At what age should my child transition from cot to bed?
My three year old is still sleeping in her cot and is very comfortable there and sleeps very well. I am concerned that if she gets put in a big bed her great sleep habits my change and she may start walking out of her bed into ours.
Loving parents, Idalia
Moving from a cot to a bed is one of those big moments in a parents life. When it comes to sleep of course you are reluctant to make any changes if it is going well. As once your child is in a bed, a bed comes along with freedom, even if they don’t know it, we certainly do. Freedom means in and out of the bed, in and out of the room and I am sure most of us have seen Super Nanny episodes where she is taking kids back and forth to the bed, doing the whole battle scenario for about two hours.
Well it doesn’t have to be that way. Firstly usually we move children out of the cot and into a bed when either a baby will be making their arrival and you need the cot! Or they are climbing out of the cot and it is dangerous. Once they can wriggle their leg up on the top bar it won’t be long before they will be up and over. So for safety reasons we move them.
If your daughter is still in the cot at three years and you have by passed those moments all is fine. When to move her, wait until she is uncomfortable. You will know when that is by the way that she starts to hit the sides of the cot and you find her really jammed up in the cot and she will also start to wake during the night hitting the sides. Then you need to move her. You probably are not too far off that now.
As for the freedom, talk to her about what you expect when the move comes. Set some rules about about what to do when she wakes during the night. Also set some boundaries up for the night time routine and what happens when you put her to bed. I teach the 1 ,2, 3 rule for staying in bed. You can read more about teaching your child healthy sleep habits here.