How and when to transition from a crib to a toddler bed

Child Sleep Expert Kim West, LCSW-C, shares advice for parents on the best method for transitioning your toddler from a crib to a bed and when the best age is to do so
How and When to Transition from Crib to Toddler Bed
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How and when to transition from a crib to a toddler bed

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When and how should you transition your child from a crib to a toddler bed? Super common questions. The ideal age is 2 ½ to 3 years old. Really I like 3. The average 2 ½ year old begins to understand cognitively stay in my bed all night long. They have a little more impulse control than they did before 2 1/2 . But again, it's just the average, and it's the beginning, which is why I like, which is even better, if you can. And of course you would talk to them about it, and ideally put the bed in the same place that the crib was in. Some parents like to keep the crib and the bed up in the same room and then eventually just remove the crib. Some parents like to convert the crib into a toddler bed. And you would have the big day. And of course, I like the whole idea of getting new sheets and how exciting it is. But just be forewarned, that this is a great new freedom for them. They're pretty excited about this, and they may come out of their room, because now they can. So I would stay upstairs or stay around their bedroom and just, I know you're super excited honey, but remember, we've got to stay in our bed. Just be careful. Don't start any bad habits like going and lying down with them. Maybe you could just say, I'm going to stay upstairs in my room. I'm going to go brush my teeth. I'll check on you. Put on my slippers. I'll check on you. Until they're asleep. And then usually within a week or two, they've got it down. And they're really excited and sleeping through the night in their big boy bed or big girl bed.

Child Sleep Expert Kim West, LCSW-C, shares advice for parents on the best method for transitioning your toddler from a crib to a bed and when the best age is to do so

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Kim West, LCSW-C

Psychotherapist & Author, The Sleep Lady's Good Night, Sleep Tight

Kim West is a mother of two and a Licensed Certified Social Worker-Clinical (LCSW-C) who has been a practicing child and family social worker for more than 19 years. Known as The Sleep Lady by her clients, over the past 12 years she has helped thousands of tired parents all over the world learn to listen to their intuition, recognize their child’s important cues and behaviors, and gently create changes that promote and preserve his or her healthy sleep habits. 

West has appeared on the Dr. Phil, Today Show, NBC Nightly News, Good Morning America, TLC’s Bringing Home Baby  and CNN, and has been written about in a number of publications including The Wall Street Journal, Associated Press, Baby Talk,  Parenting, The Baltimore Sun, USA Today, The Telegraph, The Irish Independent and the Washington Post. West hosts the sleep section of The Newborn Channel, played in maternity wards in hospitals across the country. West is the author of The Sleep Lady's Good Night, Sleep Tight: Gentle Proven Solutions to Help Your Child Sleep Well and Wake Up Happy with Joanne Kenen. She is also the author of 52 Sleep Secrets for Babies and The Good Night, Sleep Tight Workbook.

Kim received her master’s degree in Clinical Social Work from Simmons College in Boston, Massachusetts. She lives with her family in Annapolis, Maryland.

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