Moving from Crib to Bed

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  • Transition two toddlers to beds: room prep

    (3 replies)

    Our 1.5 and 2.5 year olds share a small bedroom and both are starting to swing their legs over the edge of their cribs and attempt a balancing act on the rails. Their cribs transition to toddler beds with safety rails, so I'm not concerned about that. What I dread is their ability to freely move about the room and house. 

    Considerations: I'm sure I'm going to have to take the dresser out of their room, or at least put magnet locks on the drawers so they can't open and close the drawers/fling the contents about. We have a plug in kid alarm clock, monitor, and a "child safe" heater fan because the heat from the rest of the house doesn't get into the bedrooms well. I can secure the clock and monitor cords to the wall and install a single shelf for them out of reach, but what to do about the heater?

    1. What did you do to secure/prep your child's room for post-crib adventures (especially if you had/have a shared room with toddlers)?

    2. Any suggestions for securing closets? 

    3. What to do about the heating fan?

    4. How did you (or did you) secure the door? Or use a baby gate?

    5. They can reach the black out curtain when it's pulled down, so we'll have to use something else, at least for the bottom third of the window. Ideas?

    Thank you for sharing your experiences! 

    For the windows - we’ve had luck with black foam core, which you can custom cut to the size of the window frame. Pop them in at night and easy to store behind dresser or crib during the day. 

    i personally haven’t felt comfortable locking the door of the room but instead put a baby gate at the top of the stairs to prevent our kid from taking a fall.

    With all our childproofing, we’ve taken a reactive approach—in other words, watch closely for the first few days and wait to see what kind of trouble your kid gets into, and then solve for that. I know it’s nice to feel prepared but you may be surprised by how your kids respond. We were sure our daughter would wreak havoc in the mornings when we transitioned to a big kid bed at 2.75 years old. Instead she beelines to our room to cuddle with us every morning. When we moved her to a different floor of the house at 3.5 we were prepared for havoc again but she still climbs up to our bed every morning. Might be worth the wait & see approach to save yourselves time and money. Amazon has a million childproofing gizmos that can be delivered next day once you pinpoint your needs!

    We put a lock in the closet, made sure the heater was off overnight, took everything out of the room that we couldn’t be 100% sure was safe and put a baby gate on the doorway. We had a baby camera too. 

    Before moving to beds, you could try a crib tent.  This kept my son in his crib for an extra year after he climbed out a couple times.  

    Reply now »

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Transitioning 2.5 y/o from crib to bed

June 2010

I viewed some history of posts regarding this issue, but needed some recent feedback. Approx 2 weeks ago we transitioned our soon to be 3 y/o son to a twin bed. He was excited about buying it, picking out sheets, helping us put it together, ... It will now take him about 1 1/2 hrs to go to bed. He will continually get up and come to us w/excuse after excuse for going to sleep. My husband and I will tag team getting him back to bed, sometimes in a neutral tone, sometimes w/frustration. We have laid down w/him a few times until he fell asleep, and althought it has worked, we are wary of making that a habit. He may wake 2-3x per night, come into our room, we immediately escort him back to bed which may take another 15-30 min. He was a great sleeper when he was in the crib, obviously he's still transitioning. My question: did we transition him too early? How much longer do we do this dance every night? Is it harmful to put him back in the crib (which he might like) until he's more ready for the bed? Lacking sleep ...

Hi! I had just opened up my own daycare and I needed to transition my 2.5 year old son from his crib to a Toddler Bed. I wanted him to be accustomed to being free of his crib, as I want all of the children in my care to equally use naptime mats during boy, too!

Here is how I handled it: I talked to him about the upcoming change. I showed him pictures of little ones in cribs and beds. I showed him his cousins' big boy beds. I then assembled the big boy bed and had both in his room for a full week, allowing him to discover and get used to the new bed.

Then, on the day of the big switch, I took down the crib and the new bed was already there for him to transition into. I took a picture of him the last night in his crib (he knew it was the last night) with him smiling widely, and on the first night in his big boy bed, we took a photo then, also with him smiling widely!

Transitions and change can often be very hard for certain little ones depending on their temperments, but when given ample time to get used to the idea before you NEED them to get used to it, really helps. Hope this helps! Bonnie

I hope you get more positive posts than mine but it really was a nightmare for us that went on for well over a year. With my younger daughter I joke that she's not getting out of the crib until she has her first boyfriend sleepover! We transitioned our son at around 2 because #2 was on the way (should have just bought a second crib). We had the same issues as you- multiple trips to our room per night, hard to put to bed etc.

We have literally tried everything - rewards, taking him straight back to his room with no songs, etc - you don't want any element of ''reward'' in the middle of the night. We even removed the door handle on his side of the door at one point). But nothing lasted for too long. We eventually just moved his bed into our room but at some point we got tired of that too -but it did stop him coming to our bed during the night, so at least we got an un-interrupted nights sleep. He's over 3 and 1/2 now and the last month has been OK but I'm still not even convinced that we are finally there. He is night time potty trained (since well before 3 which is why we didn't just go buy another crib).

