Transitioning from a Crib to a Bed
Children behave in such different ways. One small change to us could really be a huge change to them. I have children who really, didn’t even notice when something changed around them and others who if you changed the smallest thing, even the brand of cookies you were buying, they just could not handle it!
I lucked out in my first child being very easy going and not reacting much to change. When we got him a new “big boy” bed, he didn’t treat bedtime any different then he had with a crib! However, I do have a few children who did not transition as well from their crib to their beds.
The key to a smooth and happy transition is in the following points:
- Don’t change anything about the normal routine. Keep bedtime the same as it was, and do a bath before bed along with reading stories in the rocking chair in your child’s room, if that’s what you always did. If you don’t treat the new bed as anything different – they won’t!
- Don’t bring any attention to the fact that they can easily slip out of bed and come running to find you. Avoid saying “I know it’s easy to get out of bed, but you really shouldn’t.”
- Tell them they have a big kid bed and are growing up so they get to have a nice big bed just like their older brother or sister, cousin or friend. Children will always look up to someone, and it helps to reference them and encourage your child to be a big kid too. Don't buy new "fancy" blankets, keep the old ones from the crib. A nice secure feeling!
- It is a good idea to ensure there’s no toys, electronics, diapers, etc. within their reach. If these things are easily accessible, they will be up all night playing.
- Closing the door also helps keep them in their bed and they won’t keep running in and out of their room as if it’s a game. Once that starts, it will never end!
- Of course, we don’t want our children crying, if they’re having a really hard time and are crying, it might be a good idea to sit in their room. You can always leave to get a glass of water, go back to check on them and leave again for the night once they’re asleep or almost asleep. Those who can’t handle change very well might not be as easy going, but ensuring that you’re there to help them will give them a sense of comfort.
The transition from a crib to a bed is much like any other transition in your child’s life. From a bottle to a cup, from diapers to underwear, children go through many changes in a short period of time. The key to success is stay firm and stay consistent and don’t get into the habit of having your child sleep in your bed.