Moving to the Big Bed: Strategies to Make Transitioning Easier!

The ‘big kids bed’ is a big transition! Mum Central shares tips to make it a smooth change for the whole family… 

It’s hard to imagine that your precious bundle of joy who, only a couple of short years ago, looked so tiny in their cot is now a mischievous toddler who no longer needs railings to hold them back! The moment has arrived…. It’s time for the big bed! Here’s a few tricks to make the transition from cot to the big bed as smooth as possible.

Take the side off the cot
As soon as your little cherub can climb out of the cot when the side is up, it’s probably time to take the side off completely. Taking the side off gives your child the feeling of being in a bed while still having the comfort of being in a familiar place. It also gives them some freedom!

Create a bumper to guide them
To prevent your little one from rolling out and hurting themselves, cut a pool noodle to size and place it under the fitted sheet. This is a great makeshift bed bumper so when they’re ready for the big bed, falling out shouldn’t be so much of an issue. However, if you’re still concerned, place a large doona/quilt on the floor beside the cot to ease your mind. If your child has a fold out cushion chair this can also double as a crash mat.

Think about safety needs
The length of time between removing the side and moving into a bed is up to you. It’s not just your child who has to be ready, you do too! If you have stairs, you might want to invest in a baby gate if you haven’t already. If you live in a bungalow, think about certain room doors that need to remain closed at night to prevent little feet from wandering into places they shouldn’t.

Phase the cot out
When the time has come, if your child’s bedroom is big enough, you might choose to put their new bed in the room as well as the cot. Gradually get your child to have sleeps and/or naps in it as you phase out the cot.

Include them in the process
Alternatively, you could just ‘rip off the band aid’; dismantle the cot and put up the bed in one hit. Encourage your child to help build their new bed so they feel included. (Kiddy sized tool kits are handy for this!) Also, ask them to help choose a quilt cover for their brand-new bed! Including children can often give them a feeling of pride and accomplishment and in this case, possibly more likely to want to sleep in the bed they made with the cover they picked.

One thing I’ve learned is that kids are far more adaptable than we sometimes give them credit for so try things out and see what works…you might be surprised! You know your child and how they cope with change so move at your own pace. There’s no right or wrong way, or age, of when to move to the big bed. Have fun with it and enjoy this milestone.

Avatar of Fiona Edwards

An expat, mum of one with a thirst for knowledge; Fiona writes honestly & openly and likes to ask questions! She's no stranger to travelling with a toddler, is obsessed with pineapples and has a life long hobby of trying to keep fit!

1 Comment

  1. Avatar of Blossom

    I know a who transitioned their young daughter into a bed early as they were expecting another baby sooner than planned. She was scared of suddenly being in open space – no sides. They put the cot mattress on the floor for a few days. Second stage she would sleep in the bed in the afternoon but not at night. Then suddenly she put herself to bed in her “big bed”. She took about 10 days to adjust of her own accord.

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