So my advice - put him back in the crib. At least when they are older you can use reward systems better and they have better comprehension and we have had success (though not always lasting) with rewards after x nights - but that didn't really work until he was over 3. whoever said the sleep deprevation only lasted 6 months?

We moved our son at the same age. Same story--he loved the idea, loved putting the bed together, climbing in it during the day....You know what comes next! Long story short, we put a baby gate on the door. It sounds awful (I think the idea originally came from BPN!), and it was--about as awful as CIO in a crib. He fell asleep on the floor in front of the gate for about two weeks before he decided he'd rather sleep in bed. It was not a quick, easy solution but it did work. Not looking forward to moving #2!

I don't think you have transition your son too early. Is good enough that he's willing to go the big bed. Many kids this age would not do so willingly. However, it is common for toddler transitioning into the new bed to wake up in the middle of the night a couples time to go to your room and for you to take him back to his bed. And 'No' do not put him back in his crib. I know is lack of sleep for you but this is new to him and he is adjusting to it. It will take quite awhile for him to actually stay put, also you have to be firm and tell him that he has to stay in his own bed and that he shouldn't do it again. Again, depending on the child, some children adjust to it more easily and others just takes a bit more time to get used to their big bed. becky

Crib to Bed Transition for 16-month-old

Feb 2010

Our 16 month old is starting to really pull herself up, chin-up style/hanging from the counter, scaling the cabinetry style. I'm thinking it might be time to transition her out of her crib. How do we do that? I imagine her running about her room all night when she wakes instead of crying for a minute as she readjusts the blankets and stuffed friends.

Also, does anyone have an opinion about a toddler bed vs. a twin? We have a twin in the room already, so that seems easy. Yet, I've been imagining a small cute toddler bed replacing her crib all along. How does one manage getting in and out of a twin bed when they are only 30 inches tall? Might the smaller bed feel more familiar to a flipper who often nuzzles into a corner? I'm excited for the step up and can't believe it could be time for this. Might I be missing something on the ''just teach her not to climb out of the crib'' front? Thank you for your experience and advice. Heather

No no no no no! Please don't transition your daughter to a toddler bed yet! My daughter is 25 months and still happy in her crib, despite the fact that at 19 months she climbed out a couple times. We just put blankets on the floor all around to prevent injury, and she grew out of that phase quickly. A good friend transitioned her twin girls at 24 months and they still haven't settled down (5 months later!). Of course they feed off each other, but they frequently run around the room for 2 hours before falling asleep. I really feel that until they're better at choosing to go to bed on their own (3?), they can't be trusted to stay in beds. The crib tells them what to expect - it's like a physical manifestation of the (necessary) boundaries we set for them. Good luck with your little climber!

I would wait as long as you possibly can to switch to a bed. The crib has SO many advantages. We started using a crib tent at about 15 months to prevent climbing out. My son liked the tent. He happily stayed in the crib till he was almost three. Once you switch to a bed kids have a lot more freedom and I wasn't ready for my son to have that freedom at 16 months. Of course, all kids are different and yours may sleep through the night like a trooper in a toddler bed. keep the crib!

3-year-old wants to stay in crib

Sept 2008

Hi there, My son will be 3 in a couple of months. He still sleeps in his crib and likes it, sleeps well, and has never tried to climb out (maybe partly due to him sleeping in a sleepsack which he loves). We have had a big boy bed in the room for almost a year in which he likes to play on but does not show any interest sleeping in. We've tried naps a couple of times, and he does not sleep, or he tells me he wants to sleep in crib. Should I just leave well enough alone, or should I move the crib out of room eventually? I'm thinking of letting him stay there as long as he wants or can, but he is probably the only toddler I know that still sleeps in his crib. Thanks, E.

My son was the same even at 3 1/2 -- loved his crib, slept well, never tried to climb out. I was content to leave him there until he turned 18 (or grew out of it, whichever came first), but my husband decided one day to take the rail off, turning it into a toddler bed. My son has adjusted well at night, and it is very nice in the morning to have him get up and come to us, instead of yelling for us to get him out (he's an early riser). However, since the rail came off, he has not taken a single nap at home. He just pops out of bed and refuses to try to nap. We still try to enforce quiet time at least.

My humble opinion is, if he's happy in the crib and sleeping well, keep him there longer. So what if he's the only toddler you know? I'm sure he's not the only toddler in the world to use a crib, and he will move on to a big boy bed eventually. Since you already have the big bed, there is even less rush to get rid of the crib...he might just start using the bed by himself someday.

