Transitioning to Toddler Bed — The Bump
Toddlers: 12 - 24 Months

Transitioning to Toddler Bed

My son is 18 months old and we're all getting desperate for sleep around here! He's come to mega resist the crib, he's trying to climb out of it (and is very close to succeeding), and has started hurting himself by deliberately getting "stuck" between the crib rails (I've watched him do it on multiple occasions, and it's definitely intentional). He is very capable of following simple directions, and typically enjoys doing so. He loves climbing into our big bed, and he has slept in a toddler bed at his grandparents with some success. He's pretty verbal and communicates with us fairly well. With all of these factors, I'm pretty sure he's ready. He loves to be in our bed with us, but no one gets any sleep when he's with us. We all sleep better when he sleeps in his bed, but I think he's come to see the crib as a place of punishment rather than the place where he's supposed to sleep. I think trying the toddler bed might give us all a fresh start at bedtime. Any ideas for making this transition easier for all of us? What have you tried that has worked for your family?

Re: Transitioning to Toddler Bed

  • Man, my daughter is 17 months and I couldn't imagine trying to get her to stay in a bed at this age. I try to keep my kids in the crib as long as humanly possible!

    I switched my son when he was a little over 2 because I was pregnant with DD and he did awesome. However, at that age he understood everything we said, listened to directions, could fully communicate and seemed to be at the right age for it. We bought him a kids twin bed and let him pick out his own sheets and comforter (Super Mario) which helped tremendously IMO. He actually liked his bed and wanted to be there.

    Again, he seemed mentally ready because he understood he could NOT get out of his bed until we came to get him and he did just that. He always stayed in his bed. My 17 month old DD would be running around her room or even worse!

    After all that rambling I guess give it a shot but make darn sure this is the right choice because you don't want to have to switch back to a crib after having him in a bed. Perhaps let him pick out some bedding?

  • We just did it one day. She loved it! She wouldn't even get out of the bed until we came in to get her. Just make sure LO has his lovey. 
  • We just did it one day. She loved it! She wouldn't even get out of the bed until we came in to get her. Just make sure LO has his lovey. 

    That's awesome! I wish I could get him attached to something! He enjoys all of his toys and blankets, but is not particularly attached to any of them, and not for lack of trying! He has a giant Pete the Cat stuffed animal that he tolerates being in his bed, but he doesn't care if it's there or not.        
  • TwizBeans said:

    Man, my daughter is 17 months and I couldn't imagine trying to get her to stay in a bed at this age. I try to keep my kids in the crib as long as humanly possible!

    I switched my son when he was a little over 2 because I was pregnant with DD and he did awesome. However, at that age he understood everything we said, listened to directions, could fully communicate and seemed to be at the right age for it. We bought him a kids twin bed and let him pick out his own sheets and comforter (Super Mario) which helped tremendously IMO. He actually liked his bed and wanted to be there.

    Again, he seemed mentally ready because he understood he could NOT get out of his bed until we came to get him and he did just that. He always stayed in his bed. My 17 month old DD would be running around her room or even worse!

    After all that rambling I guess give it a shot but make darn sure this is the right choice because you don't want to have to switch back to a crib after having him in a bed. Perhaps let him pick out some bedding?

    He is staying in his bed most of the time. He does pretty good at bed time (most of the time), and he's awesome about napping in his bed. He's still waking up several times in the middle of the night though. Sometimes I can get him to go back to sleep again, but it doesn't last more than half an hour before he's up crying again.

    I don't really know what to do to help him. We've tried a lot of different things. We've developed a routine - bath, brush teeth, pajamas, nursing (it's the only time he nurses, right before bed), books, songs, and prayers - and we're doing our best to follow it as much as possible, but he doesn't seem to care whether we do or not. His pediatrician recommended trying to get him attached to a stuffed animal or blanket, but that hasn't worked. She also suggested making his bedding smell like me so he would feel closer to me. That worked for keeping him in his bed at bed time, but not in the middle of the night. We've tried different baths to soothe him and make him tired, we've changed pajamas to make sure he's not too hot or cold, we've tried bed time with music and without, with white noise and without, we've tried different degrees of light and dark - none of it seems to matter either way. We did let him pick out his bedding, but it hasn't seemed to help much. He loves to play in his bed during the day, so I know he's comfortable being there. He just can't stand being alone in the middle of the night. I'm pretty clueless at this point.  
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