Moving from a cot to a bed means freedom for your toddler. But how do you manage the change smoothly?
Many parents naturally want to put off moving their ‘baby’ from a cot to a bed. But if you’ve noticed your bub testing the climbability factor of their cot by putting a leg on the top rail, you can’t delay any longer. You have a couple of choices. Either you can go straight to a single bed, or you can put a single mattress onto the floor.
Perhaps you’ve seen your toddler rolling around their cot and wonder how they’ll stay on a bed. If you’re worried about them falling, there are lots of products available to help. One simple and effective solution is to lift the mattress up and slide in a pillow, which raises the mattress edge on an upward curve. This works just as well as all the gadgets!
Once you’ve chosen the bed, the biggest problem is often getting your child to stay there! Prepare them for the transition by communicating what you’d like to happen. For example, if they wake early in the morning, they should read a book until a parent tells them it’s time to start the day. Have a definite start time, such as 7am, and be consistent with this. At night, if they reappear after bedtime, take them straight back to bed. Be careful not to reward reappearing acts – so no talking, eye contact, cuddles or kisses. Take them to their bed and say “Stay in your bed. I’ll see you in the morning...”. If they come out again, repeat this and half-close the door.
Another option for repeat offenders is to ignore them altogether when they reappear, no matter what they ask. If you don’t, they’ll soon learn a range of excuses that work exclusively for you. They might even have one list for Mum and another for Dad. Things like, “I need another cuddle. I’m thirsty. I have to go to the toilet...”. These are designed to tug at your heartstrings so they have one more chance to delay bedtime. What list does your child have? I know it’s hard to ignore them when they’re asking for just one more kiss, but they need to get the message there’s no audience so they may as well go back to bed!