Easing your child through the transition from sleeping in a crib to a new bed doesn't need to be a nightmare. Child sleep consultant Amy Lage has made a career out of helping families best approach this crucial moment in a toddler's life. If your child cannot stay in a crib safely any longer (for example, your little monkey is making a great escape every night to crawl into bed with you) or is asking for a toddler bed, it might be time for Lage's advice.
Why is the transition from crib to bed so important?
We want to make sure that the entire family is getting as much sleep as possible, and that your children are well-rested. To avoid those middle-of-the-night wake-ups, it's important to set the tone and do it right the first time. It keeps everybody on track.
Your suggestion of letting a child pick out new sheets or a bed frame is an interesting idea. Do kids find this exciting?
Yes! Children are always a little nervous about the change. This makes them feel in control of the situation, which is so important for toddlers. They are so often grasping for control in their lives.
What sparked your interest in this topic? Did you have trouble transitioning your children?
I have a 2-year-old and a 2-month-old. The older one is actually still in her crib, and will stay until she asks to switch. In the sleep community, we really think it's important to keep children in their crib until they are really ready. I'm a big believer in waiting until 3 if you can.
Why is 3 the magic number?
At 3, you can reason with them. Before that, most kids really can't comprehend guidelines or why it is important to follow directions. Until they can understand and recognize boundaries, it is so much easier to keep them in the crib where they can have the best sleep.
If your child cannot stay in their crib safely or you feel that they are ready for the big move, here are nine tips on what you do — by Amy Lage, Child Sleep Expert and Family Sleep Institute Graduate