19 answers

Transitioning from Crib to Toddler bed...what Age?!

we have a 17 month old who will be almost 24 months when our 2nd baby arrives in september...we will be moving our toddler to another bedroom so the nursery can be used with our infant.

my question is: should my toddler be able to handle a toddler bed or should we use the same crib (or purchase another one that can be converted into a toddler bed?). if anyone has similar aged children, i would love to know what you did & how it worked out!

my toddler is very independent already, so i think she would love the idea of a 'big girl bed' ... but she seems to really like her crib still & has never tried to climb out or resisted going into it (so should we ruin such a great thing?!). we would really like to avoid her getting out of bed during the night & attempting to sleep with us (we're just not family bed folks! tried & didn't like it...) or even falling down the stairs since the bedrooms are on the 2nd floor (we have a gate, but...). it took her about 11 months to finally sleep through the night, so we really have to tread lightly b/c she is very attached to her night & bed routine.

any suggestions or comments of experience?! thanks!

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Featured Answers

We just went through this. My daughter is 28 months and was still sleeping in her crib. She never gave me a hard time about it, never tried climbing out, but I thought it was time. A few months ago, I put up a toddler bed, but did not make her use it. Every once in a while, I would ask my toddler if she was ready to sleep in it. So long as she said no, I didn't push it. Then, just this weekend, I asked her and she said yes and went right to bed in it. This was the first time she slept in it, and she hasn't gone back or asked to sleep in her crib once. She's even taking her naps in her toddler bed. Keep in mind that this took several months, and at first, she did not want anything to do with the toddler bed but now, we can finally take the crib down!

i had the same problem, my daughter never climbed out of the crib, but I had a new one on the way. What I did was for her naps I put her in the "big girl bed" and nights in her cribs. Eventually she switch over herself. As for the gate situation, for a while just put it up on her door so she can play in her room but not get out down the steps.

More Answers

My son didn't sleep through the night until he was 11 months old. So, I would just leave her in the crib and move the crib into her new room. K-Mart has a baby sale going on this week with a crib on sale for $99. It looks pretty nice in the ad. You could get a new crib for your new baby. Or you could check on craig's list if anybody is selling a crib that matches your decor. (www.craigslist.org).

My thoughts are to buy another crib/toddler bed....let her stay in the crib as long as she wants. I transitioned mine too soon and it led to him getting out of bed ALOT. Once she communicates well and is ready to go into a bid girl bed, then is the time. I only feel this way because, for the time being, she feels safe and comfy AND you get a bed to yourself. Make it last! Don't rush it until she shows signs of wanting out of the crib. This is the approach I'm taking with my second one (20 months old). Good luck with her and your new little one on the way!

Hi there,

I have 2 children and faced this very same issue. Our son stayed in a crib until he was 2 because my daughter was ready to be born. Usually pediatricians tell you to keep them in a crib as long as you can - especially if they're not trying to climb out. My son handled it well and stayed in his bed and at 7, still does. My daughter, whom we kept in until 3, did not. She's also independent, was up walking around everywhere, and it was very difficult. At 5, she still gets up and moves around. If you can keep her in the crib, I would. But if you must move her, put double gates on her door - she could get out at night and you woulndn't hear her. Freedom at such a young age for her can be very tempting!

Our son loved being in his crib - and slept in it until he was about 3.5 yrs old. My husband re-finished a twin bed for him, so he knew daddy was making a special big boy bed for him - which prepared him - he's not big on changes! We made a big deal out of the big boy bed, and put a railing up at night because he still moved around a lot, like he was used to in the crib. When he was able to get out of the crib by himself, around 3 yrs old - he'd never even tried before - we'd just leave the side down so he wouldn't hurt himself getting out - but he was happy as could be in that crib.
I think it all depends on your daughter - does she really like her crib, and is it a problem for you to let her stay in it? From what I've heard from friends who moved their toddlers into toddler beds was that they'd get up a lot - at night when they should be going to sleep - during the night - early in the a.m..... It worked out well for us having him safe in his crib, and he was happy being there.
Hope this helps!
-- M. :)

We kept our oldest in her crib until my little one was about 4 months (they are 18 months apart) The only reason was because we still did not have our oldest room painted yet. My husband and I both had our opinion about how we wanted the room and it took us from the time i found out we were pregnant until the youngest was 3 months. My oldest room still is not finished and the baby is 10 months old now. Anyway my oldest did really well and we went right to a full size bed for her and got her bed rails. It only took her a day to get used to it. I was shocked but you got to remember every child is different. If you want to get the toddler bed you can go to my website i sell Avon and order stuff from there i am not pressuring you on that it is up to you. my site is www.avonrepresentative.com/tsciulli
Good luck in your choice.

I have a 3 and 6 year old. I transitioned both at about 1-yr-old. If she is all about being independant and a "big girl" i reccomend that you involve her in every step. Get her excited about her "big girl bed" take her with you and let her pick out the bed herself then take her with you to pick out her new sheets. It's hard to find sheet sets for toddler beds. I have got all my toddler sheet sets from avon. If you don't know anyone who sells it go online to avon.com and they can hook you up with a representative. All their sets are really nice i have had every kind from princess to backyardigans to dora for my daughter. You can get the sheet sets, kids comforters,throws and others accessories to match. If you are worried about the gate try one that you can open and close easily. Good luck

I have a 17 month old, and I am due in June, making him younger when this little one gets here than your child. We are going to keep him in his crib until we are sure he is ready for a toddler bed, his crib then converts into one. He is very posessive about his bed already, and I dont want him to think we are "giving" it to his little sister, so we are using a bassinet for her, and then purchasing another convertable crib. We want his bed to stay his bed, so there is no confusion, or jealousy. Your child may be ready for her own toddler bed by 24 months old. Each child is different. But there will be a lot of other changes to get used to when baby sibling arrives, so keeping her same bed might be a comfort to her for a while. Hope i helped!

H., it was really easy for me to transition my two to a toddler bed...I was in the same position - another baby due (although mine are 13 1/2 months apart!) and wanting to get the other one on his way. For both of my kids, neither got out of their cribs either - we are both lucky! I have converting cribs, so the first thing I did was go out and get a bed railing. They are about $20. Then, all we did was convert the crib to the toddler bed, with the kids in the room seeing what was going on, we made a big deal over the "new" bed. The railing, especially on the toddler bed, takes up almost the entire free side, which is a natural deterrent to get out. (a word of advice - place it all the way up where they lay their heads so a small space is available down by their feet without the railing, this serves as a small "step-down" spot.) With my son, we only had to go in a few times and lay him back down for a few nights, then it was no problem. To this day, he gets up, plays for a while, then bangs on his door to get us up. My daughter was even easier. It's almost as if she didn't even notice! I think the BIG thing, as in most parenting, is how YOU react. If they see you with trepidation, they will feel that way too. You know your child best, so if you think they may have some anxiety, try getting new pj's, a new stuffed animal to invite to bed, or even having a special dinner and "celebration" for the new bed the night that you'll be converting. When it's fun, children usually don't even notice change.
By the way, we again are lucky that our 2 year old can't open doors yet, however, the crafty 3 year old has been adept for quite some time. My secret? Those child-proof doorknob covers!!! (put on their side) Then they cannot "escape" from their own rooms. Worked like a charm for me, until the 3 year old started hammering his to knock it off, although you can bet, that wakes me and my husband up right away!! Good Luck!

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