Sometimes, I wish my son still had the whole crib. I miss his naps. JMHO

Leave well enough alone. Most parents have kids who need to move to toddler beds because crawling out of the crib is becoming a nuisance. If he's happy, and things work out, just wait till he's interested. When he starts to approach 4 yrs old, you might want to suggest that he may want to try the bed, and you can present it as something new and exciting (we can get those great sheets, or a new blanket!), as opposed to ripping him away from the security he finds in his crib. Eventually you can present it as, you're such a big boy now, I guess you're just too big for your crib! Do you think a new baby will enjoy it as much as you did when you were a baby? But honestly, I wouldn't worry about it until later. Why rock the boat? By the time he's 5 and having play dates, the friends will give him the idea that a bed is preferable. (And you might try some playdates to move that notion along).

Our son, too, was comfortable in his crib. He also had a ''big boy'' bed in his room...and we had a baby (2 years younger) that we wanted out of our room and in the ''kids room.'' However, we didn't want to displace the oldest, blah blah blah.

Finally when our oldest was nearly 3.5, we went on vacation and let him sleep in a big boy bed for the week (last Thanksgiving) while his little brother was in a pack and play. When we got home, our oldest no longer wanted to sleep in his crib; though we left it there for a bit. One day we took down the crib and moved it out. A couple of months later (January, I think), I took down the little one's crib in our room and moved it in the ''kids room.'' By accident rather than design, I asked my oldest to help me with a ''really important job.'' I put him in charge of holding all the screws in his pockets and then helping me re-build the crib.

When Daddy and his brother got home, he was so excited to show them what he had done and to have his brother in his room with him that all worked out.

Now, though, our little one (who just turned two) seems ready to hurl himself out of his crib...and he is not nearly as compliant as the older I look forward to reading what others have to say about how we deal with that =)

Good luck and I obviously don't think having a 3 yo in a crib still is a bad thing. It worked well for us. Been there too

My son (2y 10m) is also still in a crib and I have no plans to move him, at least not until he drops the afternoon nap. The few times he's had to sleep in a big bed, he always fell off it, which to me is a sign that he still needs the crib. I know there are safety gates for beds, but don't see the point - why not just keep them in the crib? Anyway, I don't get the rush with moving kids to big beds in this country - every family seems to be doing it. b

Is a 22-month-old too young for a bed?

Jan 2007

at what age is it best to transision a toddler from a crib to a big girl's bed? when is it too early? I have a second baby on the way, and my daughter will be 22 months when the new one comes along. is 22 months a bit young for a big girl's bed? the new baby will be in a basinet for about 3 months, so I can also wait to transition my daughter to the big girl bed until she's about 25 months, but should I make the transition before the new one is born? lisa

I just transitioned my 22-month-old to a big bed (not by choice...she was doing flips out of the crib...) I transitioned my older daughter at 26-months, three months after her sister was born. I would wait as long as you can to transition. Last night was the first night in a month that a little visitor didn't come in to pay me a visit at 3 a.m. (earlier in the process I was putting her back into her bed every five minutes at 'bedtime.') With my older daughter, it was pretty much her choice. I was putting her down for naps in the 'big bed.' One day she just refused the crib at night and that was it. There were a few stressful nights (she would start crying for the crib and then when put into it she would cry for the bed), but no nighttime visits and she would sit at the end of it waiting for me in the morning to come get her. jan

22 months is definitely not too young to be in a twin bed, but I think the longer you wait, the easier it will be. We transitioned my daughter to a twin when she was 27 months old, about 6 weeks before our second arrived. It was very easy because she was REALLY ready to be the big kid and to give her crib over to the new baby. She was also old enough to understand consequences (i.e., if you get out of your bed we'll have to put you back in your crib). When my second was 24 months we tried to move him into a twin, and it was a disaster. Every night he was up for 45-60 minutes coming out of his room, playing with his toys, etc. Then we tried it again when he ws about 30 months old and it worked much better. By this age he was more excited about being a big kid, and also was just more responsive to our encouragements for him to stay in the bed.

On the one hand, it would be nice to move your daughter now, if she can handle it, so she doesn't feel kicked out of the crib when the baby needs it. But if you try it for a week or so and it doesn't work, she can always go back to the crib and then you can try again later. anon

''they'' say to make all transitions at least a month before the baby arrives so the older child does not ''blame'' the baby for the changes. ''they'' also say that about 3 months after baby's arrival is when the worst issues of the transition to a larger family hit - the older child realizes the interloper is here to stay.

We're due anyday with #2 so I speak from other's experience, reading, and our plans, but not actual experience. Our DD is in her own bed and has been for a while, she's 2. Anything we'll ''reuse'' for baby that was hers we had packed away for a while so she doesn't feel ''her things'' are being taken for the baby. ready for #2

Crib to bed for 2-year-old?

