There aren’t any hard and fast rules when it comes to moving your baby from a cot into a bed. There isn’t for example, any need to rush things if your baby is sleeping well in their cot.
For some children it can be a little tricky to manage the transition, as they feel safe and secure in the familiar surroundings of their cot. However, like with many things involving children, time and patience is the key!
The Great Escape!
Most parents will decide it’s time for a change, when the baby shows signs of trying to climb over the bars and out of their cot. However, if you feel he or she, is not ready to make the move to a bed yet, try lowering the mattress in the cot, as this will make it harder to climb out. Make sure there aren’t any toys or cot bumpers they are using to give them extra height. Try and catch them in the act and be very firm about the fact they are not allowed to climb out of the cot.
First in, first out?!
For some, it can be a matter of practicality, a new baby is on the way or the child has simply outgrown the cot.
Top tip! If you are moving your little one, because a new baby brother or sister is on the way, make sure you plan the move a month or two before the baby is due to take up residence! You want to avoid any possible resentment forming if they feel they are being ousted from their cot to make way for a new sibling.
Get ready for bed!
What type of bed are you thinking of getting for your child? If you are not keen on a regular sized bed, maybe take a look at the other options around. Some beds can be quite low off the ground, some are shaped like cars, some have special guard rails. Think what might be the most suitable for your child.
Making the changes
Involve your child as much as is possible, depending on their age. You could for example allow them to help you pick out some new bedding. What’s their favourite colour, TV or book character? Allowing them to make some of the choices, can really help, especially if the move coincides with their growing independence!
Bring in the toys!
Add a few of their favourite teddies and stuffed toys to help them feel at home in their new bed.
If your child’s room is big enough, try setting up the new bed in there, whilst the cot is still up. Get them used to lying on it, whilst you read them a bed time story. This does help allow your child to gradually adapt to the new set up, but we appreciate not all rooms will be big enough to accommodate this suggestion.
Not all children welcome change. Maintaining your bedtime routine will help and being as encouraging as possible, so they associate positive thoughts with the new sleeping arrangements.
Not staying put??
Your child will soon discover they have a new set of freedoms, in so much as they can climb out of bed and start wandering around their room. If you are worried, they might start to wander around, try putting a stair gate in the doorway. This at least confines them to their room, without having the door closed. If they do start getting out of bed, try and break any pattern forming by incentivising good behaviour i.e. staying put will be rewarded by an extra bedtime story.
Top Tip! Make sure you have thoroughly child proofed their room, for examples all electric sockets should be covered with a special child proof cover and windows should have child proof locks on, in order to avoid unnecessary accidents.
Have you any suggestions on how to make the transition from cot to bed? What worked for you? Let us know, we’d love to hear from you!