Toddler Sleep Success: Making the Move From Cot to Bed
Baby and toddler sleep expert Emma Purdue shares great advice on helping your child move from a cot to a bed. Read on to make this transition much easier
4 min read
Moving from cot to bed is an exciting transition – your baby is becoming a toddler and you’re entering a fun stage!
But making this transition too early is often a recipe for many broken nights, late bedtimes, dropped naps and early starts. Follow my tips below to make this as easy as possible for you and your child.
Use a sleeping bag to help
Using a sleeping bag will help prevent your baby from being able to get a leg over the side of the coat and jump out. Merino kids make awesome ‘big toddler’ sleeping bags that easily fit up until 4 years old, so don’t give up on the sleeping bag as soon as your little one turns 2.
Don’t set up the bed and let your toddler ‘choose’ where to sleep
I see this happening frequently when I visit toddlers on consults. The parents have set up the big bed and have let the toddler choose when they are ready to sleep in the big bed. The big bed is new and fun and your two year old is unlikely to make a good decision about his or her own impulse control when it comes to staying in the big bed!
Don’t bother with snug sheets and restraints
To date I haven’t found a snug sheet or restraint which is successful in allowing full movement and successful sleep whilst still stopping a toddler from jumping from their cot. Some have broken, ripped or just frustrated the toddler.
Monitor your toddler’s bedtime
If your toddler is at the age where they are beginning to show signs of trying to climb from the cot, check on them frequently and quickly lie them down. Tell them “No, lie down”, be consistent, it’s not a game, and ensure they don’t take their sleeping bag off!
Have patience with your child
Try to wait until as close to as 3 years old as possible. This is when your toddler will understand the sleep rules… 1. Stay in bed! They will have developed impulse control and getting out of bed is far less likely to become a fun game at this age.
Lower your cot mattress
When you buy your cot make sure you check out the lower level, these actually vary between cots and sometimes the lower level isn’t low enough to make climbing out really difficult.
Make sure you lower the mattress as soon as your baby is mobile, rolling over, crawling, sitting and standing can all happen pretty quickly, and before you know it your baby is standing and their cot railing is at waist height!