Oct 2006

I'm expecting a second child in June when my child will be just over 2 yo. We're trying to figure out if it's possible to avoid buying another crib. #2 will be in a bassinet for the first few months and if needed, in a pack-n-play until #1 moves to a bed. How old was your child when he/she transitioned to a bed? expecting mama

my daughter was 2 and a few weeks when we transitioned her - it went very smoothly A

We moved our son out of his crib (onto a mattress on the floor) when he was just over two. You can probably do it earlier. If you want to have #1's crib ready for the baby, the main issue is to do it early enough, to allow #1 (and you) plenty of time to adjust to the new system. Moving #1 out of the crib can lead to sleep disruptions both for you and your child, because s/he will be able to easily get out of bed and walk away. You will need some time to train him/her to stay in bed and sleep. The other is issue is that you don't want your child to feel like his/her new sibling has taken over his/her crib. This could be traumatic. So s/he should be well out of the crib and onto something else before the baby comes. early to bed...

If your toddler likes his crib and sleeps well there, there's something to be said for not fixing what ain't broke! On the other hand, even an infant can sleep perfectly well, and safely, in a regular bed -- as long as it's low enough to the floor, and the room it's in is reasonably well babyproofed.

My older child went from crib to bed at a couple months past his 2nd birthday. For a variety of reasons, we wished we'd made that move a LOT sooner. So with my second child, partly because of that experience and partly due to lack of space issues, we never used a crib at all. She went from our bed to a small mattress on the floor at about 9 months, and it's worked beautifully. (She's 2 now and still using the same mattress on the floor.) Likes being crib-less

My daughter is almost 2 and she could go in a big girl bed any day now. I don't think you should buy another crib. By the time your new baby is too big for the bassinette, your big girl will be old enough to move on. Some people suggest getting the big girl bed and packing the crib away for a little while before it comes out again for the baby but who knows if that's really necessary. In the little golden book called ''The New Baby'' the little boy is all ready to hand off the crib when his new bed comes from the furniture store. It might be a good read for your family anon

We got a ''big boy'' bed for my son long before his sister was due. For awhile, we left the crib up (the kids have to share a room soon). for a while we allowed him to choose where to sleep. sometimes he slept in the big boy bed; sometimes in the crib. Then, when his sister was born, we took the crib down and he had to sleep in the big boy bed. That was in June. In November, we will be putting the crib back up and his sister will transition into it. We anticipate some regression but so far, he adjusted to the big boy bed fine but it took a while. And, remember, once they're out of that crib, you start a whole new era of sleep training as they get a taste of new freedom. good luck anon

Our daughter was 19-mos when our son was born. Our son used a bassinet for several months before moving into our crib. We didn't buy a second crib because our daughter learned to crawl out of the crib at 21-mos. At that time we simply put her on a twin mattress on the floor with a safety side-rail thingy. (My husband didn't want to use a crib tent.) Anyway, we moved our daughter onto the floor because we didn't want her crawling out of the crib at night when she was sleepy. It was a safety issue. (Our son just learned to crawl out of the crib at almost 24mos & he switched to a toddler bed 2 days ago.) Anyway, if you decide to start your oldest in a twin or toddler bed, be prepared to put more effort into your nap & bedtime routines. (Our kids' routine went from 15 mins to at times over an hour of stories/cuddling before they would stay in bed & fall asleep.) Also be prepared to walk your toddler back to bed during the night. Finally, on desperate occasions when our daughter just wouldn't stay in bed & after going back into her room several times to comfort & get her to fall asleep, we've simply had to shut her bedroom door & let her rattle the door & cry before falling asleep on the floor. (Sounds awful, I know, happened only a couple of times before she learned about falling asleep in a ''big'' kid bed.) Actually, many nights we just laid in bed with her until she fell asleep. (Not recommended by those ''professionals'' who make sleep habit recommendations, but whatever.) This was the easiest way to get her to sleep when we were also really tired. Good Luck and try & get some sleep. Debbie

We moved our son from his crib to a bed at 2-years old...sort of like a big-boy birthday present. For the first 2-weeks, we left the crib in the room, so if he wanted to switch back it would be easy. He only wanted to sleep in the crib once after we got the bed. He has loved it ever since and - even though he CAN get out of it by himself, he still calls us in the morning (or middle of the night) if he wants to get up. So, we've maintained our privacy in our room (hooray!)

