Transitioning Your Child from Crib to Toddler Bed in Just 5 Days: A Comprehensive Guide- Rested Mama Happy Baby Feature

 Transitioning Your Child from Crib to Toddler Bed in Just 5 Days: A Comprehensive Guide

Chelsae Cravalho, here, a pediatric and toddler sleep expert.  Transitioning your child from a crib to a toddler bed is a significant milestone in both your lives. It marks a period of growth and independence, but it can also be a time of uncertainty and adjustment for your little one. Deciding the right time to move from crib to toddler bed can be a big decision with daunting “what ifs”.  But, don’t worry! Here's a detailed guide on how to make this transition in just five days, backed by evidence and expert advice.

Day 1: Preparation and Introduction

Start with Preparation: Before you begin the transition, it's essential to prepare. Choose a toddler bed that is safe and comfortable. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, a toddler bed should have a firm mattress and fit snugly in the bed frame to prevent entrapment [1].  Check out these awesome products we recommend at Tot Craft.  (Enter link here for bedrails).

Introduce the Bed: Let your child explore the new bed during the day. Encourage them to play on it and get familiar with it. This introduction helps reduce anxiety and builds excitement about the new bed.

Day 2: Familiarization and First Nap

Familiarization: Spend more time around the toddler bed. Read stories on it or use it for quiet playtime. This helps your child associate the bed with comfort and security.

First Nap: Attempt the first nap in the toddler bed. Naps are less intimidating than a full night's sleep, making them a good starting point. A study in the "Journal of Family Psychology" shows that children adapt better to new sleeping environments when they feel safe and relaxed [2].

Day 3: Positive Reinforcement

Celebrate Success: If the nap on Day 2 went well, celebrate this with your child. Positive reinforcement can significantly boost their confidence.

Address Concerns: If your child is resistant, it’s important to be patient. Understand their fears and reassure them. A study in "Child Development" indicates that children's emotional responses are influenced by their parents' reactions [3].

Day 4: The First Full Night

Prepare for Bedtime: Stick to your usual bedtime routine to provide consistency. This might include a bath, storytime, and some cuddles.

First Full Night: Tonight is the night to try sleeping in the toddler bed for the entire night. Stay close for reassurance. According to the National Sleep Foundation, children feel more secure and sleep better when they know their parents are nearby [4].

Day 5: Evaluation and Adjustment

Reflect on the Night: How did it go? If your child slept well, continue with the routine. If there were challenges, identify what they were and think about how to address them.

Adjust as Needed: Every child is different. Some may need more time to adjust, while others might be comfortable right away. Be prepared to be flexible in your approach.

It is important to make sure your approach matches your child.  A sudden change in sleeping arrangements can be unsettling for a child. A gradual transition helps maintain their sense of security and reduces anxiety.  If you find yourself with many other families who they see wake ups, Tot Craft and Rested Mama, Happy Baby are here for you to give you the tools you need to transition you out of your room, and your child in their new sleep space for a full nights rest.

Be sure to check out Rested Mama, Happy Baby programs to help for gentle sleep solutions.  

We're thrilled to announce our partnership with them this month, bringing you an exclusive offer available now on all the Rested Mama Happy Baby programs they offer: enjoy 10% off all their programs using code TOTCRAFT !





American Academy of Pediatrics. (2020). Choosing a Crib. [online] Available at: AAP.org

Keller, P., & El-Sheikh, M. (2011). Children's emotional security and sleep: Longitudinal relations and directions of effects. Journal of Family Psychology, 25(2), 252-260.

Sadeh, A., Tikotzky, L., & Scher, A. (2010). Parenting and infant sleep. Sleep Medicine Reviews, 14(2), 89-96.

National Sleep Foundation. (2020). Children and Sleep. [online] Available at: SleepFoundation.org

Mindell, J. A., & Meltzer, L. J. (2008). Behavioural sleep disorders in children and adolescents. Pediatrics, 121(Supplement 3), S222-S232.

Additional Resources

Zero to Three: Tips for Moving to a Toddler Bed

HealthyChildren.org by American Academy of Pediatrics: Transitioning Your Child from Crib to Bed

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