When to Change the Crib to Bed

Updated on July 17, 2008
M.G. asks from Crescent, PA
17 answers

I'm looking for advise on moving our 27 month old son from his crib to a bed. He is still perfectly happy in his crib and doesn't try to climb out yet - loves to jump & loves to relax in his crib. We are going on vacation in Oct. (he'll be almost 2 1/2)
and are concerned about sleeping arrangements. In the past we've always used a portable crib, but he will officially be too big for that. I've seen the aerobed type mattresses, in fact there is one in the 1 step ahead catalog made specifically for kids.

My husband and I are happy that he still likes his crib, but want to be sure to give him enough time to get used to a bed before vacation. We will be in a beach house w/ childless friends and don't want too much of a scene. What advise do you have on the bed situation for vacation & also tips for the transition to a bed. I'm all ears!vu

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answers from Philadelphia on

My daughter will be 3 in September and still sleeps in her crib. We recently spent several days with my brother-in-law and she slept on an aerobed, with her older sister in the room. She did great. When she came home, she went back in the crib without issue. We are going to the beach in a few weeks and plan on the same sleep situation.

I would keep him in the crib, if he likes it. You might want to show him what he will be sleeping on when you are away, so that he knows what to expect when you get there.

Good Luck.

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answers from Philadelphia on

Hi. I asked this same question maybe 1 or 1 1/2 weeks ago and got a lot of responses so you may want to check the site and read the responses. My little girl is 23 months and really loves her crib and 90% of the responses said to wait, dont rush it. They said around 3 years old was a better age. Good luck in whatever you do!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Philadelphia on

I had the same child! She's 8 now....When our next baby came along, I moved my her into a toddler bed against the wall with a portable bed rail- They are great, because you can bring them with you anywhere, and can be found in all baby stores.( you can put on ANY bed too, and your child will safe) The funny thing was that my daughter never realized that she could get out of the bed- she would call for us just like when she was in the crib. Good Luck!



answers from Pittsburgh on

I would recommend getting the aerobed that you saw and trying it out at home a few times, like a campout in the living room or in your bedroom. He may get a kick out of it, and if you do it only occasionally, he should still love his crib and stay in it until you want him completely out. I hope it works out for you, nothing worse than fighting with your child to get to sleep every night on vacation (did that last year with my toddler!!).



answers from Pittsburgh on

Hi M.,
My advice -- keep him in the crib if he's happy & NOT climbing out! I moved my son out of his crib, returned it to my SIL and the next day read some good advice to leave them in the crib til they're 3 IF they're not climbing out. Wish I had read that O. day earlier! :)
Believe me, it's a whole new ball game once they are out of the crib and can neander around! It was a nightmare.
You can easily rent a crib on vacation. Personally, I would recommend doing that rather than switching him to a bed right now. Also, just because he might not be in a crib on vaca doesn't mean it has to be over at home. Also, if you are unfamiliar with the floor plan of the home, it may be safer to have him in the crib if there are multiple exit doors, balconies, a pool, etc. You can also rent baby gates, etc.
But most resort areas have beach gear rental businesses that will have the crib at you destination and will pick it up at the end of your stay. It's very reasonable for the week too. You can also rent linens if you need them.
Have a great time!



answers from Philadelphia on

Hi Maria,

I must say that at his age he COULD climb out at any time. And this poses a danger. My 22 month old boy climbed out of his crib and fell head first onto the hardwood floor. He had a bruise like I have never seen! That night he slept with us then the next we rearranged his room and converted his crib to the toddler bed. He didn't like it for about 5 days but then he really liked the space and the freedom of being able to wander his room and play with his toys before bed or nap. Our rule at nap and bed time is that you don't have to go to sleep but you can't cry. Meaning if he doesn't want to sleep for whatever reason he may play until he's tired but he's on his own. We have nothing within his reach that's dangerous and the door knob has the protective plastic cover that prevents them (and us sometimes, ha!) from getting out. Then just two weeks ago we transitioned him into a twin bed with no frame and he loves it. On vacation he slept on the sofa as we just rented a little one bedroom apartment down the shore. And our bedroom had no door and this weird hole in the wall so needless to say there was no real privacy but we used the bed for naps and sofa for bedtime and it worked out fine. It's my feeling that they will be comfortable anywhere you are - if you are cool so will they be. One thing that is more important than what to sleep on is gates - I would bring a gate or two for your vacation place to keep him corralled.