A couple of things that helped: 1. He went shopping for the bed with us and helped us choose one he liked. 2. We made sure the bed wasn't too high off the ground. He uses wooden stairs to climb up to it, but it's a standard full bed (not a toddler one). 3. Get sheets & a blanket that your child will love. We got Nemo sheets & a flannel blanket for a great price at Sears in Oakland. They had lots of fun stuff for little ones. 4. Make sure you get bed rails for both sides of the bed (even if it's against the wall). 5. A huggy stuffed animal in bed will also help your child feel at home in his/her new bed Good luck

I have 3 kids--we put the first one in a bed (a low futon) at 18 months, to prepare her for having Baby #2 right around when she turned 2 years. She played in it at first, but by 19 or 20 months was sleeping fine in it. Baby #2 was in the crib longer, as we didn't need to make room for Baby #3 until she was 2 1/2. Now, Baby # 3, a boy, is 22 months old, and just figured out how to climb out of the crib, so the side is off the crib, and he's ready for a bed. Just make sure you put on a railing and little stool, or whatever will make it safe for your child. 2 is not too young for a bed. You'll also need to be firm about staying in bed--the newfound freedom can be very inticing for a toddler! Best of luck, heidi

Definately transition your older child to a bed way before the 2nd child comes. If you do it too close to the birth of your second, the first one will probably feel that this new baby who is not only taking up his/her parents time, is also taking away his/her bed. The birth of a sibling, and for months afterwards, is definately a time to avoid transitions.

Our son was just over 2 when you permantly began sleeping in a twin size bed. What worked for us was having that bed in the room for months and months before the transition so he'd get used to it. At first we'd lay down with him at night in the big bed to put him to sleep and then later transfer him to the crib. We'd also do naps in the big bed. Eventually, with encouragement, he'd ask to sleep in the big bed and then we took the crib down immediately and hid it away so it wasn't part of HIS stuff in HIS room. We had the twin bed against a corner and never got around to buying bed rails; for a while we just put a chair or an ottoman next to the bed, and in 2 years he's only fallen out of bed once.

Another option is to put away the crib but let him sleep on the crib mattress on the floor for a while. Or buy a toddler bed, which is closer to the ground and smaller. We didn't do this as we didn't want to have to buy yet another item, plus we couldn't lay down with him in it to read stories or if he was having a really bad night. anon

Our second baby was born before our oldest was 2, and I moved him to a bed BEFORE the other baby was born, so he would not feel displaced. It worked fine for us. We bought one of those extendable IKEA beds, and initially assembled it in the smallest configuration, which is very manageable, and bought a side rail. This was a great solution for us. After a few months we moved the ''new'' baby from the bassinet to the crib and our older didn't seem bothered by it. EP

Transitioning 26-mo-old Twins to Beds

March 2006

My twins are almost ready to switch from cribs to beds. I am wondering if anyone has advice on how to do this specifically for twins who need to share a room. I'm worried that once they are in beds and free to bug one another, climb into bed with one another, etc--there will be chaos, and very little sleeping. They are 26 months old. Twin Mama

Our twins are now four years old. Girls. We did the same thing with them as we did with our older singleton. Their bedroom is for sleeping. So there are no toys in there. Just beds. Now they have books and stuffed animals, too, but we eliminated all the distractions except for each other and after about two weeks they stopped climbing from bed to bed and went to sleep. I always thought I'd find them snuggled in one bed together but that never happened. We did this right about age 2.5. No nonsense Mommy of three

When my older son was around the same age as your twins, we happened upon a great deal on an adorable toddler bed. We bought it and he was really excited to sleep in it so we went for it. Prior to getting the bed, he had been sleeping great, taking regular naps, etc. About a week into setting up the new bed, he was waking up a lot at night, rolling out of bed, not staying down for his naps--it was rotten. We put the bed away and got out the crib and he stayed in it for more than another year. I say, unless your kids are too big for cribs, keep them as long as possible. ItC,bs a move thatC,bs best not rushed! --two cents

We were worried when transitioning our same-bedroom-twins to beds. I'm guessing by their ages that they are no longer co- bedding in the crib (if they were). We kept the same nighttime routine and situated the beds in the same way as the cribs had been. This seemed to work out well. While ours rarely have asked to share beds, I understand that it is not unusual for twins to climb into bed together. And when ours have asked for it, they have fallen asleep pretty quickly. My friend's twins did for years and just stopped when they were ready. Her rule of thumb was as long as they fell asleep it was fine. At times one twin or the other will test the water with getting out of bed over and over and the other twin quietly encourages the behavior. We just walk them back with little or no talking and it eventually gets old and the game stops. When it got really bad for a couple of weeks we used a reward sytem for staying in the bed. Once we got a few nights in a row the troubles ceased. leandrw

Transition to Big Kid Bed (28 mo-old)

July 2004

We have put our 28 month old in a toddler bed. He had the crib and bed for awhile, and then as an incentive to go into the bed, we used a reward chart for sleeping in the bed - his reward was a play vacuum cleaner. We put away the crib with his o.k., and now he refuses to stay in his bed to fall asleep for nap or bedtime. The second I try to leave the room, he is crying and will not stay in the bed/room. We have been putting him down awake in his crib for a long time, and although he protested off and on, he was usually fine with it. Any advice for teaching him to stay in his bed to fall asleep without me having to be in there for an hour? I am willing to stay with him for awhile to help, but I feel he is fighting to say awake because I am in the room. His bedtime is creeping later toward post 9:00 p.m., which is not enough sleep for him. One alternative I have considered is to gate the bedroom door and let him cry and figure out he should just go to bed, but I would like to avoid having to ''force'' the issue. Thanks. Jennifer Jennifer

