THE BIG MOVE: SHIFTING TODDLERS FROM COT TO BED

Children grow very quickly and it may seem just an instant before they’ve transformed from newborns to toddlers.

Many people use the word toddler at different ages, but one sure sign they’ve reached this stage is when they’re ready to move from the cot to their own bed. While it might seem a simple procedure, this shift can sometimes be unsettling. Here are a few tips to help you help them ease into the transition and ensure it’s a safe and successful move.

Firstly, make sure they are ready for the move. Your toddler can be anywhere between two and three-and-a-half  years of age, but if they are still waking during the night, and running around getting into everything, it may be better to wait until they settle a little more. Whatever stage your child is at it’s vital to make sure the room and the house have been childproofed in case they do get up during the night.

  • Ensure child gates are in place for stairs and that your toddler can’t tangle themselves on curtain strings, or any of the other similar hazards.
  • If they are able to get out of their room they may go to the toilet at night, so you’ll need to make sure there is a safe path, and/or let them know to come and wake you first. Make sure you have a safety rail attached to the new bed to prevent them falling out.

Once you have a safe environment communicate to your child how proud you are that they are big enough for their own bed, and involve them in the actual move. You might let them choose their own quilt cover or bed linen for instance.  If they have a security blanket from their cot, or favourite soft toys, ensure they are ready and waiting for them in the new bed. And keep the bedtime routine exactly as it has been so there aren’t too many sudden changes at one time.

Timing can also be an issue if you have welcomed a second baby. If you are moving your toddler so that the new arrival can have the cot be careful to make sure your older child doesn’t feel resentful. It may be better to move them into the bed a while before your bub takes the cot, and/or even get a second cot if they don’t yet seem ready.

Keeping your toddler calm, comfortable and safe makes for a happy toddler – and that makes for happy parents.

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