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When Should I Convert my Child From a Crib?

Often times parents are unsure when they should convert their child from a crib to a bed. Many parents assume that their baby or toddler are ready to move to a big kid bed, when in reality, it could be too early. Click through to learn when it’s the right time to convert your child from a crib to a bed, and how to go about doing it! toddler sleep | child won’t sleep | #sleepbabylove #sleeptips #toddlersleep #toddler #toddlerlife #preschool

Often times parents are unsure when they should convert their child from a crib. Many parents assume that their baby or toddler does not like the crib or even if they climbed out of the crib, they are ready to move to a big bed. But in reality, you should do anything and everything to not convert your child to a toddler bed too early. Don’t let crib climbing be the reason to convert them immediately!

Just a refresher to the question posted on Facebook:

Your 18 month old is showing interest in climbing out of the crib. He hasn’t climbed out yet but you can see his wheels are spinning and he’s going to figure it out soon.

Do you:

A) Covert him to a toddler bed – he must be ready!
B) Put him in a Sleep Sack or other anti crib climbing clothing
C) Move his mattress down or turn his crib around
D) Do anything and everything but answer A!

Your Child Climbed Out Of The Crib

Climbing out of a crib does not mean that your child is ready or wants to convert to a bed.  There is a ton of freedom and responsibility for leaving the crib!   It could just mean that your child is curious on what happens if they climb and explore.  The best time to convert your child to a toddler bed is:

  • when your child can understand and verbalize their interest in a big bed,
  • your child can understand the rules of sleep (arms down, mouth closed and bid all night)
  • you as parents have a solid plan in case they do leave their bed

What Age Do You Suggest Converting to a Toddler Bed?

It’s different for every child but usually, I suggest around the age of 3.  Of course, there are many success stories of children converting to a bed earlier but because there are many that are a bit bumpier, I suggest waiting for as long as possible.

Like everything else child-related, we will want to change the behavior of the child to help keep them safe in the crib.  You can help negate climbing by:

  • putting your child in a sleep sack or Cribberz, anti-climbing clothing
  • re-position your crib to make climbing out more difficult (if you have a high end on your crib flip it forward)
  • lower your mattress and if your crib allows it, put your mattress on the floor
  • stand at the doorway and every time your child attempts to climb out, you  say no and put them back in the crib  (do this over and over until the behavior has changed)
  • if you have a video monitor, talk through the monitor at the first sign of them attempting to climb out of the crib

How old was your child when they converted from the crib?  Would you say that your experience was smooth sailing or was it challenging?  Feel free to share your best practices below!

Susie Parker is founder of Sleep Baby Love and a Certified Infant and Child Sleep Consultant through the Family Sleep Institute. When Susie's not ridding the world of sleepless families, she loves spending time with her two girls that have given her a ton of real world sleep experience head on.

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