Toddlers aren’t so different from the rest of us. Most enjoy hanging on to what is familiar, and moving from the crib to a bed is a major change for toddlers. With a few simple strategies, you can make the transition easier:

Crib mattress – Instead of going from the crib to a bed, which can be disorienting or not have defined boundaries, put the crib mattress with familiar sheets on the floor.

New mattress – Once your child is used to having the crib mattress on the floor, replace it with a twin-sized mattress, the one that will eventually go in the child’s bed frame. The setting will still be familiar enough that the change in mattress and sheets won’t be as jarring.

Child’s bed – Bring the child’s new bed into the room and put the mattress on it. A mesh guard is a good investment and will keep your toddler from rolling on the floor.

No sleepovers – As tempting as it may be, resist the urge to sleep in your child’s room while he is going through this process. This move is about independence, and your presence will only invite neediness or signal that something is amiss.


From Focus on Your Child’s Early Stages, February 2008. Published by Focus on the Family. © 2008 Focus on the Family. All rights reserved. International copyright secured. Used by permission.

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