When to Move from Cot to Bed
There are no set rules for when to bite the bullet and convert your cot into a bed. Most toddlers make the transition from cot to bed between about 18 months and three years but it is a personal choice to make when you feel that your child is ready.
Every milestone in your little one’s life can be exciting but we believe that the following 6 points tend to dictate when the time has come to take the plunge and lose the bars!
You might also be interested in reading Jo's experience in toddler bed transitioning here.
The most important consideration when making decisions for your child is safety and as your baby grows into a mischievous toddler it may be time to re-think their sleeping arrangements. When toddlers can climb out keeping them in a cot can pose a danger to themselves and therefore this might be the right time for them to move into a bed.
- Sleep Quality
In addition, it may be a good time to move your child into a bed from a cot if they are struggling to have a good night’s sleep. Bad sleepers may respond well to a big boy / big girl bed. However, it is important to bear in mind that likewise good sleepers may be attached to the safety of a cot and not react well to a bed.
If your child has outgrown his or her cot and is regularly hitting the bars during the night when moving around, it may be the right time to convert your cotbed.
- Toilet Training
If you are potty training your child, it may well be beneficial to introduce a big boy / big girl bed to enable them to get to the toilet when they need to.
The decision may in fact be as easy as the timing being right if you are preparing for the arrival of a new baby and want to re-use your cot. We suggest that you start this transition at least 6-8 weeks before the arrival of the new baby so that your child doesn’t associate their new sibling with the loss of their little sanctuary!
A parent’s intuition can play a huge role in important choices such as this one. You may just feel that the time is right for your little one to move into a bed.
Some Important Things to Consider…
- As always safety is the most important concern. It is essential to remember that once your child is in a bed, they are able to get up and wander about as they please. Make sure you take a moment to look around their immediate surroundings - are there any obvious dangers such as open staircases?
- Furthermore, with regards to safety, you must also make sure that you put in place preventative measures to stop your child falling out of bed. You may wish to consider bed guards or placing pillows on the floor next to the bed for a soft landing.
- You may also wish to consider your own sanity! It is crucial to bear in mind that once your child can escape, they may think that bed time is negotiable. More mischievous children have been found many a time playing with toys in the middle of the night and many think that a middle-of-the-night visit to their parents will be well received! (A stairgate on their bedroom door may be helpful!)
- Although many parents think that they can always revert to the cot if it doesn’t work out, our experience tells us this is both time consuming and difficult to manage as far as a toddler is concerned!
Whenever you decide to do it, we suggest that you only do it when YOU feel the time is right.