Transitioning your child from a cot to a toddler bed is probably not something you’ll pay much thought to for the first year of their life, so why does it seem like such a daunting task when you know the time is approaching?
Most children move to a bed between 18 months and three years, but the most important thing to remember is that there is no specific time frame on this. Every child is different and you will know when yours is ready.
We’ve compiled some guidance on how to tell if your child is ready to move into a bed, and more importantly, HOW to move your child into a bed without a run of sleepless nights and tantrums - from you or your little one!
Is My Child Ready to Move from Cot to Bed?
If you have a gut feeling that your little one is ready to transition from cot to bed, but you’re not fully confident and worried that you’re making the move before they are ready - keep your eye out for a few of these tell-tale signs that should help make your decision easier.
- Your child has started climbing out of their cot regularly
- Your child is toilet training and they wake up throughout the night for toilet trips
- Your child is tall and is becoming too long for their cot
- You are expecting and the new baby will need the cot - providing your child is old enough
Moving From a Cot to a Bed: Tricks Without Tears
For some children, the cot to a bed transition is a breeze, almost as though nothing has happened. However, some children can become quite attached to their cot, which is completely normal. So when the time to move to a toddler bed arrives, it can sometimes cause sleepless nights, tantrums and maybe tears.
But don’t worry, follow these tips and tricks and we’re hoping your child will settle into their new bedtime routine with little fuss.
Big Up the Big Bed
Although you don’t want any fuss from your little one, it might help the situation if you create a fuss of your own about the move - especially if your child seems a bit apprehensive at first.
Make a big deal out of the transition to the toddler bed and make your child eager by involving them in the process. Take them shopping with you and allow them to help you pick their new bed. It’s also a good idea to let them pick out new bedding for their single bed - it’s quite amazing how excited a child can be over their favourite characters on a bedsheet!
Tactical Bed Placement
If possible, try and put the bed in the same place as the cot. Children become familiar with the smallest of things, and if their sleeping position is suddenly shifted to the other side of the room, this can actually make your child feel more uneasy and feel like a bigger change than the bed upgrade itself.
Much like the familiarity of the bed placement might help your little one sleep easy in their new bed, you should keep old comforts in the new bed, such as stuffed toys or their favourite blanket.
Test the Bed With Nap Times
If it’s possible to have both the bed and the cot in the room at the same time, you can use the toddler bed to test out a few daytime naps so they can become comfortable with the new sleeping arrangements and get a feel for the new bed and mattress.
Which leads us on to...
Choose a Comfortable Mattress
Consider the type of cot mattress they already know and love, and try to find an equivalent mattress when moving from a cot to a bed. Do they currently sleep on a kids memory foam mattress, or is it on the squishier side of a kids pocket sprung mattress?
Have a feel and shop around for something similar. If you can take your child along with you to test out the mattresses or order a mattress with a free trial period so you can know for sure if it’s the right one for your little one!
Be Armed With a Bed Guard!
Up to now, your child has been used to a four-sided cot so they have been able to roam around freely without falling out of the cot. While they adjust to their new bed and realise that it’s open-sided, there might be a few accidents so firstly, find a toddler bed that is very close to the floor.
However, while they become fully familiar with the idea, it’s best to invest in some bed guards! It will save some tears from your little one and it will save you from worrying that they might have a few minor accidents in their first nights in the new bed.
If you’re ready to make the transition from a cot to a toddler bed and looking to buy a new mattress for your child, our collection of children’s memory foam mattresses come with a price match promise and a 100-night sleep trial - so you can be sure your little one loves their new beds!
Browse our collection of kids mattresses to get started.