When to Transition Your Child from a Cot to a Bed
We are often asked when should babies to move a child from a cot to a bed. The simple answer is somewhere between the ages of 18 months and 3 and a half years, but there are many other issues to consider.
- Transition to a Bed: Typically Occurs Between 18 Months and 3.5 Years
- Individual Transitions: Varied Adaptation to Larger Beds Among Children
- Ensuring Home Safety for Your Child’s Well-being Is Essential
- Maintain Uncluttered Sleep Spaces for Young Ones, Avoid Soft Toys
- Choosing a First Bed: Toddler Bed or Floor Mattress Are Viable Options
- Introducing a Pillow: Recommended After Your Child Turns 2 Years Old
- Avoid bunk beds for children younger than 9 years because of the risk of falls
Optimal Timing: Moving Your Child from a Cot to a Bed
Kids usually switch from a cot to a bed between 18 months and 4 years old. There’s no fixed timing for this shift as every child is unique. However, it’s safer to wait until they’re at least 2 years old before even considering the transition from a cot.
It might be time to transition your child to a bed if:
- They’ve outgrown the cot
- Another baby is on the way (consider moving your child at least 6 to 8 weeks before the new baby arrives, or use a bassinet for the baby initially)
- They’re attempting to climb out of the cot
- They’re in the midst of toilet training and need easy and fast access to the bathroom
Choosing the Right Bed for Your Child: Transitioning from a Cot
You can either purchase a cot that converts to a toddler bed or buy a separate toddler bed. Using an adult bed is not normally suitable as they are generally too high off the ground for safety and practicality.
A toddler bed presents a secure and budget-friendly choice. Being closer to the ground, it minimizes the risk of injury if your child tumbles out.
For an adult bed, ensure no gaps exist between the bed and the wall to prevent your child from getting stuck. Employ a portable bed rail to prevent falls, ensuring its proper installation and a snug fit against the mattress. Placing soft materials on the floor beneath the bed can offer added safety.
Keep sleep areas clear of clutter, especially soft toys, for young children. It’s advisable to wait until your child is at least 2 years old before introducing a pillow for sleep
Nursery Safety: Ensuring a Safe Transition from Cot to Bed
When your child is in a bed, they might move around the bedroom at night. Here are safety tips
- Secure windows with safety locks to prevent climbing hazards.
- Ensure curtains and blinds cords are inaccessible to children.
- Anchor heavy furniture to walls using brackets for added safety.
- Keep medicines, poisons, small items like coins, buttons, and batteries out of reach to avoid ingestion risks.
- Store electrical appliances safely and use protective plugs in electrical outlets.
- Install secure gates or lock doors to restrict unsupervised access to stairs.
- Store away climbable items like chairs and ladders to prevent accidents.
Smooth Transition Tips: Helping Your Child Move from a Cot to a Bed
Each child’s transition to a big bed varies. While some adapt effortlessly, others find it challenging. Typically, the shift is tougher for the first child than for subsequent ones. Here are practical tips to assist your child during this adjustment.
- Position the bed in the room similarly to the cot’s placement.
- Offer your child the familiar cot blanket for comfort.
- Engage your child in selecting the new bed or sheets and planning the transition.
- Maintain the consistent bedtime routine, incorporating quiet time before sleep.
- Encourage your child to climb into bed and cover themselves independently.
- Express pride in your child’s transition to the new bed.
At times, children may repeatedly get out of bed after being tucked in at night. Kindly guide them back to bed and exit the room. This may need to be done several times until your child becomes settled.
When choosing the right toddler bed for your specific needs, the best way is to find true experts and ask for help.
The importance of getting the right advice from true experts, not just a sales assistant working in a large multi-store who may not even be working there next month. Nor is asking a manufacturer of toddler beds – they will just tell you what they want to sell.
The key is talking to a true independent baby store with experts that have all options for you. Ones that ask lots of questions and give you advice that is specifically for you.
We have a full team of highly trained staff on helping you decide on the best cot for you. Do not hesitate to seek advice from us. We are here to help.
About the Author
Frank is a founding owner of Bubs n Grubs. He is also the sole author of the Bubs n Grubs Baby Blog. He has been personally evaluating baby products & testing them before offering them to our customers since 2009. In addition, he is consistently giving manufacturer’s feedback & product development advice, reviewing & getting customer feedback. He has been doing this since the business started in 2009. He is proud to be one of the rare baby store owners who regularly engages with customers in store. Frank values the constant feedback and regularly seeks it out. He has been featured on the Morning Show & the Today Show on Channel 7 and Channel 9 and is a recognised expert in baby products as a result.