How to Transfer Your Child from Cot to Bed Effectively
Moving your little one from a cot to a bed is an exciting milestone for any parent. It often means that your little one is more consistent with their sleep, and is ready to have more space and utilise their room more often. However, while the thought of the transition is exciting the execution can be a little overwhelming. Where do you start? When is the right time? How do you even do it? As your child will be used to their cot and the safety it can present, it is a big change for them as well. So here are some of the things to think about when you transfer your child from a cot to a bed.
When is the best time to make the move?
You might be wondering when is the right time to make the move from a cot to a bed, but the truth is there is no set age to do this. As a parent, it is up to you to decide when you think it is the right time to make the transition. There might be a couple of considerations that will help you make the decision, these are:
- Has your little one outgrown their cot? Perhaps they are getting more restless at night and feeling confined by their cot.
- Is there another baby in the house? Sometimes parents have children close in age so if you do have a little one on the way, it is a good time to think about making the move. Try and do this at least 6-8 weeks before the new arrival arrives so your little one gets used to their new bed and routine.
- Is your little one trying to climb out of their cot? This can pose a risk to your child if they are able to start climbing out of the cot and could cause an injury.
- You are potty/toilet training your little one. A bed can make it easier for your child to access the bathroom or potty at night.
However, sometimes you just get a feeling that the time is right, so trust your instinct as a parent. You will know your child better than anyone.
What to think about when choosing a bed for your child?
Another thing you might need to think about is the sort of bed you might choose for your child. Many parents consider a toddler bed as the next step for their little ones. These are traditionally low to the floor to avoid any risk of injury should your child fall out of bed at night. However, you can choose a traditional single bed which is higher off the ground. If so you might want to consider adding a toddler guard so that they are protected from falling out of the bed. It is also a good idea to have the bed pushed against one wall.
Make sure the room is safe to be in
As your little one will be able to exit their bed at night and will be spending more time in their bedrooms, you will want to ensure that the room is safe to be in. Make sure the bed itself is clutter-free from soft toys and make sure you wait until your little one is aged 2 before using a pillow. You might also want to think about covering up plug sockets with protectors, perhaps adding a baby gate to the door if you think they may leave their bedroom at night if they wake, and ensure that any curtains and blinds are safe without any ties that could become a choking hazard.
What to try when making the transition
Now that you are ready to make the transition you might be wondering how to go about it. So here are a couple of things to try:
- Put the bed in the same place as the cot - If possible this will keep some form of familiarity with your little one and where they sleep in their bedroom.
- Use the same blanket and comfort - You will want to keep as much consistency as possible so using the same blanket and comfort will help to do this.
- Stick with the bedtime routine - Another way to keep things consistent is to keep the routine the same. So a story, milk, whatever you usually do keep it up.
- If you don’t have much of a bedtime routine now is the time - Introduce some quiet time in bed before reading or encouraging sleep.
- Let your child climb into bed and put their covers on themselves - This encourages them to want to get into bed and also shows they are happy and comfortable with the change.
- Be prepared to spend some time with them - This might feel strange at first, so extend the routine and spend time with your little ones. As the days pass you can reduce the time to what it would usually be.
Positive praise - Lastly, positive praise will also help them to feel settled. Tell them you are proud of them, how they have gotten so big, and make it exciting and a happy thing.
Hopefully, these tips and suggestions will help you if you are looking to transfer your child from cot to bed.
About the contributor:
Sarah Anguish is a northerner at heart, now living in Norfolk with her husband and three children. Alongside running a family lifestyle blog she works for her local NHS stop smoking service, juggling the highs and lows of being a working parent around the needs of her busy family.