It can be a daunting prospect will it mean a return to sleepless nights? Often, the move is triggered by a developmental stage — particularly climbing. Other families naturally reach a stage where they feel their child is too big — physically or developmentally — for a cot.
This technique will minimise crying and is less likely to disturb her baby brother and the lucky parent whose turn it is to stay in bed! Mobiles are musical toys to soothe the baby to sleep, but should be removed before the child can stand 8 to 12 months of age. As your child grows from baby to toddler, establishing a good sleep routine remains just as crucial and one of the big questions facing parents is how to make the transition from cot to 'big girl' or 'big boy' bed - without disrupting your little one's precious sleeping patterns.
If your baby is touching the ends or bashing into the sides every time he rolls over in the night, or if it just seems a bit strange that your walking, talking toddler is still in a cot, it could well be time to make the change.
Often, the move is triggered by the arrival of a new sibling who needs the cot and perhaps even the nursery itself. The other likely time to move from cot to bed is when your child starts potty training. Cotbed, junior bed or single?
Another big thing to think about is what sort of bed your toddler will sleep in. Junior beds are typically shorter and lower than normal single beds. Some also come in toddler-pleasing designs like racing cars or princess carriages. Bear in mind that mid-sleepers, high-sleepers and top bunks are not recommended for under-fives due to the risk of falling. Some parents find it easiest to just go for it and put the cot away or convert it from cotbed to bed.
This is the repayment period you will pay over, once the payment free period 12 months has ended. Where will you both sit for a bedtime story?
Others prefer to do it more gradually, for example by letting their child have their naps in the bed before attempting night-time sleeps, or leaving the cot assembled in the same room as the bed so they can choose where to sleep. Whichever option you choose, make sure you make it a big adventure for your child. A nightlight can be helpful if your child is likely to get up to use the loo at night.
Tell him how exciting it is that he will be sleeping in a big bed. Also, take the time to explain the ground rules to your toddler.
Tell him that once he goes to bed, he needs to stay there until morning, and call you if he needs anything, rather than getting out of bed; a reward chart can go a long way to making this easier.
Keep to his usual bedtime routine as much as possible, and pile on the praise when he settles down in his brand new big bed.
Products that help There are plenty of products that can make the transition from cot to bed easier.
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