At what age do people recommend moving a child from a crib to a toddler bed? I am pretty nervous about this transition as I don't want my child getting out of bed all the time. What are some suggestions in how to make the transition?

asked 04 Oct '09, 03:41

Melissa%201's gravatar image

Melissa 1
accept rate: 15%

I think the most important thing that needs to be established before moving a child out of a crib is a bedtime routine. When we moved our daughter (20months at the time) from her crib to a twin sized bed we didn't have any issues at night time. We kept with the same exact routine and didn't mention anything "special" about the bed, just treated it like it had always been there. HOWEVER, nap time was a different story. I think because it was light outside it changed the dynamics. The first 2 days I used the Super Nanny Technique (I love that t.v. show!). When she got out of her bed I put her right back in bed sometimes saying "you need to stay in your bed and take a nap" and sometimes nothing at all. I think I did it 50 times in a row?! It was craziness. After 2 days (naps only) she gave up and took a nap like normal.

As far as falling out of bed. In her crib she always stayed in the same spot so I didn't anticipate any falling out. She did actually fall out one time, but I ran to get her and although she was a little disorientated she didn't cry and went right back to sleep.

The only reason I moved her at 20 months into a twin bed is because I didn't want to buy another crib and I needed to get my 8month old out of the pack-n-play and into a crib! :)

A lot of my friends have waited until their kids were about 2 1/2.


answered 04 Oct '09, 05:27

Sabrina's gravatar image

accept rate: 21%

Routine is good, I think I might have to consider waiting til 2 1/2, unless he starts climbing out!

(04 Oct '09, 06:09) Melissa 1

A good rule of thumb is to switch to a bed when it seems like the kid is starting to look like they're going to try to climb out themselves (obviously dangerous). I think for us is was somewhere around his second birthday.

Kids do get out of bed all the time, especially at first. We found it helpful to do a "sticker chart" kind of approach -- every morning that he stayed in bed, he got a sticker. Every five stickers accumulated, he was allowed to get some small toy. Works like a charm.


answered 04 Oct '09, 04:22

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accept rate: 14%

edited 04 Oct '09, 15:24

Like the sticker chart idea, might have to wait til he is a bit older for him to understand that :)!

(04 Oct '09, 06:05) Melissa 1

How old is your child? If too young to understand the sticker chart, he would be awfully precocious physically to be in any danger of climbing out of the crib, so you wouldn't really need to transition to a bed quite yet.

(04 Oct '09, 15:23) lgritz

We moved our eldest into a bed before his younger twin brothers were born - we wanted to have that "out of the way" apart from anything else. He was about 2 1/2 at the time. I think that turned out to be roughly the age we put the twins into bed as well.

Getting out of bed wasn't a consideration really, as all three of them were fairly easily able to climb out of their cots before we put them in beds. (In the case of the slightly-younger twin, he was able to hope out of his cot despite us having removed the bottom support entirely - his mattress was just on the floor to make the cot sides effectively higher, but he's a bit of an acrobat...) We were more worried about the boys falling out of bed... which all of them have done a few times, but with no harm done.

I think it's as much about understanding as anything else. If you can communicate well enough with your child to explain how this is a very grown up thing, I think it's likely to go more smoothly. With our eldest we had one or two nights where we needed to cuddle him while he went to sleep, but no more than that. The twins went into beds with no fuss at all.

In terms of beds by the way, I can thoroughly recommend the Ikea extensible beds - we've had a lot of success with them. They're reasonably priced, attractive, with a choice of mattresses, and they're suitably low to avoid falling out being a problem.


answered 04 Oct '09, 07:44

Jon%20Skeet's gravatar image

Jon Skeet
accept rate: 35%

We moved our daughter to a toddler bed just before her second birthday. But I also kept a gate up in her doorway overnight so that she couldn't get out and go down the stairs without us knowing. We then moved her to a twin bed just before her third birthday and the birth of her brother. (Our crib converts to a toddler bed.)

