B.H. asks from Veneta, OR on February 16, 2008
When to Transfer My Toddler to a Big Girl Bed....
My daughter is 2 years and 4 months. She is showing no signs of needing/wanting to be in a big girl bed. We have never had issues with her trying to crawl out of her crib or that she is uncomfortable size wise or anything. I always figured that when we got pregnant with another baby I would help get her introduce the idea of having a sibling by moving her room and making it a "big girl room" so the baby could have the baby room. Well, that's not happening anytime soon so I'm at a loss on what to do. I've heard other moms say that children should be moved to other beds sooner than later. Why is that? Granted, she will grow out of the crib but I'm just wondering if I'm doing something wrong by not introducing her to a big bed now. I feel she is comfortable in her room and have never used her room as a tool for punishment (sending her to her room) nor do we use it as a play area. I'm afraid that if I get her a bed she may take advantage of the "freedom" and play around or make going to bed, which has never been an issue, an issue. Suggestions?
1 mom found this helpful
So What Happened?™
Thank you all for the wonderful advice. I think we will wait. I certainly don't want to make matters worse if they don't need to be. I think I may make it a "mommy and me" thing when I get pregnant. Have her help me with decorating her room, giving her choices, stuff like that. Thanks!
M.S. answers from Portland on February 17, 2008
I personally don't think there is any harm in leaving her in a crib if that is what you both want and she is not climbing out. That just means that when you do move her to a toddler bed, she will be older and will understand better that it is not okay to get out of bed. The down side to moving a toddler too soon is that it takes a lot of fighting with them to teach them to stay put. Try putting a big girl bed in her room with her crib still there, and let her choose which one she wants. If she gets out of her big girl bed, take her back and tell her she must stay in bed or she won't be allowed to sleep in the big girl bed. If she gets out again, then place her in her crib and tell her maybe we can try again tomorrow.
L.C. answers from Seattle on February 17, 2008
Why not use this time to have a new 'big bed' in her room, but let her come to to the decision to sleep in it on her own? If there will be a crib and bed in room anyway, then it's a perfect time! Also, she might feel like giving the new baby her old bed by the time the baby arrives. Maybe she just needs to 'get used to the idea' a little first; without making it a life change; Similar to how we've introduced new 'equipment'; put out the bouncy seat; bassinet before the baby arrives, so the kids are used to it already when the baby does arrive, they are used to it. Maybe she just needs to know a little more about a 'big girl bed' before she makes the commitment.
Hope this helps.
M.H. answers from Seattle on February 17, 2008
I'm going through a similar thing as you right now. My son turned 2 in November and he's still in his crib. We planned on being pregnant with our second child by now and as it hasn't happened, we haven't moved him to his toddler bed yet. I plan on waiting as long as possible. Once he's in a toddler bed, he'll be able to move around at night/in the morning without us knowing and that's not something I'm comfortable with - especially as he still likes to pull things out of his light sockets. I say you should keep her in her crib until it's impossible for her to be in one. There's no harm in it. She'll let you know when she's ready to be moved to a big girl bed :)
1 mom found this helpful
K.S. answers from Portland on February 17, 2008
If you're talking about actually moving her into a different bedthen here's my advice. I think that it really depends on the child for when to transfer. You might want to try asking her if she wants a "big girl" bed, if you haven't asked her already. If she says yes, then you might want to make sure she knows what a "big girl" bed is. If you have an extra bed around the house (like one in a guest bedroom) you might wasnt to give her a chance to sleep in that so she can see what it's like. If she really doesn't like it, then you can try introducing her to a big girl bed in a few months or maybe when she's three. Good Luck!
K.B. answers from Seattle on February 17, 2008
I would keep her in her crib as long as she's not trying to climb out and possibly get hurt. I've heard keeping them in their crib until they are closer to 3 is the preference. My daughter is about the same age as yours and we have moved her to her "big girl" room because I am due to have another baby here in the next week. When we first introduced her to the toddler bed, she flat refused to sleep in it, so the response below that suggested to have it in the room is a good idea. That is what we did. Once she was comfortable she started to ask to sleep there.
I thought nap time would be a struggle, but it really wasn't and I think it really depends on the child. We actually put up a baby gate at the door so she can't wander out of her room before she's asleep and then we take it down so when she wakes up she can just get up and come downstairs when she's ready. It's worked pretty well for us.
P.S. answers from Portland on February 17, 2008
My daughter who's now 4 sounds a lot like yours. We had no problem moving her to a big bed. We talked about it with her well in advance. When we made the switch we let her pick the new sheets and comforter. Her favorite characters. Then we switched cold turkey...the big bed went in and the crib went out. She loved that we could sit or lay on her bed with her and read bed time stories or sing nursery songs. Honestly not until this year did she get out of bed in the middle of the night or anything. I just think whether it be her crib or big bed...she loved going to bed and the process that goes with it.
H.B. answers from Seattle on February 16, 2008
I wouldn't worry about it. We left my son in his crib as long as possible, even going so far as to buy a second crib for our daughter who was born when he was 17 months old. Eventually it just got uncomfortable lifting him in and out, and that's when we made the transition (at around age 2 1/2). When we put him in the big boy bed we put a removeable rail/fence type thing that almost encloses the open side - leaving just enough room for him to climb in and out at the bottom. He likes that feeling of being safe and "enclosed" I believe. I think sometimes we are too anxious to get our kids grown up, there is no reason not to let things like this last longer when they are working for everyone and you are all happy with the situation. Let her ask for the big girl bed when she's ready, she probably will eventually.
R.S. answers from Portland on February 17, 2008
I personally don't see why you need to change her sleeping situation yet, especially if she's comfortable and secure there. When you get pregnant with your second child,and or she grows out of the size of the crib, you should start preparing her for the change months ahead. It should be talked about as something big girls get to move up to. She should get to help out somehow in a choice, like using a favorite color or theme she would enjoy in it (sheets, color of wall, special blanket, new little area rug etc... It's good she feels secure in her room now and I wouldn't change it unless she hinted it or the above reasons applied. R.
T.F. answers from Eugene on February 16, 2008
We skipped the whole toddler bed and went straight to a twin bed for my son last year about when he was about 18mos old. I looked on Craigslist and was very lucky on finding a solid wooden twin bed with a rail on one side ($35.00). The gal who was selling it lost the other rail in over time. It was exactly what I wanted. Solid wood with rails. My son was climbing out of his crib and we figured he was ready for a big boy bed. Plus, I was afraid that he might climb out and fall. I also chose to skip the toddler bed because I have heard that they only stay in this bed for only about 6 mos. I didn't want to spend $100 on a bed that I am going to use for a short amount of time. Besides that my son is taller than most boys his age anyway. So, It was better for us that we got him a regular twin bed. For the first few months we put pillows witha blanket covering them on the floor...just in case he fell. An he didn't.
You as your roll for being mom - you will know when it is the right time to make the change for your child. For my son - it was better to make the change sooner than later. Good luck.
T.O. answers from Eugene on February 17, 2008
If it's not an issue I wouldn't worry about it. My doctor always said keep them in a crib as long as you can. We moved my eldest out when she was two just because we had another one on the way. We never had any issues with her getting out of her big girl bed and it was a twin bed. We moved our son out when he was 2 because of space. Neither had any issues with with the crib or with the bed once we moved them.