M.W. asks from Elkridge, MD on October 09, 2011
Transitioning to Toddler Bed from Crib
We are trying to transition our 2 year old daughter to her new toddler bed from her crib. There's no urgent rush, except that I'm due in December with baby #2 and wanted her to be well adjusted to new bed before everything changes...
When we set it up, she loved it! She kept saying "night night" and would crawl under the covers and lay there. We tried putting hr in tonight and she cried and cried... I then put her in her crib and she laid down and went to sleep. I know it I'll take some time, but any advice on how to make this an easier transition?? Any tricks?
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R.R. answers from Los Angeles on October 09, 2011
I'd advise taking the crib down completely and putting it away, even if you have to set it back up again in December. Reason being you don't want your daughter to associate her move to the toddler bed with the new baby and develop resentment or animosity towards her new sibling. It takes a couple of months for them to fully adjust to the bed so you want the transition to happen fairly quickly at this point.
Put a baby gate in her doorway (I had to stack two for my climber) so you can still hear her but she can't wander out of her room, and have a nightlight in her room to help her relax, I recommend the ones by Cloud B to everyone, they project constellations on the ceiling for 45 minutes:
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K.W. answers from Washington DC on October 10, 2011
Havent' read through the other responses, so forgive me if I'm repeating some things. First, I think that you need to stick with the decision to have her sleep in the bed. Don't flip-flop back and forth between the bed and the crib. This sends mixed messages to her. If possible, take the crib down or put it away some where she can't see it, so she knows it's not even an option.
Super Nanny (I think) has a stay in bed technique where the parent sits on the floor in the room with the child until she falls asleep and gradually moves closer to the door each night. You could google it I'm sure, to get the exact details.
Also, maybe you could let your daughter pick out some stickers or decals of her choice to "decorate" the bed. This may at least make it more appealing to her. Hope this helps!
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A.H. answers from Chicago on October 09, 2011
My 2 year-old daughter is sleeping in her toddler bed for the first time tonight! We took down the crib down completely. So far so good. I just think going back and forth between the crib and the toddler bed will be confusing for your daughter...when you transition, stick to it. Definitely use a night light so she's not scared. Our toddler bed has built-in wooden side rails so she won't fall out. Hopefully my daughter doesn't wake up in the middle of the night and freak out, we'll see!
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E.S. answers from Jacksonville on October 09, 2011
We just transitioned my son for the same reason. We kept the nursery the same and moved him to a new room and new bed. He would do the same thing. Lay down and then a few minutes later start crying. We would put him it the crib and he would go right to sleep. We did this for probably 4 nights. I was starting to think we would be doing it for a month. On the fifth night he had been really fussy and acting tired all night and I just didn't feel like I had the patience to deal with the new night time routine, so I just put him directly in the crib. I think it just pissed him off. He cried for about 15 minutes but then went to sleep. The next night when I put him in the toddler bed, he didn't get out. Slept all night. I don't know that I would really recommend it, but it worked. Good luck!
ETA - I should also mention that the toddler bed we have for my son has really high solid sides that block out the light from the night light. We didn't realize that at first. We ended up buying him another light to help keep it from being so dark.
B.B. answers from Missoula on October 09, 2011
I would not push it. Give her some time to decide that she wants to sleep in the big bed. I don't know about you, but we used a bassinet or co-sleeper for the first few months after we brought our babies home, so you may have a bit more time than you think on this.
J.K. answers from Phoenix on October 09, 2011
We moved all our kids to a regular bed starting at age 2 but I don't remember it being an issue. They're all 8 or older. My youngest will be 2 in April so I'll find out soon enough. It might take a couple nights to adjust but I don't remember it being that big of a transition. Good luck!!
G.B. answers from Oklahoma City on October 10, 2011
I think the easiest for us was to do naps in the bed and let them sleep in the crib if they wanted to. We started them by 15-18 months because they were on cots in child care and it was a natural progression to do similar sleeping situations in both places.
K.C. answers from Cleveland on October 09, 2011
This may be a too much work for you, but here`s what my friend did to transition her son to a toddler bed.
Buy and put together the bed, then put it in your room. Let them sleep in the bed, in your room for about 4 weeks. They will start to get used to it, and then move the bed into their room. Knowing that you're there next to them in their big bed will build up their maturity.
Every child is different, so don't think that this will always work. When my friend tried this, she had to do this 3 times before he was sleeping in it.
Maybe she's just not ready. That's fine too. You probably want her into ten toddler bed by age 3 1/2.