ps - when my son climbed out I too wrote to the moms here and got 51 responses that overwhelming said it's fine to move him and some moved their kids much younger even. Bottom line is what I have learned all along is that each kid is different. Trust yourself and your instincts with most matters.



answers from Reading on

My daughter also turned 2 in April and she also loves her crib and has not tried to climb out yet. I even accidently left the bar down after changing the sheets one day, and she still didn't even try. Personally, I'm not planning on moving her from her crib until I have to, or until she turns 3. We don't travel very much, and when we do, she is still fine to fit in the portable crib, so I'm not sure what advice to give you in that department, but if it were me, I'd try to find some way to keep the same sort of set up that you have at home. Is there a place in the area where you can rent a crib to ease your mind?

That being said, I'm sure if you do transition, and do it now, hopefully he will be somewhat adjusted to the change. Good luck and enjoy your vacation!



answers from Harrisburg on

I have the aero mattress you are talking about from One Step Ahead or Sensational Beginnings (not sure where I got it from). If it's the one with the higher sides - this was the best purchase I made for my daughter. We (and she) love it. She is almost 4 and still uses it. We call it her travel bed. We travel quite a bit to visit family and take it all the time. Now she is into using it as a sliding board in the hotel room - and she jumps on it, so it is very durable. At one point in time, she preferred sleeping on this over her toddler bed. When we first bought the air bed, we set it up at home to get her adapted to it. We moved her from her crib to a toddler bed at about 2 1/2 years old. She barely used her toddler bed, as her legs would always hang over. She is in a regular bed now - Queen size(since we already had one). The aero bed is good up to 80 lbs so we should still get plenty of use out of it.



answers from Williamsport on

We moved our son to a mattress on the floor at 13 months old... he hated the crib. As soon as he was able to sleep on that mattress without the crib bars, he slept like an angel. I realize our children are different, but you don't have to go straight from the crib to a bed.
Using a mattress on the floor has several benefits. First, he can learn to sleep somewhere new without you worrying about him falling off a bed. Second, you can put that mattress anywhere... so traveling, you can just lay the mattress down next to your bed, so he feels safe because you're right there.

At first we were worried about him getting up and playing during the night, but he never has, not even once. He is now 21 months old, and at 18 months we put the mattress up on a toddler bed frame, and he loves it.

Good luck, just a suggestion!



answers from Philadelphia on

My daughter will be 2 in Nov and i am having another one by dec-jan. We have put a toddler bed in her room and let her take naps in it and let her choose where she wanted to sleep. For the most part she sleeps in the bed. We moved her from the crib to the bed only because we are going to need the crib.

Try just naps some place else besides the crib. if u do get one of those travel beds for him then get it soon and let him see it and play with it. Give him time to get use to it before u just throw him into it. Just a thought.

Have a safe trip and have fun.



answers from York on

My daughter stayed in her crib until she was past 3 and loved it. When on vacation we got one of those toddler blow up beds and put it on the floor. We would let her nap on it the week before to get her used to the idea.

The only thing I would caution is to make sure that the room your son is in is childproofed. I carried some socket covers in my travel bag. You're son will probably take advantage of his new found freedom!



answers from Philadelphia on

We changed the crip into a bed when my son was about that age only b/c I was pregnant and could no longer put him in and out (he never climbed out of his crib)

He did much better w/ the transition than we expected. We also put a gate on his door so he couldn't escape (being pregnant, I needed all the sleep I could get). He's so used to it now (8 mths later) he doesn't even call for us in the morning unless he sees us.

