Tips for Transitioning Toddlers to Big Kid Beds

Hey parents and caregivers; so you’re thinking of moving your toddler into a big kid bed? Let me first tell you… wait as long as you can! Don’t do it until you really need to, like when they are 18 years old (#jokingnotjoking)! Some kids have no issue with the transition, but some kids have lots of issues, or rather the parents have issues because these kids have a newfound freedom and they aren’t afraid to test it.

So if you really must make that transition, here are 5 tips that helped me through the transition of two kids!

1 – Keep Your Routine Intact

Don’t change your routine. Keep things as consistent as you can for your child. When it is time to lay down and go off to sleep, remind them that nothing changes, they need to lay down, go to sleep in their bed, and stay there until the morning.  If your nighttime routine needs some help, lots of experts recommend using a chart (with pictures) to set expectations. We don’t use a chart in our house, but we do have song, ‘Potty, pajamas, brush your teeth, story, song and then to sleep’! Feel free to use it, no credit needed.

2 – Have the Right Stuff!

Let your little one choose some special new bedsheets, they can help in unwrapping their mattress or building their new bed.  We had so much fun working together with my daughter to unwrap her Endy Mattress! We chose an Endy mattress because it’s Canadian-made (always love supporting a Canadian company). Endy mattresses are made with proprietary foam that will maintain its firmness and comfort in any temperature, and is breathable – my kids tend to get toasty at night! And Endy is GREENGUARD GOLD certified (which means it meets standards for extremely low chemical emissions).  

3 – Safety

Now that your kid has free range of their room, double-check that there isn’t anything in their room that could be a cause for concern if they happen to get up and wander at night.  There are also safety concerns of them rolling off their bed.  We started both kids with their mattresses on the floor for a few weeks and then worked our way up to a mattress on a bed frame. You can also try a bedrail or go old school by lining pillows on the floor by their bed.

4 – Set Boundaries

If your kids are anything like mine, you’ll be getting requests for water, bathroom visits, extra hugs, checking for monsters, and more requests for water.  You’ll need to be firm and set boundaries from the get-go.  Make sure the bathroom visits happen before bedtime, have water bottles next to the bed, make sure monster spray has been sprayed, and be firm on the number of hugs (though that can be hard if you love hugs).  It’s a slippery slope, so stay firm! 

5 – Have Patience!

Have patience and more patience! Different kids will take to it differently and for some kids, you’ll need all the patience until they get the hang of it! They will also go through phases of weeks of incredible sleep and weeks where nothing is working.  Lots of fresh air, activities to make sure they are tired for end of day is always helpful. For some kids reward, systems may help to motivate them in stay put.

Bonus Tips

  • If you are transitioning your child because you need the crib for a new baby, make sure to do so a few weeks before the new baby needs it so the child doesn’t feel like the change is associated with the new born
  • Some friends I know have luck with closing kids’ doors, or adding a gate at the kid’s door if you are really worried about them getting out
  • For the early risers, you’ll want to consider something like a Grow clock to keep kids in bed

Thank you to Endy for gifting us with a mattress.  The opinions expressed in this post are all my own. To try Endy out for yourself, click here!

League of Moms / 02/09/2022

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