25 answers

What Age to You Put Your Toddler in a Toddler Bed?

Hi moms! I have a question for you. I was wondering at what age do you put your toddler in a toddler bed. My daughter is 17 months. Shes climbing on everything! From getting on top of the coffee tables, couches, and even the computer table! Id like to move her before she figures how to get out of her crib. Ive seen her already trying. I just dont know if shes too young yet. But I dont want to wait and then chance her falling on her head. What should I do? Thanks for your help!

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So What Happened?™

First I want to thank all the moms who responded to my question. You were all so helpful in helping me decide when the right time is to put my daughter in a toddler bed. My husband and I have decided to wait a couple of months and do it when shes around 19 months. In the mean time we are going to put some pillows and blankets on the floor near her crib just in case. Thank you all so much! xoxoxox

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I just recommend when it becomes a safety issue. I had one child out after 2 and a half and another before 2 years of age

My daughter started a toddler bed at 13 months. We had a cushion on the ground in case she rolled out, but she stopped doing that after a month or two, and she wouldn't wake up after she rolled out!

Hi. I have 3 children, ages 5, 3, and 14 months. I put the older two in twin beds (with a side railing) between 18-21 months. We started with naps and eventually moved to bedtime. I completely child-proofed their room and took out all the toys, etc at first. With my second, I also had to put a baby gate in front of her door for the first few months as she tried to wander the house in the middle of the night :)

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My son figured out how to climb out of his crib around the same age. I bought a crib tent, and he totally loves it. He won't sleep unless I zip him in. He just turned three and still sleeps in his crib, as I am holding a "big boy bed" as bait for potty training! :-) Good luck!

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I wouldn't move her until she really climbs out. I've never heard of anyone really hurting themselves by climbing out, but to be safer you could put a bunch of pillows on the floor to cushion her fall. My first child we moved on to a mattress on the floor when she was 7 months old because she started climbing out. That's a scary sight.. a little 7 month old climbing out of the crib. My second we moved right to a big girl bed when she was 15 months old because we needed the crib for the next child. In hindsight I wish we would have purchased another crib. Although she was a climber, i don't think she ever would have climbed out of the crib. My third is still in a crib at 22 months - she has put her foot up but that's as far as she's gotten. And she climbs all over the place. We have a bunch of pillows on the floor just in case.
There's just way too much hidden danger in a room when they are so young and running around and not confined to the crib that my motto now is to keep them in there for as long as possible. You'd be surprised what they can get into! My first used to open dresser drawers and take all the clothes out...she pulled out a few of the drawers all the way and dropped them on her toes. She also would open the drawers and use them as stairs to climb up to the top of the dresser so she could reach something that was supposedly out of her reach. There's a lot less danger with them in the crib and the danger of them falling can be somewhat controlled with pillows/mattress/bean bag chairs etc. on the floor. I understand the wanting to move them before they have a chance to get hurt, but you never know, you could get lucky and have a child that never graduates to climbing out.

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Our doctor told us that if they can't climb out - leave them in. It doesn't hurt. We took her advice and had our first son in until he was 2.5 years old. But, at 3.5 years old now, I STILL don't think he would climb out. He's not a climber at all.

Our second son, on the other hand, is 17M and climbs on EVERYTHING. Sounds just like your daughter. The crib we have for him would be incredibly hard for him to get out of, but I've seen him try to lift his leg up. I don't think he can do it yet. I just watch him (he loves to play in there) and if I see him getting close to being able to, I'll switch it to the toddler bed.

The longer the better, though because if he can get out of bed at will, I'd be afraid for his safety. His room is toddler proofed and all the furniture is attached to the wall, but it wouldn't stop him from trying his acrobats while the rest of the house is sleeping. Lol.

Good luck to you.

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I know you got tons of responses, but I thought I'd throw my 2 cents in.

We moved our son into a twin size bed at 25 months...not for any particular reason other than he seemed to be too big for the crib. We had a bed rail up and he fell out a couple of times, even with the bed rail, but kids are resilient. We got a better bed rail and put pillows on the floor in case it happened again, but it didn't.

We went cold turkey. Took out the crib and put up the new bed in the same afternoon. He watched us and was excited about getting a new bed. We never had toys in his room...just books. Now he's 4 and knows that he can't leave his room until 7:00 (and he usually gets up around 6:15-6:30), so he sits in his bed and reads books until it's time.

If he was climbing out of the crib, we would've done it sooner, but age 2 seemed a good age to do it for us.

