Training a toddler to sleep in a toddler bed is a parenting milestone, signifying the end of the baby stage. Parents often decide to make the switch after a toddler attempts to climb out of the crib or if a new sibling is on the way. Each toddler is different in his response to the transition to a toddler bed; he may embrace the change or resist it. Watch the signs exhibited by your toddler, and follow his lead in the training process.
Watch for signs of readiness in your toddler before training her to sleep in a toddler bed. The toddler’s size, age and activity level should be considered.
Select a toddler bed for your child. Ask your toddler to assist in the selection process if possible. Select a firm mattress that fits the toddler bed.
Purchase a set of toddler sheets that will appeal to your child. Allow your child to help select the sheets.
Set up the toddler bed in your child’s room. Allow him to help you make the bed. Allow him to choose some stuffed animals to add to the bed to make it more appealing.
Invite your toddler to explore the new toddler bed during play time so she won’t feel pressured. Exploration may make the new toddler bed less intimidating when she must sleep in it.
Place your toddler in his new toddler bed for nap time. Trying out the new bed during the day tends to be less scary for toddlers.
Start putting your toddler in the toddler bed at night once she is comfortable sleeping there at nap time. Provide comfort if she is hesitant to sleep in her new bed. Give her a few days to adjust to the new bed.
Take a break and go back to the crib if your toddler is not able to adjust to the new bed after several days. Reintroduce the toddler bed once he has had a break.
- Never punish your child if she has difficulty adjusting to the toddler bed. This will make the process more difficult.