Many parents choose to use a toddler bed in the first instance, rather than going straight from a cot to a single bed. They are smaller and much lower to the ground than a single bed; they often have protective sides and come in a variety of colours and themes. There are also some ways you can make the transition easier. In the weeks before you buy the toddler bed, talk to your child about the change and involve them in decisions. Where will it be? What will their bedroom look like? Where will you sit for a bedtime story?
If they have a favourite character, you could focus the theme of the bedroom on that so they feel right at home in a space that’s familiar.
Help to give your child a sense of occasion by, for example, putting special pictures on the wall by their bed and talking to them about their new bed.
You could mention friends of theirs who are no longer using a cot, or use books and magazines to show them pictures of big children in nice beds and small babies in cots.
Creating a bedroom environment that is friendly and familiar can overcome sleep difficulties that often occur at this age, as it will help your little one feel secure and snug.
If your child is being moved out of their cot because you’re expecting another baby, try not to leave it until the last minute to prepare them for the transition.
Take the cot down a few weeks before the baby is due and replace it with the toddler bed (in the same position). This way your older child will be certain of what is happening, they will understand there is no going back and have time to adapt and identify with their own space.
Did you know?
One in six parents admied that moving their toddler from their cot to their first big bed was the time they lost the most sleep.