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How do I transition my daughter from a crib to a toddler bed?
My daughter will be 3 in a few weeks and I still have her in a crib. She knows how to climb out of her crib and can if she really wanted to get out I guess. My husband wants to take the one side off of her crib to make it a toddler bed. I'm fine with that except I'm scared it's going to effect her sleep. I'm just paranoid she's going to get out of her bed at night. We usually keep her door shut when she's sleeping. I just want her to stay in her bed at night and I know it hasn't happened yet, but I'm just being paranoid. She could get out of her crib if she wanted to, but she sleeps well at night. I'm just worried the transition will effect her sleep. I like my sleep to, so I don't want this transition to mess everything up. Has anyone else had any problems with their transitions? If so, how do you deal with it? Should I put a lock on her door?
My son has a convertible crib, too. We transitioned him at 18 months, though, much earlier than your daughter. It was the easiest thing in the world. He didn't even bat an eye. I'm not sure if that's just his personality, or because we made the switch so early. (He'd gotten out three times, and that was plenty for us.) To answer your question: yes, making the switch is going to affect your daughter's bedtime routine somewhat. How it disrupts the routine and for how long, however, is anyone's guess. I'd start talking with her about the change early, though. "You're such a big girl, I think it's time we take down that side and let you sleep in a BIG GIRL bed." Talk it up so it's not a surprise. If it's safe, I'd even have her help with the transition. Maybe buy a new blanket or sheets or pillow and put them on her bed the first night, so she's excited to sleep without that fourth wall. Otherwise, keep the routine the same. Business as usual! I wouldn't lock the door on her. For one thing, she needs to be able to get out of the room if she has to pee or has a nightmare or worse, if there's a fire or an emergency. If she gets up and finds that door locked, it's going to freak her out. Besides, you say she can get out of the crib now anyway, and the door is shut; does she routinely come find you after bedtime? If so, don't change how you handle it. (I'm assuming you say, "Nope, bedtime" and march her back to bed. She'll find comfort in continuation of this routine.) Hopefully, your daughter will take the switch with ease; worst case, it might take a week or so. Look at it this way: one week with disrupted sleep is WAY better than trying to lift the three-year-old in and out of their crib every morning and night! Good luck!
To answer your question about her getting out of her crib at night and going into our room....she's never done that. The only time she climbs out is when I go in there in the morning to get out of bed. She waits until I go in the room and then she climbs on out. I was thinking about getting a rail for the convertable crib because she likes to sleep against the side of the crib..so I ordered one that goes onto her crib to keep her from falling out. She also doesn't get out of her room to pee. She still wears a diaper to bed at night. She's not ready to hold it in all night. ;-( Her diaper is usually full of pee when she wakes up lol. So hopefully when I do take the side down....she'll sleep like she usually does.
Only way to find out is to try! Getting the bed rail is a good idea, and a good transition. We used one with my son for the first month or so, until he figured out how to kick it out from under the mattress, which also dislodged the mattress. Not fun for the middle of the night! He does fine with the railing now, but he was never one to sleep up against it, either. Because she's able to get in and out of bed at will, don't be surprised if she does come to you guys in the middle of the night. Just be firm, turn her back around, remind her that she sleeps in her OWN BED, and hopefully she'll stop after she realizes it's not getting her anywhere. (Ooo. I wonder if she does do that, would it work to get her to pee in her potty at that point, and get her used to doing that on her own? Just a thought; I haven't started potty training my son yet so I don't have a clue if that would work or not.) One thing I forgot to mention: definitely take down that side early in the day so your daughter has plenty of time to get used to the "new" bed. My son spent about half an hour just climbing in and out when I removed the side of his crib; by the time bedtime rolled around, it was already old news.
It's going to depend on how your daughter handles it. My daughter went from her crib to her toddler bed at 15 months. She never got out of bed at night and because we had a rail on her bed she never fell out.Just make sure you let your daughter play with her new bed during the day so she can get used to it. As long as she has a rail she should be just fine sleeping at night.
Yeah this convertable crib rail I bought screws onto the springs under the bed so it can't come off. So i'll put that on her bed when I take the rail off. Thanks for the advice! I'm just paranoid about her getting out of bed and getting into things in her room. Most of her toys and stuff are in her playroom so there's really nothing for her play with in her bedroom. I'm just so comfortable with her staying put in her crib that i'm afraid to mess all that up with taking the side down. She's always been a good sleeper and even though she can climb out of her crib, she doesn't so hopefully everything is okay with just that rail. We're going to make the change when she turns 3 in a few weeks, so i'll let everyone know what happens. ;-) I'm just scared lol.