Transitioning from a Crib to a Big-Kid Bed

Use this step-by-step guide to make the transition to a big-kid bed easier!

01 of 05

Is He Ready?

toddler bedroom
Gordon Beall

Between the ages of 18 months and 3 years, toddlers make the transition to their very first big-kid bed. It is best to keep your toddler in a crib as long as possible, but if he starts to climb over the rail, is potty-trained, or expresses a desire to move into a big-boy bed, it is time for the transition. Here is a step-by-step guide to make it easy on you and your toddler.

02 of 05

Movin' Up

toddler bedroom
Gemma Commas

Make the move as fun as possible. Involve your child in the selection of his bed as well as the new bedding. Then when he is moved in, make a big deal about showing guests his new bed.

03 of 05

Choose the Best Bed

kids on bed
Bill Hopkins

Choose a bed that is best for your toddler. While beds designed for toddlers are colorful and fun to look at, your toddler will outgrow it quickly. If you choose a twin or double bed, make sure you attach a guardrail so she doesn't roll out of bed. Children should not sleep in the top of a bunk bed until they reach 6 years old.

04 of 05

Timing Is Everything

toddler in big bed
Marty Baldwin

Consider the timing of the move with other events that are happening in your toddler's life. Do not combine the move with her first day of preschool or the birth of a new sibling. Instead, transition her into a big bed a couple of months in advance.

05 of 05

Keep Your Routine

mom putting toddler to bed
Ekaterina Monakhova/ iStockphoto

Make it a point to stick with your usual bedtime routine. While it is tempting to lie down with your toddler as she falls asleep, this habit is hard to break once started. Keep things as normal as possible to ensure a smooth transition into her new bed.

Copyright &copy 2009 Meredith Corporation.

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