We kept the toddler bed in our room for a few months to allow our son to get used to the idea of the new bed. We then re- arranged his room together and then brought in his toddler bed to his room. He helped make the bed, etc. This seemed to help with the transition- kind of a ceremony of sorts. I put those door knob childproofing things on the door leading to the kitchen from his room but leave open a door so he can get to our room. Good luck. Juliette

Why push the big bed? If the crib is still comfortable for your son maybe he should just stay there. We found a great deal on a really cute toddler bed so we bought it and set it up for our son who had just started sleeping better (after a hellish couple of years of frequent night-waking). The first week of the ''big boy bed'' he began waking up a lot again and he wouldn't stay in his bed during naptime or night time. So we decided to go back to the crib. He's happy there and we're happy that he's sleeping through the night again. Amanda

Bed OK for 18-month-old? Baby coming!

March 2003

I am expecting #2 when my current baby will be 18 mos. Do I really need to have 2 cribs, or can I put the 18 mos old in a bed? alia

I think it depends on your child. Two things I would think about: one is, can your child get out of bed when he wakes up alone, without confusion (rather than get upset/fall out/ whatever). Our son occasionally sleeps with us, and when he was around 18 months old, he started being able to wake up and climb down from our bed and come find us if we woke up before him and left him in bed alone. Before that he rolled around enough when waking up that I was afraid he would fall out, and never left him alone. Even with a rail, I would have been uneasy leaving him alone in bed. The other is, is he likely to stay in bed when you put him there at night? Does he fall asleep without protest when you put him in his crib, or does he tend to cry and fuss a bit? If the latter, I'd definitely get two cribs -- or you're likely to have real battles on your hands. Karen

Leaving aside the question of whether a bed is safe for an 18-month-old, many people advised me that switching my older daughter to a bed so that our new baby could have her crib would be interpreted by the older girl as ''I got kicked out for the baby!'' Could you borrow a second crib, as we did? After the new baby had been in the borrowed crib for three months, we went looking for a ''big kid'' bed for the two-year-old. The day it arrived at our home, she jumped in it, jumped on it, and hasn't looked back since. We asked her that very night if it would be OK to take her crib out of her room. She said, ''Yes, give it to my baby sister!'' So we did! darcy

Why not keep your 18 month old in the crib and put the new baby in a bassinet or pack-n-play for the first 4-6 months of life? Then, your 2 year old will be more ready for a bed, and your little one for the crib? Just a suggestion.

We moved our older son out of his crib (which he didn't actually spend the whole night in anyway) when he was around 15 mos. He scaled the rungs one day and that was the end. We had planned originally on putting him straight into a twin bed but, since he was so young and couldn't climb into it on his own we bought a toddler bed. It worked well. He would go to sleep in it, then when he woke in the night he would just toddle down the hall to our bed for the rest of the night. Getting him out of our bed a year and a half later when his brother was due to arrive wasn't nearly as easy! And, if you are planning on co-sleeping with the baby you won't need to move the older kid at all. Rose

We moved to California when my son was 18 months old (now he is 2 years old). I didn\\222t want to buy a crib, but was afraid to put him in regular bed. Eventually, I bought a crib mattress and put it on the carpet. He likes his new \\223bed\\224, and I feel that it is completely safe. He can go in and out of bed by himself. Let me present the advantages and the disadvantages: Advantages: if he feels uncomfortable during the night (rarely happened), he doesn\\222t cry, he just go out of his bed and come to our bed. In the mornings he wakes up before us, and usually plays by himself quietly. Disadvantages: you can\\222t make him go to sleep by putting him to bed. If he doesn\\222t want to sleep he goes out of bed by himself. A

My first daughter was 18 months and sleeping in the crib when my second was born. We actually put the new baby to sleep in the bassinet level of the pack'n'play, and kept her in our room for the first 6 months. Then when our older daughter turned 2 she was excited to get a big-girl bed and thrilled that she could ''give'' her crib to her little sister. Most play-yards come equipped with a sturdy bassinet insert so that little ones can be a little bit higher up. Feel free to email if you have questions. Ruth

When is it Time to Move from Crib to Bed?


Hi all. Well my 2.5 year old is climbing out of her crib for yuks these days, as well as waking up in the wee hours to toss and turn like she's not comfortable. All this leads me to suspect it's time to get her a real bed. Here's my question for other parents out there - should I look at a toddler bed or an actual twin bed? I'd rather not pay a specialty children's store markup for a toddler bed, but I don't know if regular mattress companies make them that size. We're currently in a one-bedroom in SF (although we're hoping to hear from Cal student family housing one day before my husband starts classes), which is why size is an issue. Can anybody recommend a place to look at affordable kid's bedding? Also, am I jumping the gun on this? Should I wait until she's three? Is there any rule of thumb here that I haven't heard about? Any advice on this from parents in the know would be much appreciated. Thanks!

