Going from a crib to a bed is a big step for both toddlers and parents. Your younger toddler is safer in her crib until she starts trying to climb out of it. Prevent an injury by moving her before she can climb out.
Every child is different. Some toddlers may adjust quickly to being in a bed. Others have a harder time getting used to it. Continue with your bedtime routine. It may change a little (e.g., reading a book in bed instead of reading it in a rocking chair). For the first few weeks your child may need an extra story, song or snuggle, and to know that you’re close by.
Before moving your toddler from a crib to a bed, you may want to check again to make sure her room is safe and child-friendly.
- Use safety covers on all electrical outlets.
- Check all furniture and furnishings to make sure they’re stable. Secure large furniture (e.g., dressers, bookshelves) to the wall as your toddler may try to climb it. Lock or install childproof latches on dresser drawers.
- Cut the loops on blinds, drapery and curtain cords. Keep them short, secured and well out of reach.
- Place your toddler’s bed and other furniture away from a window, as she could climb out. Falling from an open window can seriously injure or kill a child. The screens on windows aren’t strong enough to keep children in. Choose window safety latches that an adult can quickly open in an emergency.
- Remove any toys or objects that can cause choking from the bedroom.
- Check the change table. Store diapers, lotions, cream and wipes in a cupboard with a childproof latch or in another room.
For a fact sheet about home safety, visit Alberta Health Services.
You can help your older toddler move into a bed
- Talk to her about how big she’s getting and all the new things she can do.
- Use a side railing or put her mattress on the floor to keep her from falling.
- Think about using a toddler bed (a smaller bed often fitted with a crib mattress).
- Offer her a favourite toy or blanket for comfort and security.
- Play soft music or use a nightlight to help her settle down before falling asleep.