Ask the Mamas: Toddler Bed Readiness

Each week we will ask our mamas a question from our readers that pertains to babies, toddlers, or parenting. Make sure to check back each Tuesday to see their responses!

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Mama Say What?! contributor Christina D. asks: “What signs did you look for to know your child was ready to transition to a toddler bed?”

For us, he was not sleeping all that great in his crib in the months following his second birthday. He was moving around a lot and bonking his head and body on different parts of the railing and falling asleep with an arm or leg sticking out. He wasn’t quite climbing out yet, but he was really close and I would often go in after a nap to find him sitting perched on the railing. That was enough for us. When we made the switch, we kept his crib in the room for about a week in case the transition didn’t work out so well. For two nights he actually climbed back into his crib and slept part of the night there. Once he got comfortable in his big boy bed (a twin mattress on the floor) there was no going back. He was about 26 months old. ~Alex T.

For us, the only sign that he was ready was that he started climbing out of his crib, so we felt like we had no choice! He was 26 months old at the time and he started climbing out the very same weekend that we set up a brand new crib in his baby brother’s nursery. He had always been a great sleeper for naps and night time, but as soon as we transitioned him to a bed with a railing rather than a crib, he embraced his new-found freedom and started wandering around his room… emptying his drawers of clean clothes, climbing on the changing table and tearing the decals off of the walls. I would lean towards “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” judging from my experience. ~Mary Ellen M.

We put the toddler rail up on her crib at 18 months. My daughter was still getting up around 3-5 times a night then, and she also nearly fell out one night as she was trying to climb out. That, for us, is why we decided to transition. In the beginning, she spent a lot of time wandering around her room, playing with books and other fun things. But she would almost always put herself back to sleep without the fuss she did before. It made such a difference. She didn’t wake up nearly as often and bed time was so much easier. ~Jessica S.

We transitioned for potty training. ~Amanda P.

Our son never tried to climb or get out of his crib and we thought he would stay in there forever BUT at almost 2 1/2, it was just time. He was already potty-trained during the day and we thought, “How can we expect him to not wet his pants at night if he can’t get up and go to the bathroom by himself.” He had been sleeping in our bed during naps so he was used to sleeping in a big bed. We just made it a huge deal one day that he was going to get his own big bed and he was so excited to take the rail off his crib. He climbed in right away that night and was so excited to sleep in it! He still wore a Pull-Up to bed for a while, but he gets up and goes to the bathroom by himself now and we haven’t really had any problems. ~Heidi C.

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