What is the current wisdom on moving infants into their own toddler bed? At what age does this normally happen? How do you know when your child is ready? Are toddler beds necessary or can they go into a twin size bed. What are the pros and cons. Any advice and experiences would be greatly appreciated. Thanks a bunch.

i don't know about current wisdom, but here's our experience regarding toddler beds. when our child was around 7-9 months (i think) he was still sleeping with us, but had outgrown his basket which we put him in to sleep alone, before we came to bed. we weren't comfortable with him in our bed alone because we thought it was too high and were afraid he would fall off. we got him a nice cotton toddler size futon (murasaki on college near claremont) and put it on a platform we made which was just about an inch or two off the floor. he did fall off several times, but usually continued to sleep on the floor. in general, falling wasn't a problem. as it turns out we replaced the toddler bed with a double bed because we had guests coming and they slept in our son's room. we moved his toddler futon into our room during this time. that's where it's stayed. we found the double bed (no frame, just box spring and mattress on the floor) was great. it's not high enough to worry about falling. it's big enough that we put blankets and/or pillows on his sides to minimized chances of falling and so he'll feel cozy. we love it because we can lay down with him at night, nurse, cuddle, read books, etc. and have plenty of room. it was pretty squishy on the toddler bed! so i'd consider just going straight to a regular bed, on the floor. now our son is old enough (just over 2) that in the middle of the night he wanders down to our room on his own to join us in our bed, which is fine with us.

When our son turned two, we visited a friend who's 2 year old was sleeping in his own bed. Our son really wanted a bed then and wasn't happy about his crib, tho before that he was fine. I was worried about him falling out, so we put a futon on the floor and we had him sleeping there til he was about three and a half, when we put him into a regular bed with a side rail.

When my daughter graduated to a big girl bed, we got a regular twin bed, and went to the foam factory (or any foam shop) on adeline and got a palatte and foam mattress. It was then low to the ground (so she wouldn't fall out) and she could get in and out easily. We also bought a rail for the side but it never seemed necessary. She liked a lot and eventually we got her a regular mattress/box spring for the same bed.

If a young toddler is able to climb out of a crib, it's time to move down nearer to the floor. Our son moved to a toddler bed at ~20 months for this reason. The bed is crib-sized so it was a great space saver. Other than that, he could probably have been moved straight to a twin bed if it were low and had side rails. Our older child went straight to a twin bed at around age 3.

We moved our now 17 month old son to a toddler bed about 2 or 3 months ago. At that point I noticed him scaling the safety gates at the bottom of the stairs, and figured that he would be trying that on the crib shortly. I felt it was better to be safe, and get him out of the crib, than risk him falling from such a height. He has been co-sleeping with us (for part of the night) for months, and had never fallen out of our bed. And based on that, I almost just put him in the twin bed (since we already have one) but I realized that while he had been able to climb down from our bed for months, he still wasn't able to climb up into it. I wasn't sure if he would ever put himself back to bed but I figured the chances were better in a toddler bed that was lower, than in our bed that he couldn't reach. Now that he is older he is able to climb in and out of our bed (even in the dark in the middle of the night) by climbing over the rungs of the foot board, but he still can't climb into the twin bed, so I think that the toddler bed was worth the investment, even though he doesn't put himself back to bed in that bed.

Toddler Transition From Crib to Futon

Oct 1999

We are wondering if anyone has tried and succeeded with transitioning their toddler from sleeping in a crib to a futon or mattress on the floor? For the past two weeks, our two-year-old has been sleeping in our bed due to his having high fevers and a cold. Before then, (and what we've been working on going back to in the past few days--ay, ay), he'd read with us, have his hugs and kisses, rock with his Papa and then go his crib in his own room where he would, usually with minimal protest, eventually go to sleep. Oftentimes, he would chatter to himself for awhile. He has not yet seemed to have thought of/tried to climb out of the crib. We're reasonably sure that we'll get back to the pre-cold bedtime routine soon. We're expecting another baby in March, when our firstborn will be 2 years, 4 months old. We imagine the newborn will be sleeping with us and the toddler will be in his own room down the hall. We'd like advice about:

-whether to transition the toddler to a non-crib bed before the newborn arrives;
-the idea of our toddler sleeping on a futon or mattress on the floor;
-why not go straight to a twin bed with a frame and mattress?; and
-anything we've not thought about yet in this regard.

Thanks for your time and thought to our questions.

