When should I transition my child from a crib to a big bed? Since I have a counseling background, I have had countless people ask me this question. My answer is typically, “There is no good answer for that question. You will know when the time feels right.” However, I do not just simply leave them hanging with just that tidbit of information.
I do not think there is a magic age where you should move your child to a toddler bed from a crib. From my own experience, my daughter was 19 months when we moved her to a big girl bed. However, she was talking, like all the time, potty training and was being evicted from her crib because she had a brother on the way. However, my son is currently 19-months-old, and we do not have any plans in the near future to move him into his own bed. He does not talk as well as she does, is not ready to potty train, and has no siblings on the way!
We kept our usual bedtime routine as not to disturb anything. Our daughter continued to wear her pullup, drink her milk, brush her teeth, read a bedtime story and pray before going to bed. None of this changed when we transitioned into a big girl bed.
Again, my daughter was super easy to transition early because she, in my opinion, is above the learning curve. However, we did have to sell her the idea. We went and bought her a new pillow and pillowcase that she picked out all by herself. We told her she needed to sleep on her special pillow that she picked. This idea helped because she did not have a pillow in her crib. We also emphasized that her brother did not get a special pillow to sleep with and now that she was a big girl, she got her very own pillow. She loved this idea!
We immediately started with the Super Nanny routine. We told her to stay in her bed and not get down until we came to get her the next morning. We have a video monitor, so we could see whether or not she is in her bed. This trick did not work the first couple of nights. However, my husband and I decided to stand our ground and put her back in her bed each time she came out of her room. The first time, we explained to her again not to get down from her bed. The second time, we firmly told her, “Don’t get down.” The third time, we simply put her back in her bed without speaking to her. By the one hundredth time, she finally stayed in her bed and went to sleep! HA! This may seem a bit extreme to some of you, but my daughter understood what she was doing each time she descended from her bed, and we decided to be consistent with how we handled it. By night 4, she stayed in her bed and talked herself to sleep and 18 months later, we have no issues with her sleeping in her own bed. I’m not saying this method is for everyone, but it worked for us, and it works for Super Nanny!
Whenever and however you choose, know that you are a great mommy, and you will make the best decision for your child. The most important thing about your child moving to their own big bed is making sure they develop good sleeping habits. However you can make this happen is the best way for your child!