Are you beginning to wonder if your baby is too old for their crib? Do they seem tall? Did you adjust the crib to the maximum size? We explore when the best time to change from crib to bed is, the impact on your child, the right types of beds, and a few ways to prevent accidents.
When should you change?
In general, children go from crib to bed between 18 and 30-months-old but some 14-month-old little climbers could decide to get out of their crib and pay you a little visit in the living room.
When your baby is very little, it is safer to avoid teddy bears and cushions in the crib, first because they could suffocate and second because they could use it to climb! The more dexterity and mobility your baby gains, the truer this gets. However, if the crib is already set at the highest point and if your baby is still high enough to try to get out of it without any help, it is time to buy a bed.
Other reasons may motivate your choice. For example, a second child is on the way or you are not tall enough to reach the bottom of the crib or your child is potty training and should be able to get up and out on their own when they need to.
The impact of such change
A big bed is an important step for your child who will immediately feel less like a baby and a bit more like a child. It is another step towards autonomy! The most confident children will perceive this as good news while others may worry.
Whether your child is excited or not, it is good to reassure them a little as they could quickly change their mind when night comes. To do so, a few basic measures are needed.
- Place the bed where the crib used to be. Your child will not wake up disoriented and is less likely to fall.
- Introduce the bed as a surprise. Sit on it together, talk about it a little and let them express himself. Be proud of your child!
- Continue the usual routine: bath, story, or anything you usually do.
- Offer to leave the door open and consider putting a decal stripe at mid-wall if your child suddenly finds their room too big.
What kind of bed should you choose?
When the time comes to choose a bed, three options are available: extendable bed, transitional bed or regular bed.
If, when you bought your crib, you chose an extendable bed, you can just turn it into a transitional bed now. Your little one won’t feel too disturbed and you will truly enjoy your purchase for the second time.
Some transition beds are also extendable and allow you to use the mattress of your crib at first and to extend it to use a standard mattress afterwards. Ikea, for example, offers many models.
A transition bed is a small bed, very low, that fits the size of the crib’s mattress. This bed offers a smoother transition to your child who will not have to get used to a different mattress and new smells. It also allows you to spend a little less because you only buy the base. Even if you will eventually buy a regular bed, this bed gives your child’s room a childish look and allows you to save a bit of space.
If you want, if your child took their time or if you already own it, you can use a regular bed. It is much longer, and it is usually higher too. If you can, take the bed’s legs off or cover the floor to minimize eventual falls.
To help you decorate and choose the perfect bed to fit your room, you can read articles by Jessica Prescott, our Interior design specialist. She wrote, among other articles, “Painting the baby’s room”.
New security measures
Be careful! There are removable bed rails to prevent children from falling out of bed. It can be very pretty and may reassure you but keep in mind that your baby’s head can get stuck in it and it is not recommended for children under 2 years old.
Place a soft carpet, a thin mattress or firm cushions by the bed to protect your child while avoiding choking hazards.
Also, make sure that dangerous items are stored away in the rest of the house and that the stairs are blocked so that a dreaming, sleep-walking baby cannot fall down the steps in the middle of the night.