Transitioning into Toddler Bed

Updated on March 09, 2011
L.V. asks from Ridgewood, NY
10 answers

hello moms! I would like to take my 21 month old son out of his crib and into his toddler bed...any advice on how to do so? thanks!....let me clarify by saying that my parents who live in PA do not have a crib in their home..we visit often..he was sleeping in a pack and play but outgrew it..this is why I am pushing to place him in his toddler bed...i wanted him to sleep in the twin bed up there that we will attach safety side rails...I am asking advice for transitioning him into the bed...not advice on whether it is time...thank you

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answers from Pittsburgh on

Is he climbing out? If not--leave him right where he is til 3. It's a HUGE game changer once they're out! lol

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answers from Missoula on

Is he climbing out of his crib? If he's not, I would really consider leaving him in the crib. We left our son in his crib until he was about 30 months, and we only moved him because he started climbing out. I would have left him there until kindergarten if he had stayed in it.
Once your son is in the toddler bed he will be free to get up as often as he likes and bedtime may be a different story than what you are experiencing now.

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answers from Milwaukee on

I'd leave him in too. Unless he's climbing out. We left our son in his crib until nearly 3. He never even attempted to crawl out so it was never an issue. Once he was older it was much easier to explain it and caused less seperation anxiety and the getting out of bed. Of course now however I lay down with him a lot at bedtime. I know the experts don't advise it-they have to fall asleep on their own, blah, blah-but we have our time to catch up and be silly and I get to snuggle him - it's the best part of my day!

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answers from Chicago on

Since you're only looking for how to move him...just switch the bed. I would try to keep him consistent. So if it's a twin bed he'll be using somewhere else regularly, get him a twin bed for home, too.
A lot of people like to let their little ones help pick out new sheets and stuff. My DS could've cared less.

I would just put the mattress/box spring on the floor, until he gets the hang of it. Personally, bed rails only work if they're where the kids are sleeping...which is about 1/2 of the twin bed. The rest is unguarded.



answers from Monroe on

Check out some great transitioning to toddler bed tips at



answers from New York on

I transitioned my oldest son when he was 23 months old. He was in love with firetrucks, and we got him a firetruck bed. We said we were just going to put it into his room until he was ready to sleep in it, but he slept in it that naptime and that night time and wanted nothing more to do with his crib.

With my 2nd son, he was also 23 months. His bed was the bottom bunk - also something way cooler than a crib.

With my 3rd, I had the firetruck bed out while cleaning out a closet, and from that moment on she wanted no more crib. She was also about 23 months old.

Just find something that they find cooler than a crib and they'll never go back. I do still have the crib up though. It's for punishment when my youngest gets out of the firetruck bed. She hates the crib so much that she stays in bed for fear that she'll be stuck there to nap/sleep.

It wasn't a hard transition for any of mine. Goodl uck to you.



answers from New York on

I know you said you didn't want advice on whether it is time to transition, but I had a very similar story to yours.... My twins had been in a crib and we were going to be traveling to see my Mom and she only has beds so she kept saying to put them in a bed. They were 26 months at the time. So I took them out of the cribs and gave them their toddler beds. To make a long story short, they NEVER EVER slept in the toddler beds. It was a huge nightmare. After days of screaming and crying, I put a baby gate up at their door and left a huge down comforter by the door of the room. They would scream and grab the gate and cry for about 15 minutes and then, when I'd say "go to sleep", they ultimately would fall asleep right on that down comforter near the door. Utlimately, we just let them sleep together on the down comforter. They slept that way for about a year until I finally got them real "big boy" beds.

Every child is different, so you should be prepared for a fight and tears, but if he willingly complies (as he might... my older daughter went right into a toddler bed at 27 months with no complaints), you are in luck! Have a backup plan, though, like putting a big down blanket on the floor and letting him sleep there. The great thing about that was when we traveled, the twins didn't need a bed! We just let them sleep on a comforter or sleeping bags!! No worries about falling off a bed!


answers from New York on

i would try naps for the first few days



answers from New York on

We had this same issue with my now 3yo. We live in Switzerland and my mom is in NC so we were dealing with a new toddler bed AND jetlag. So not fun! Well after a few days of up at 4am I found this clock online. It is amazing and I actually think it has magical powers :)

If nothing else at least it's a concrete picture that you can point to and say it's still night time. We are getting ready to switch our youngest into a bed too so I feel your pain! Good luck and I hope it goes smoothly!



answers from Madison on

When I switched my daughter to a toddler bed I just spent a lot of time talking to her about her "big girl bed" and getting her excited about it. We redecorated her "big girl room" and bought her a new comforter, etc. She was so excited to try out her new bed I didn't have any troubles. For a couple weeks she would get out of her bed, but didn't leave her room, and I would find her sleeping on the floor a lot. But it wasn't really a big deal because I would just pick her up and put her in her bed. And actually since you mentioned a twin bed, we only kept my daughter in the toddler bed for a couple short months and then bought a twin bed for her. The mattress on the twin was so much more comfortable and once she switched to that she never got out of bed like she did with the toddler bed. It was all much easier than I expected it would be. I would just talk to him about it and just do it! Just make sure you take the time to explain to him what's happening and get him excited about the transition so it isn't a scary one.

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