How to Transition Babies from Crib to Toddler Bed

How to Transition Babies from Crib to Toddler Bed

To get started, here are some tips and tricks that can help you make the transition with ease.

1. When To Transition from Crib to Toddler Bed

Usually, a toddler is ready to transition from crib to bed around two years old, but some kids might need up to three and half years. There are multiple reasons why you might want to initiate the transition. For instance, some parents prefer to transition if they have a new baby on the way. Plus, moving into a new place can also be a very enticing opportunity to customize a kid’s bedroom.
These are all valid reasons, but let’s consider for a moment when it’s the best transition time for your kid. Here are some signs that your toddler is ready to put the bed behind:
  • The toddler can now get out of the crib without assistance
  • The toddler doesn’t get night scares easily
  • Your kid already shows progress in potty training
  • You have older children who sleep alone, and the toddler wants to imitate them
  • Nothing is particularly stressing your toddler at home

2. Preparing the Right Bed

Unless the crib was getting too small for your baby, you can choose a bed of similar measurements or just one size up. It’s important to consider the durability of the bed. Sure, your kids are light as a feather but don’t underestimate how much they can jump up and down a mattress till something gives. Check for a Children’s Product Certification when you’re shopping to make sure that the bed complies with all the CPSC standards and regulations.

3. Build Up the Change Gradually

Don’t make any major changes to the kid’s routine. You need to make them feel like transitioning isn’t going to change anything around the house. Maintain the same bed-time hours, playing rules, and feeding times. It might also be better to start transitioning gradually with short naps initially and make your up to a full night’s sleep. Just don’t let the toddler get used to waking up at night to sleep with you unless he had a nightmare or something of the sort.

4. Expect Some Accidents

As you start the transition to a toddler bed, it’s perfectly normal to see signs of hesitancy, but you also need to worry about bedwetting incidents. Even if your kid can independently use the bathroom, they might struggle with night trips to the toilet at first. This is usually because of the stress of being in a new environment. So, think in advance and use waterproof mattress covers. It’ll make dealing with the mess so much easier, and you’ll be less likely to get frustrated with the little kid.

5. Encourage the Toddler to Feel Safe

Quite often, being afraid of sleeping alone is the main reason why children get cranky during their transition from the crib to the toddler bed. Some parents use kids' toys to let them know that they’ll be safe. You can tell them that this teddy bear or that doll is going to watch over them, and nothing bad will happen. It’s also useful to let the toddlers get familiar with the surroundings. Don’t dismiss their concerns and walk them through every part of the room to show them that it’s a safe space.

6. Deal With Resistance Appropriately

Never make your kid feel like they failed at transition. After all, every child will get it done at their own pace. If your toddlers walk up to your room at night often to ask for water or to go to the bathroom, try to be as calm and unfazed as possible. Get them what they need and put them back to bed with a kiss. Overreacting could easily cause the child to regress or insist on sleeping in your bed.

7. Let the Little Fellow Have a Say

Before starting the transition, have a discussion with your kids about what’s going to happen. This way, they can feel involved and part of the adult decision. If you can do so, ask your toddler to go bed shopping with you and choose his own decorations. It’ll make the kid more emotionally attached to the bed as something to call their own. It all might sound trivial, but something a little as a blanket or new bedding can get your child hyped up for the transition.

8. Don’t Hesitate to Back Down

Sometimes, you’ll be a month or so into the transition and notice that the toddler isn’t going to cooperate at all. This isn’t a very common incident, but it does happen, and you need to be prepared for it. First things first, decide if this is just resistance or absolute rejection. Resistance is to be expected, and you should push through it. Meanwhile, if you sense that you may have rushed the transition, you can just take a break and start again later when the kid is ready.

9. Know That It’s Okay to Worry

Transitioning can be as hard on you as it is on your baby. You have every right to miss your kid sleeping in a crib right next to you. However, it’s a part of growing up. To put your mind at ease, you can get a baby camera installed. This way, you’ll be able to check on your kid whenever you get up at night. Keep in mind that child-proofing the entire new space that the toddler sleeps in can significantly calm your worries.
Here are a few safety measures to consider:
  • Get bed rails if your toddler tends to move a lot
  • Go around the room to make sure all the furniture is child-safe
  • Don’t introduce tough pillows at first
  • Make sure all electrical outlets are covered
  • Secure the windows with a child-proof lock


Knowing how to transition babies from crib to toddler bed is a skill that any new parent could use. It cuts down on restless nights and needless accidents.
With a bit of patience, you can nail the transition and get it over with before you know it.