I would do it now. She sounds like my daughter who loves to do the same things. She climbed out of her crib just after she turned 2 years old (a couple months ago) and luckily she wasn't hurt, though it did shake her up and she cried.

She always liked to climb everywhere else in the house, except out of her crib. We think she liked playing in her crib and considered it her "fun little haven" :-).

Well, all that changed one night at her grandparents and she decided to climb out of her pack and play. No previous signs! Then she tried it again the very night she came home and I heard her slam to the carpet in her room. It literally happened over night! We should have put her in a toddler or twin bed sooner. Now she loves her toddler bed and plays in it like she did the crib.

Hi. I have 3 children, ages 5, 3, and 14 months. I put the older two in twin beds (with a side railing) between 18-21 months. We started with naps and eventually moved to bedtime. I completely child-proofed their room and took out all the toys, etc at first. With my second, I also had to put a baby gate in front of her door for the first few months as she tried to wander the house in the middle of the night :)

Hi! I just put my daugther in a twin size bed on Sunday. She has always been a climber as well and hadn't climbed out of her crib yet. I wasn't going to go cold turkey with her not sleeping in her crib, but in the end it was what I decided to do. She did try after the 3rd night to go in her old room (which I closed the door), but told her no you need to sleep in your new room with your big girl bed. We had to put her in a big girl bed and new room because I am due with #2 in April, and figured that would just be the easiest. She has been doing great so far. She cried a little on her first night, but has been fine with naps. She did get out once yesterday when I put her down for her nap and I just picked her up and told her it is time for a nap. She stayed and slept for almost 3 hours. I could be lucky I don't know. My child does love her slept though, lol. Kinda like her Mom.

we moved our son into an adult bed at 20 months. Just child-proofed his room and put a gate up. Worked great.

Hi W.,
I put Sarah in her "big girl bed" when she was a tad over three. Our choice was to get her in her full size bed because that's how the crib converted. She rejected the crib railing thing we had purchased and fell out 2 times. Devin, now 2 3/4, was ready at age 2. We got him a platform twin bed with drawers and he was thrilled to be like big sister. He fell out twice and then hugged the wall when he slept and we didn't ever need the railing device from One Step Ahead. To prep the kids, we found some awesome books to read from our local library. Don't know about VHS or DVD choices.

A little about me:

I am an at home mom to two kids, Sarah and Devin, 4 years and 3 years almost.

My son just had his 18 mo. check up and that is one of the things the pediatrician addressed. He said anywhere from 18 mo. to 2 1/2 they can be transitioned. I put my first son in one at two but he was not a climber. My 18 mo. I may transition in the next few months. Don't worry too much if she falls out. If you go with a toddler bed, they are pretty low to the ground. If it eases your mind put thick blankets on the floor to cushion her fall. She'll be fine!

I moved both my kids at around 18 months.

My son had climbed out and my doctor said once was all we get he needed to be moved. We moved him right to a twin. My daughter hadn't tried yet, but like your daughter climbed on everything. Since she was shorter (she couldn't climb into the twin on her own) and their room is small we did a toddler bed for her.

She loves it. Both my kids slept a lot better after we switched them as well. Oh and both have fallen out of bed exactly once and never did it again.

My daughter started a toddler bed at 13 months. We had a cushion on the ground in case she rolled out, but she stopped doing that after a month or two, and she wouldn't wake up after she rolled out!

My daughter happily stayed in her crib until 2.5 without ever showing an interest in climbing out; my son, however, climbed on EVERYTHING! One night I was sleeping in the same room as him at my in-law's & woke up the next morning to find him with one leg entirely over the crib and most of his upper body already out. Thankfully I saw this and stopped him - I knew his arms wouldn't be strong enough to hold him up and was afraid he'd fall & break a bone. That was his last night in a crib. We went home that day and swapped out his crib for a new toddler bed. He was 17 months old at the time & he did great with the transition. (Sometimes I even think it was an easier adjustment because he was so young.) We babyproofed absolutely everything...really, we turned his entire bedroom into a giant crib. He slept great in it from day one. It did take him a few days to realize that when he wakes up it's okay to get out of bed & look at books, etc. The decision is of course up to you & each child handles the transition out of the crib differently, but after seeing my son practically dangling out of the crib I knew we had no choice! Best of luck to you!

Wow I think she is telling u already that she is ready since she is climbing out already it would be simi safer to have her in toddler bed. My daughter was 20 months we moved and thiought it would be fun.

