddler bed until she was 2 1/2 yrs old. She climbed out one time when she was around 18 mo. and it must have scared her pretty good (she did not get hurt at all) because she never tried it again. I was of the opinion that if the crib still worked, why change it? When she was in her crib I didn't have to worry about her getting up unsupervised at night after I went to bed. So, my advice, if he's not having any issues in his crib, leave him there as long as you can. One less thing to worry about. And as we all know, as mom's of young children we have enough to worry about as it is. :-)
One more thing...I feel waiting until she was older to move her helped her be better able to understand the change. Because we were able to explain to her that even though she "could" get out on her own now, that she should not unless she had to go to the bathroom. And amazingly it's worked...she's never been one to wander at night and get into things. Good Luck!

I switched my son to a toddler bed before he learn to climb out of the crib. I put the rails up on the sides of the bed and he never got out. He was about 14months or so, if I remember correctly.

Wait as long as you can. My son was almost three and was not climbing out but he was so cramped. I was going to put him in a big boy bed at about 20 months when I had my daughter but he was not ready then. I had a friend let me borrow her old crib and I am so glad I waited to put switch him.

It's different for everyone. My daughter was just passed two when she went to her toddler bed. I guess it just depends on if you think he's mature enough. If he gets up frequently in the night, you might consider keeping him in the crib until he sleeps all the way through, that way you won't have to worry about him getting up in the night to get into things.

I recently moved my 2 1/2 year old out of her crib and want it back. I have had to put a lock on her door to keep her in for naps (which she needs-we tried without naps and she fell asleep at 4 pm).

Wait until he's trying to climb out, no need to rush this.

Boys often have a harder transition to toddler beds. It just depends on what you plan. We just had another baby, so my two year old will be in his crib until spring (I didn't want to deal with both of them tag-teaming me at night). To be sure he can't climb out, I got him a grobag to sleep in. He loves it, he's always warm, and I know he can't get out of his crib.

If he's not climbing out, than it's just when you feel comfortable enough to let him have the run of his room at night. Our son moved to the toddler bed at 23 months. We put it in his room next to his crib & he would take naps in it. One night he climbed in it. I told him he needed to sleep in his crib. He rolled over, pointed at it & said "baby bed". He's been in the toddler bed ever since. We had to put a safety knob on his door knob to keep him from getting out of his room at night & roaming the house. Just be sure to baby proof his room.

I didn't get my girl into a toddler bed until she was about 2.5 years old. I was really afraid that she would think that she didn't have to stay in her bed and actually sleep. BUT...I got one of those guard rails and things are going really good!!

I think that when YOU are ready for him to be in a toddler bed, then you should do that. But until that time. Don't worry about what other mom's are doing. You know your kid the best.

I would wait as long as you can to switch to the toddler bed...unless you need the crib for a new baby. When my son was 18 months old, I switched him to a toddler bed and I couldn't keep him in bed to go to sleep. He had the freedom to get up and move around. I would wait!!!

N.:
Don't worry about what other moms are doing with their toddlers. As long as your son is happy in his crib, leave him there. I believe the time to transition is when they begin to climb out or around age 2.5 to 3 if they aren't climbers. We moved our first child at 15 months because he was climbing but he was very insecure about sleeping after he left his crib. It turned into a year and a half long ordeal of nighttime waking and crying and we ended up with him sleeping on a pallet in our room just so we could get some sleep. We let our next two stay in their cribs as long as they wanted and the transition to a big bed was much easier. We completely skipped a toddler bed and went straight to a twin bed. Hope this helps!

I skipped the toddler bed & went straight to a twin. I moved my son into the twin when he was around 20 mo or so. It was only the box springs & mattress, no frame. Both beds we set up at the same time for a couple months or so. He started taking naps in the twin first until he wanted to sleep in the big boy bed at night some too. I put some of his toys to bed in the twin so he knew it was ok at night also. No rush though. Good luck.

My boys both went into toddler beds around, two, but they were climbing out of their cribs. My daughter stayed in her crib til she was almost 4 (it converted to a daybed). If he's not climbing out yet, then I wouldn't worry about it. They have plenty of room in their crib for quite a while. :)
S.

I have twin 2 year old boys and I am not goin to put them in a big boy bed till they have to be transitioned it makes my hectic life much easier. I was told by a "sleep expert" that they can stay in a crib up to 3 years old so whatever you feel most comfortable w/. Good Luck!!

We switched our now 3 year old to a "big boy" bed when he was about 18 months old after he fell out of his crib trying to climb out in the middle of the night. He had never tried before - that we knew of. He was not hurt and we were more shaken then he was. I don't think that there is a magical time to do this. We talked to our son and he was excited about a new big boy bed - so it was a no-brainer. Incidently, we got a trundle bed that came with rails that you can take off when the child is older. It has worked out great. An added advantage of the trundle is that you can pull it out for them to climb up into the bed.

I just went to my DD's 2-yr well-baby check up and asked the doctor about transitioning from crib to bed. I mentioned I'm leaning on keeping her in the crib as long as I can and she agreed. She mentioned that if we are potty training, she needs to be in a bed. When the time comes to transition, she recommended we start with her in a bed at naptime and then work our way to the bed for overnight. Thought I'd share with you what I just heard from my pediatrician.

I would say do it when you think he is ready, my son went to a fullsize bed a few months ago and he will be 2 end of this month. My son wasnt climbing out of his crib, he just kept waking up in the middle of the night crying. I would lay him down in the spare bedroom and he would fall back to sleep so its how I knew he was ready for a bed. He is only in a fullsize bed because his crib only opened up to a fullsize.

So just look for signs you think he is ready, if he isnt showing signs keep him in his crib. When you do feel you want to put him in a toddler bed, try putting the crib mattress on the floor and put a gate up in his doorway and majorly childproof his room.

Good Luck on the transitioning, I was sad when my son went to a bed from his crib, my little baby is growing up, but also happy and excited at the same time, he sleeps so much better in his bed, he loves it. We bought the Cars bedding.

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