OH NO. Your little one who has been so safely confined to their crib has escaped. Now it feels like your whole world is upside down and your toddler has complete control of bedtime.
Maybe you haven’t been faced with this reality yet but your little one is getting too close for comfort. They are starting to think about climbing out of that crib.
Or possibly, you are reading this to prepare yourself for future events. Smart.
All this to say, the IDEAL AGE for transitioning your child from a crib to a bed is around 3 years of age. If your little one is not close this age and they are escaping, I have some tips for you!
#1) GET RID OF BUMPERS
Your child might be using those bumpers as a way to step over the crib rails. Try taking this or anything that is acting like a step stool (stuffed animals, pillows) away.
#2) USE A SLEEP SACK
If you are not using a sleep sack yet, try it now. Putting your child in a sleep sack has several benefits but one of them is containment. Wearing a sleep sack, your child can still move around the crib, but your child will not be able to hoist one leg over the crib rail.
#3) LOWER THE CRIB
This is key. Lower the crib mattress level as much as possible. Most cribs have a springboard holding the mattress that CAN BE REMOVED. This will allow you to put the mattress directly on the floor, inside the crib.
#4) CORNER THE CRIB
Move the crib to the corner of the room. If the crib has a headboard (a taller side) place that towards the inside of the room with the shorter walls against the room walls.
A slumberpod is a black-out tent covering that can go over the crib, providing additional containment with an added bonus, darkness! You can find this online to purchase.
#6) DON’T LAUGH
My encouragement to you is to not convey to your toddler that their sneaky actions are entertaining to you at all. Keep it serious and never promote this behavior.
If all the above fails (aka you have a ninja) then we want to transition your child to a toddler bed.
Tips for transitioning your child to a toddler bed
TREAT THEIR ROOM LIKE A GIANT CRIB
We want their room to be so safe. Child proof everything. Cover electrical outlets, bolt heavy furniture to the wall, cover cords, and eliminate furniture that can injure your child or distract them from sleep (rocking chairs). Place a baby gate outside your child’s door or place a door monkey on the door. We want to prevent your child from wondering your house in the middle of the night, doesn’t sound safe, right?
CELEBRATE THEIR SPACE
Promote confidence and security in your toddler by letting them pick out their bedding or a new stuffed animal or lovey. Spend time in their room playing and giving them quality one on one time.
Have a consistent bedtime routine to help prepare your child for sleep. Set clear expectations and boundaries that you want them to follow at night and nap time. If you say it, do it!
Things I am loving right now:
Book: Memory Making Mom by Jessica Smartt
This is my second time reading this and it’s just as good as the first. If you want to be inspired and encouraged to create traditions for you and your family, this book is for you. If you get it and read it, please share with me what you think.
Football and pumpkins: I am ready for fall. This Augusta heat is old news.
Mothers Day Out: After a long summer with three kids under 4.5 years old, I will now have every Wednesday morning kid free for 4 hours.
Need I say more?!
How about you? What are things that you are loving?
Happy September and sweet dreams,