It really depends on the kid. If you feel he's ready and won't fall out of the bed you can try it. If your toddler bed is separate from the crib, then you could try having both in the child's room. Let him know that you want him to sleep in the big boy bed, but if he keeps getting up after you've tucked him in, he will have to sleep in the baby bed. Most toddlers want to be seen as a big kid rather than a baby, so putting it that way may help. If your crib converts to a toddler bed, when you put him down in it, just make it clear what you want from him and enforce it. No matter which way you go, the first few nights you will probably have to reinforce what you are telling him. But if you are firm on it, he should learn to stay in bed after you've tucked him in.


answered 04 Oct '09, 04:16

mkcoehoorn's gravatar image

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I really like that big kid bed vs. baby bed (if you have that option). Especially because if it is not working out as you hoped then you have the baby bed as an instant gratification back up plan! I had a friend who tried out the toddler bed and then forced her husband to put the crib back together in the middle of the night because she was so frustrated with her daughter not going to sleep!

(04 Oct '09, 05:31) Sabrina

That's a good idea as well!

(04 Oct '09, 06:10) Melissa 1

My kids were 18 months when they started jumping out of the crib. Since they were so young it was hard to explain to them that they had to stay in their big kid beds at bedtime. After a few weeks they got the idea and have done great ever since! We do put up a safety gate so they can't get into the living room, kitchen and outside. The last thing I want to wake up to is my kids outside or playing with ketchup throughout my house!


answered 04 Oct '09, 09:58

Mommy%20trial%20and%20error's gravatar image

Mommy trial and error
accept rate: 4%

We moved our daughter far earlier -- before she was two. She would get out of bed, but it would be to come over to our bed. She wasn't getting into mischief.


answered 04 Oct '09, 05:35

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We changed or rather altered our daughters crib when was around 20 months. With our crib we had the option of lowering the mattress level down. The drop down side rail that we normally raised when she was younger, now remained at the bottom level, this was safe because it prevented her from falling out, but at the same time she was able to easily climb in and out herself.

Then after a few months of talking about "Big Bed" we chose the new bed together with her ( she was 2 and a half at the time) The bed we purchased was a toddler/infant bed with a removable side saftey rail on one side. Something similiar to Toddlers bed with safey rail

The excitement of the big bed, made going to bed alot more exciting for her, we removed the safty rail before her 3rd birthday.

The type of crib that you have at moment will help you decide if he is ready for a Big Boy Bed. Are you able to alter the configuration of your crib as we were? If not then when choosing the new bed, look at the heights of the beds from the ground and look at styles that have a removeable safety side panel.

Good luck!


answered 04 Oct '09, 07:09

Emi's gravatar image

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edited 05 Jan '10, 09:10

For the first week when transferring our 18m (then 16 months) Lily to a toddler bed, we had to sit by her bedside to ensure she eventually went to sleep. For the first few nights she would hop out of the bed and run to the stair gate at the top of the stairs and shout for us.

We put a large pregnancy pillow along the side of the bed along with large soft cuddly toys in case she actually fell out during the night, though I only recall this happening a couple of times - both of which she didn't stir.

If you can, put a night light up between your and their bedroom so they can find their way to you during the night if they wake and want comforting.


answered 05 Jan '10, 21:14

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I have 18 month old twin boys, one is just starting to climb out of his cot and the other is not even attempting it. I don't know what to do. Do I put one in a bed and not the other, as I don't think that will go down very well. Although I think William, will easily wake Jak when he wakes up in the early hours of the morning. And I don't know if William will stay in his bed at night, let alone during daytime naps, HELP TWIN PARENTS!!!!


answered 15 Jul '10, 12:42

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kelly 1
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Since you're talking specifically about twins, I think this might be better as its own question.

(15 Jul '10, 13:23) Kiesa ♦
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Asked: 04 Oct '09, 03:41

Seen: 7,228 times

Last updated: 15 Jul '10, 12:42