A few weeks ago I wrote about how our two babies were about to move beds – and shared some cute photos of them in their current sleeping quarters. Well, just over two weeks ago, we finally sorted the move. Little Miss is now sleeping in her new ‘big girl’s’ bed – quite literally as I’m writing this during afternoon nap time – and Little Mister has moved out of the crib and into the cot, freshly vacated by his sister. It’s a bad pun I know, but the move really has gone like a dream! We, for now at least, have two very happy little sleepers.
I can’t claim to be any kind of expert on making the transition from cot to bed but later on I’ll share a few observations of things that I think helped with the move.
While I always thought Little Miss would love her new bed, there had been a part of me that felt apprehensive. What if she really hated it? And would she accept seeing her baby brother now occupying the cot that had been hers for more than two years? That was a big concern because we really had to move him into it as soon as she was out. All those parenting books say this is a big no, no but he’s a big baby and his crib was becoming increasingly cramped. I did fear we could have an epic parenting fail on our hands!
But, thankfully, my fears were unfounded. Little Miss absolutely loves her new bed and has been sleeping and napping better than ever in it. Just prior to the move we’d had a run of fretful bed times but now she can’t wait to climb in and snuggle down.
She especially loves her new pillow and proper cosy duvet, something she had’t had in the cot. We got her a princess print set from Next in her favourite colour pink and she keeps telling us “my bed is so pretty!”.
We sorted her new-look room out on one of her nursery days and made it look as lovely as possible, so she returned home that day to see it all nice and ready for her. She was so excited and jumped into bed straight away for a test run.
We’ve got a stairgate on her bedroom door but so far (fingers crossed!) she’s been great at staying put. She loves snuggling down at night and will only leave the comfort of her covers once it’s morning and time to get up.
Little Mister has also been fine moving from crib to cot. He’s got a lot more room to move around now and as it’s got cooler we’ve got out the baby sleeping bags which also help him sleep more soundly. *Whispers* at the moment he’s sleeping through from about 9pm until 5 or 6am in the morning. Not bad for a three-month-old. Bit scared he might suddenly change his mind about this nice convenient arrangement!
My tips for moving a toddler from cot to bed…
- Get your toddler excited about the change. We talked a lot about how nice it would be to have a new bed in the run up to the move. I think the most important thing was that by the time it finally happened our daughter felt ready and had expressed how keen she was to have a ‘big girl’s bed’.
- Help you little one know what to expect. Little Miss has two slightly older cousins who were already in toddler beds so we were able to show her their beds. As she looks up to her cousins this also helped fuel her enthusiasm too.
- There’s quite a lot to buy – more than you might first think – so it does take a bit of planning ahead for a smooth transition. Certain items will need to be ordered and may take a few weeks to arrive as well – we had the bed itself weeks before the mattress was delivered. We then needed to buy a toddler bed sized duvet, pillow, a couple of duvet cover and pillow case sets, fitted sheets and a couple of mattress protectors.
- Cover appeal is key! We got two sets from Next which were reasonably priced – the one a bargain at £12 and the other is reversible so we effectively have three designs for the price of two. So far they’ve washed well and Little Miss loves the pretty designs.
- Don’t make it too different. We kept the bed in the same position in the room as the cot had been and moved all the toys she usually had into the new bed so it was still familiar.
- Think carefully about whether or not you need to have a rail. We had bought a rail to go on the side of the new bed but decided against using it at the last minute. Once it was installed it kind of ruined the effect of having a new ‘big girl’ bed – the one we got had wooden bars like her cot – and we strongly suspected our daughter would hate this. So far she hasn’t fallen out of bed and even if she did the bed is not very high up.
- And as with most toddler behaviour that you want to encourage, heap on the praise!