Making The Switch From Cot To Toddler Bed…
Our little boy Max is 2.5, and last night, we finally bit the bullet and put him into a toddler bed!
People have told us we’ve put him in a toddler bed quite late, whilst others have said their older toddlers are still in a cot; it has become evident that kids are all individuals in all areas, sleep included. It took us quite a while to make the decision, and lots of people have seemed surprised that he was yet to be put into a toddler bed at his age, but so far, so good (apart from a few unsettled nights at first).
Thinking of making the big switcheroo? Here are some things to consider;
- Will a gate fit on their bedroom door? If your little one has a tendency to escape, a gate will be handy.
- Will the dimensions of a toddler bed fit in their room? Ours is about the same size as his cot but some are bigger.
- Where is best to shop for a toddler bed?
- Is my child even ready?
- Am I prepared for a few disturbed nights sleep (work, plans etc)?
We decided to do the swap on the night before daddy had a day off work!
Why me & daddy decided that NOW was the time for Max…
Firstly, I will say that it will vary between kids. Some are ready by the age of one, others are still needing the security of a cot when they’re three. For us, 2 and a half has been the magic age.
He’s a really active sleeper and we’re no stranger to thuds in the night from him basically break-dancing in his sleep, but recently, we noticed that he was moving less and sleeping in ‘normal’ positions. Tick box.
Also, within the past month or so, Max has become OBSESSED with beds; he loves nothing more than climbing into the master bed, or the spare bed, but he didn’t seem to enjoy being closed into his cot as much, which made us think that he was telling us (in his own way as he doesn’t speak much yet) that it was time for a bed.
Finally, on our wedding night, Max slept in a bed in my parents hotel room! We decided that it was absolutely worth a try as he was showing the right signs of independence, in our eyes.
Bear in mind, though, that all kids are different! Be prepared for the worst, but hope for the best.
Our first night and how it went…
Ok, not going to lie, for the first 30 minutes I was cursing our decision and cursing my parents for putting pressure on us to make the switch. “Why?!” I chuntered to myself as Max ripped open his bedroom door and pterodactyl screeched over the gate for the tenth time that night. However, pretty quickly, Max fell into a contented sleep in his new toddler bed, and me & daddy breathed a sigh of relief.
Let’s just hope he’s as good tonight…
(P.S. He wasn’t. But we got there.)
The Benefits of Switching to a Toddler Bed…
- Encourages independence and development of autonomy – ok, so the downside is a potential battle for at least the first few nights if your little one needs to get used to their new bed, but it gives them the power to decide ‘I need to get into bed to sleep now’ and will foster the continued development of their independence and recognition of needing to sleep.
- You now have a spare cot… time for another baby, maybe?
- Beds designed specifically for toddlers tend to have sides on to prevent rolling, and higher headboard and footboards than normal child beds, so your toddler will still feel some comfort from being slightly enclosed, but not as enclosed as with a cot.
An update three weeks in…
We’re three weeks in, and after a few difficult nights, Max has taken to his toddler bed wonderfully! Persistence, reassurance and coffee are your friends when making the change, guys. All kids are different, your little one may not be quite ready, they may not take to it, so be prepared, be gentle and remember that it’s a huge change for our little angels.
How did you find making the switch? Did you skip the toddler bed and go straight into a standard bed? Are you yet to make the switch and feeling apprehensive? Tell us in the comments!
Love from Katie. Xx