Our toddler did very well going from his crib to his crib mattress on the floor, and then to a toddler bed (which uses the crib mattress). I think the advantage of going to the mattress on the floor first is that they get used to being in a situation where they can roll off -- without too far to fall, at least at first (and we did find him wrapped up in blankets next to the mattress on numerous occasions). If you go straight to an elevated bed, you can deal with this by attaching one of those guard rail apparati. After a few weeks on the floor, we moved him into a toddler bed. We opted for this rather than a full sized bed because our son's room is on the small side, and because it cost less (since we're using the crib mattress). It's a lovely little pine bed with a star cut out, which we got at Lullaby Lane in San Bruno (at the recommendation of someone on this list, I believe!). Good luck! If your child likes to climb into bed with you, be warned ... he/she will now be able to do so without your help! We moved our son out of his crib long before he was able to climb out in the hope that it would increase his interest in sleeping in his own room ... I'm afraid the novelty wore off quickly. He still spends quite a bit of time with us, climbing in between us without our ever waking up!

Tips for moving 2-year-old from crib

It's time for our two year old to make the switch from crib to bed. (She's now too long for the crib!) I have read the related info on the Parent's Website, but would welcome any further tips. (How to keep a toddler happily in a bed, where best to shop for a bed, are rails useful?, etc.)

Our toddler did very well going from his crib to his crib mattress on the floor, and then to a toddler bed (which uses the crib mattress). I think the advantage of going to the mattress on the floor first is that they get used to being in a situation where they can roll off -- without too far to fall, at least at first (and we did find him wrapped up in blankets next to the mattress on numerous occasions). If you go straight to an elevated bed, you can deal with this by attaching one of those guard rail apparati. After a few weeks on the floor, we moved him into a toddler bed. We opted for this rather than a full sized bed because our son's room is on the small side, and because it cost less (since we're using the crib mattress). It's a lovely little pine bed with a star cut out, which we got at Lullaby Lane in San Bruno (at the recommendation of someone on this list, I believe!). Good luck! If your child likes to climb into bed with you, be warned ... he/she will now be able to do so without your help! We moved our son out of his crib long before he was able to climb out in the hope that it would increase his interest in sleeping in his own room ... I'm afraid the novelty wore off quickly. He still spends quite a bit of time with us, climbing in between us without our ever waking up!

Regarding transitioning from crib to bed, I never knew there was an issue with this when my three daughters went from crib to bed at the ages of 2 and 3, depending on when we needed the crib for a new baby! Ignorance is bliss sometimes, I guess! Anyway, just to keep them from rolling out, I positioned their beds into a corner. For the other long side, I bought a guard rail with a painted metal frame and tightly woven mesh stretched over the frame. Perhaps this measure of enclosing 3 sides of the bed created a feeling of security. My daughters adjusted to their new bed and guardrail without any problem. I removed the guard rail after about 2 years. Kim

3-year-old wants to keep sleeping in crib

Our daughter will be 3 in a month. She has never tried to climb out of her crib and has always liked her crib. We took her shopping for a big girl bed (a twin bed - we skipped the toddler bed entirely) three weeks ago, explaining that we weren't taking it home that day. She was very excited and helped pick a bed. We just got a call that the bed is ready to be delivered. When I mentioned it to my daughter, she got very upset and cried that she likes her crib and she didn't want them to bring the big girl bed here. I assured her she could stay in her crib. I told her she could have both the crib and her bed in her room (though that is going to be extremely tough as she has a very tiny bedroom), but she still cried that she liked her crib and didn't want the bed. We do not have anyplace at all to put the bed other than her room - no place to store it - so that is simply not an option. It really does have to go straight into her room. I have a book called My New Bed which I'd been saving and read it to her several times and she was into it, but I'm concerned about helping her make a comfortable transition. I would appreciate any advice as in all likelihood the bed will have to be delivered to us in a few weeks. Thanks. Lori

Our almost 3 year old boy had never climbed out of his crib either, but 3-4 months ago we took him to choose a bed as well. We had built up to it by talking about it a lot beforehand. He had some ambivalence, but excitement as well. When it came, he helped my husband assemble it with his own tool set, and put it together, making it etc., with us. Involving them in the set-up process helps quite a bit. Maybe choosing new sheets together as well would be fun for her. We put his crib in my study, and let him know it was there if he wanted, but he never did. Also - there is a wonderful book I found at the library called My Own Big Bed, by Anna Gossnickle Hines about a little girl going thru this transition and asking herself all the questions which make toddlers have ambivalence about this change. It's really well done. Good luck! Pam Z.

Can you cancel the purchase of the bed? My stepdaughters stayed in their cribs until age 5 (OK, a little weird, and they are small kids) but unless you have a great reason for wanting to get her out of the crib, if she sleeps well there, why not leave her in. My stepdaughters are 16 and 18 now, and neither one has any problems - at least none that I can attribute to the crib... Fran