I just recommend when it becomes a safety issue. I had one child out after 2 and a half and another before 2 years of age

I would do it now - she can really hurt herself crawling out of her crib. If you have a convertable crib that turns into a small toddler bed that is best. What we did for my daughter was put a guard rail on the open side (eventhough she was only 6"-8" off the ground). It made it still feel secure for her.

Also, don't forget to secure all the furniture to the wall so she doesn't try to climb her dresser and it topples over on top of her. We also put a door knob guard on so she couldn't wonder the house.

Good luck with your little monkey :)

I am heeding the advice of a few friends who have recommended keeping the child in the crib as long as they are happy and safe. Once they are in the toddler bed they are no longer 'contained' at night. They can get up and move about their room and the house. Of course if she is trying to climb out of the crib, for safety's sake it might be time to move to a toddler bed. Our son is nearly two years old and climbs on everything, too, but has not shown any interest in climbing out of the crib.

I don't know if there is a "right age" to move a child from a crib....but I do know that considering that a child falling from a foot or less is less dangerous than them falling 3 or 4 feet over the side of their crib it looks obvious that a move is needed. Depending upon the style of crib your child is in, and....whether or not you can count on her staying in a toddler bed and you not worrying about her "wandering" and creating yet another safety risk.. it may be time. My daughter was out of her crib before she was 1yr. She was a regular monkey. I started her out taking naps on her teenage brother's "big" bed. She was willing to stay there. After a couple of weeks she wanted to go to bed at night in his bed rather than the crib (fortunately, she did not want him to stay in the bed with her! and he was old enough to understand..he was nearly 15) My first son had both his crib and a twin mattress on the floor to choose between for his transition. He was only a little over 1yr when he made the change. If you have the space.....try offering her a choice and see where that goes. In spite of her climbing, she may actually like the familiarity and security of her crib for a while longer. Knowing she is not "trapped" may actually help her stay in the crib longer and give you peace of mind..... My youngest son was in the crib until kindergarten (his choice)

Hi W.,
My second son was 16 months when we put him in a toddler bed and my daughter was 14 months. They were both climbers and I didn't want them falling out. It did take time to teach them about staying in bed at bed time and of course the getting up was a little earlier but it was worth no broken bones!
Good Luck!

They're never too young for the big bed. The sooner the better as far as them being use to being in one bed. Make sure the bed is in the corner and a guard rail is used. She's already crawling so put those tables against furniture so they don't fall down between (cocktail against couch, etc.). Good luck.

wait as long as you can it takes awhile for them to be developmentally ready to handle the freedom that a big kid bed brings.

I would put a toddler in bed around 2 or 3. You want to watch how they sleep in the bed, so that you can see that they have a sense of how to stay in it and not roll off. Also, watch how tall they are getting in their crib.


i don't think there's a "magic age" to make the move. I think it really depends on your child, your needs and safety. What worked for your six year old?

Personally I wouldn't waste the money on a toddler bed. I've heard too many people who watch their kids grow out of them too fast or never like them to begin with.

If you are simply considering WHEN to move out of the crib, my advice would be what our pediatrician and day care suggested, start your child napping on a mattress on the floor of his room. Make sure it's all child proofed and you have a good gate on the door. Wait until she's nice and tired, and just put her down. Keep this up until she's use to it, THEN get rid of the crib and start using the mattress on the floor all the time. (BTW - if she doesn't like it at first for naptime, take her out of her room, wait until she's really tired, and try again.)

THEN, when she gets big enough, make a big deal out of putting it up on the frame, buy new sheets and MAGIC - a BIG GIRL BED.

No wasted money on a toddler bed. No worries about "falling out" of the bed.

It worked great for both of our kids.

Good luck.

That's a tough one. I never moved my kids until they climbed out. I never heard the big thud in the middle of the night because they fell, I would just wake up and they would be in my face. At that point, I would get a gate, babyproof the room and put a mattress on the floor and work my way up to a bed. We did the toddler bed because they can get in and out of it ok without falling.

When you switch, you might not get much sleep for awhile as she might start testing how much she can get away with.
She will get used to the new routine and go with the flow.

When you do switch, you want to take a look outside the room as well. Put gates up by the stairs, etc. My youngest still will get up and go to someone's room and get in bed with them. The older boys have started locking their doors at night because they can't sleep when Luke is in their bed!

My son did the same thing before the age of your child. I just took the crib down and put cushions on the floor and kept the nightstand away from the bed and anything else he could fall on. Miraculously, he never fell out of bed until he was a teen-ager. :)

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