Author Topic: The Crib to Bed Transition  (Read 7396 times)

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Offline Diegos Mama

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The Crib to Bed Transition
« on: January 03, 2007, 17:47:51 pm »
When do I transition to from a crib to a bed?

Some reasons for transitioning to a bed include:
    * toddler climbing out of their crib (safety reasons)
    * arrival of a new baby
    * toddler has outgrown their crib

How do I make the switch?
The best way to transition to a bed is to do so slowly.  Older toddlers can take part in choosing the bed or bedding.  Talk with your toddler about moving to a new bed and how exciting it will be.  It's also a good idea to discuss what the expectations are in terms of staying in bed.

A gradual approach beginning with naps often works well.  After a few weeks of successful naps, nighttime sleep can be tackled.  Be sure to use a bedrail to keep toddlers from falling out, which can be quite frightening.

What if my toddler continually leaves his/her bed?

Make it as uneventful as possible and steer your child back to bed.  This may take repeated retucks in's.  It's important to nip this in the bud immediately and not allow it to develop into a habit.  If your child seems apprehensive about staying in his/her bed or is fearful, promise to return to check on them in five minutes.  Be sure to be punctual so they build confidence that you'll return when you say you will.  Your coming to them should help deter them coming to you.

Some parents have found it effective to leave the crib set up on the room and if the child begins to repeatedly leave their bed, parents can pop them back into their crib explaining that the rest of that sleep will have to be spent in their crib.  Parents explain the child can try the next sleep in their big bed, but they must remain in their bed for the entire sleep until end of nap or morning time.  This works well for children who are quite enthusiastic about transitioning, however, may not be the best strategy is the child is uncertain about transitioning.

Don't be surprised if things are a bit wishy washy at first.  Continue to gently motivate your child to try the big bed, applaude their successes and expect some setbacks.

Quote (selected)
Making the Crib-to-Bed Switch

* Don't rush into it (try to wait until your child is at least 2), but also, don't wait too long to make this transition if you're expecting another child.  Be sure to start the process at least 3 months before the baby is due.

* Do talk about the transition and involve your child in the process:  "I think it's time we got you a bed like Mummy and Daddy's.  Would you like to pick out some sheets for it?"  If she is under 2, consider a bed with removable sides to start with.

* Don't change bedtime rules or your routine when you make the switch.  It's more important than ever to be consistent.

* Do send your child back to bed immediately-and without cuddling-if he manages to get out and comes into your room.

* Don't feel guilty for enforcing a stay-in-your-room rule after bedtime and putting up a gate if necessary.  IF your child is an early riser who once amused himself but now comes into your room early in the morning, get him his own alarm clock or put a light on a timer-when the alarm goes off or the light goes on, he can come out.

* Do make her room safe (if you haven't alredy)-cover outlets, get cord out of the way, put locks on lower drawers, so she can't use them for climbing to high places.

* Don't take chances, especially if your child is under 3.  Place the bed against the wall; use a mattress only (no box spring), so the bed is closer to the ground; and, at least in the first few months, use a guard rail.

BWSAYP, page 272
« Last Edit: January 03, 2007, 18:00:36 pm by Diegos Mama »
Laura