But 1 suggestion for vacation. One step ahead also sells a travel trundle bed that my parents bought for their house and we're taking to Disney in a couple of weeks. This bed rolls up into it's own bag that is so light, my son can carry it. It has sides and a thin mattress w/ a sheet included. I was nervous about putting my son in a big hotel bed. He's used to his little toddler bed and I was afraid he'd fall out (he moves alot when he sleeps). We all love this bed. He sleeps well in it both at nap and at night. I think it cost about $60. I thought it was a good deal b/c it's easy to use and easy to travel w/.

Have a great trip!



answers from Philadelphia on

We just went through this. My son also loved his crib. We went on a short vacation and he slept in a bed great then went back to his crib at home happily. Then we went on vacation for almost two weeks and he slept in a bed great, so we decided it was time to make the switch at home, too. BIG MISTAKE for us. He is constantly getting out of the bed. We sometimes find him asleep in the hallway. And now he wakes between 5am and 6am when he previously woke between 7 and 7:30am!!! He tries to wake his baby sister up, who LOVES to sleep in past 8am.
He was the best sleeper before this, so needless to say this is very frustrating.
I would get the blow up or use some rails on a bed. Explain that vacation can be an adventure and everybody is sleeping in a new place - "the beach house" or "the cabin" (wherever you are going). Then let him know that his crib is still at home for him if he wants it when you return.
I just feel that we pushed the decision on our son before he made the choice himself and now he is paying us back - ha, ha! Good luck and make sure to bring outlet covers and door knob covers. Have fun on vacation!



answers from Philadelphia on

This exact situation is what made us put our son in a big boy bed. We went down the shore for a long weekend for Memorial Day. My son was 26 months, and did not exceed the limits for the pack n play so I drug it along. Well, he easily figured out how to get out of the thing on the first night, and the only way to get him to stay in the room and get him to sleep was to lay in there with him. (He was a perfect sleeper and did not need any help going to be previous) I hoped that when we got home he would just easly go back into his crib, WRONG! He was soo upset that we put him in there alone that he figured out how to get out of the crib too. I had to switch him to a bed in fear he would hurt himself. I kept the crib set up in the room just in case and let him pick out cool sheets for his new bed. He was VERY excited about it, but ended up being afraid of the dark in his new bed. I went and got him a light that has fish that "swim" around and around, he loves it and it keeps him in his room at night and eluminates it enough to keep him happy. Good luck with your transition. My daughter was much easier with it, but it was not all sparked be a vacation with her. We have a little ready bed, its a toddler sized blow up bed with a sleeping bag attached. She LOVES it, its princess, and chooses to sleep in that on vacation even though there are enough beds to go around.


answers from Pittsburgh on




answers from Philadelphia on

My daughter turns 2 Sept. 1st and she has climbed out of her crib 2 times. THe first was a couple months ago but she didn't do it agin until two days ago. I think she scared herself the 1st time. This last time she didn't cry and she came looking for me (the one time I didn't have the monitor and took a shower! ) Anyway, we have been going back and forth on this topic too. We have told her no climbing out and to call for mommy. The last two days have been uneventful. I hate to give up the crib- she loves to lay in there and watch Barney first thing in the morning and jump around. However I am afraid of her getting hurt. I think we will make the transition very soon to her "big girl bed". I think the one thing we have going for us is that her crib converts so the matress and most of the bed will look and fell the same. just the front will be different. I do think I will put a gate up in front of her door at first to teach her she has to stay in there during nap/bed time. That is until we tackle potty training- which she is already asking about but one thing at a time!!!!! I'll let you know how things progress. Let me know how things go for you!!!!



answers from Sharon on

WOW! I think that I'm one of the few on here with a 2 year old, that's in her transition bed! We switched her way too soon!!!! She was 1 1/2 when we did it. She's NEVER been a good sleeper though, and still some nights gets up and comes to our room for a few hours. Which will be hard when the new one comes in 2 months!!! However, she LOVES the "BIG GIRL" stuff. All I can say is to try it, and see whet happens. I know that at sotres at Wal-Mart have these little 'couches' that flod out into kinda like a bed...I think that they are around $30.00. My daughter sleeps on that when we leave home for a few nights. She loves it!
Good Luck, it's a BIG transition! I'm sure that he'll do well though!

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