The Transition into a Toddler Bed

transitionlogoWhen we found out that we were expecting baby number two, my son was just over a year old. I didn’t put too much thought into sleeping situations until a few months into my pregnancy. I was faced with the decision to buy another crib or purchase my son a “big boy bed.” After much research and discussion, I felt that my son could handle the switch and we were going to go ahead an go with a twin sized bed for him.

I should start off by saying that my son was an amazing sleeper. We have been able to lay him down “drowsy” since about 3 months old and he would put himself to sleep for at least 12 hours. I was beyond nervous to mess with this schedule. I’m sure all parents understand that sleep is valuable and my fear of messing this up was completely rational.

Baby girl is due in late June and I wanted to have my son totally completely transitioned before she arrived. First of all, I didn’t want him to feel like he was being kicked out of his space because she arrived. Bringing her home is going to be a big enough change and I didn’t think he needed more. Secondly, if he was going to have problems and take some working with, I wanted it to work on it before she was born so I wasn’t up all night with two kids. We ordered and built his bed at the end of April which would give us 8 weeks to get him used to his new setup. toddlerbed1As you can see, I tried to make it as much like his crib as possible. I have his “crib soother” in there still which is like his little snooze button. He’ll wake up in the morning, turn it on, and lay there for another hour or so! I also attached his mobile up to the top of the headboard. I’m sure that’s more for me and decoration but that’s okay.

The bed has the headboard with the shelving which I thought was nice to store his stuffed animals while he’s still young, and something that he’ll be able to grow into as a big kid and teenager. It also has drawers instead of an under the bed portion which is really awesome for that extra storage!

So, now we’re about 3 weeks post transition. The big question is “how did the switch go?” Well, I’m amazed but it’s went pretty flawless.

For about the first 5 days I don’t think he realized that he could get out at the end of the bed. Night one he slept exactly as he would in his crib; 12 hours. Nap time was a little more challenging as he’d stay up and play for a while but I couldn’t complain. After about the first 5 days he figured out that he could get out. I spent an hour that first nap time picking him back up, putting him back in bed just to have him get out again. That’s when I decided to just let him play in his room. Sure enough, he got back into his bed when he was ready and went to sleep!

We haven’t had an issue with him getting up at night, yet. I know this is a lot of peoples concerns is having a child wandering the house at night. I think since my son is still so young (almost 19 months) he just knows bed time as “go to sleep” and doesn’t try anything funny. We’ll see what the future holds though. I think that a gate on his door will be the option we’ll opt for.

We have had a few nap time fails where he gets out of bed and doesn’t get back in. The result is passing out on the floor.toddlerbed3So these are a few tips that I have for anyone that is about to make the big switch.

  1. Don’t stress about it. I think they can tell that you’re making a big deal about the change and then resist it even more than they normally would.
  2. Try to make the toddler bed as much like the crib as possible. I got an extra long bed rail,  brought in all of his favorite blankets that he was used to sleeping with, and kept the crib soother and mobile.
  3. If they get out of bed don’t rush up to put them back in. I felt that this turned into a game with him. As long as they can get back into their bed on their own, they probably will.
  4. Keep bed and nap time routines exactly the same. The only difference should be where they’re going to bed.



Have you made this switch? What are some tips that you have? 


  1. Marie (Nona) Jablonski says

    How adorable. Everett is growing so fast. We miss all of you. Love Grandma.