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Is my child ready to sleep in a bed?

Article by:Dennine Leschinsky M.Ed. (Early Intervention Teacher and Mother of 3)

Many parents ask this question during my sessions in Early Intervention.  Children usually begin the transition to a bed between the ages of 1 and 1/2 and 3 years old.  Most children begin sleeping in a bed around 3 years old.  You will get a sense when you child is ready.  My own children would actually try to get out of the crib and that is when we made the switch.  I felt as a parent, that I wanted them in a crib for as long as possible because they were “safe” and contained.  The bed opens up the possibility of roaming during the night, which always made me a bit nervous. Follow you instincts as a parent and when your child is ready, here are some tips you may want to try:

1.  When making the transition you may want to get your child involved with picking out bedding and even helping to make the bed with you so they feel part of the decision to start in a “big kid” bed.

2.  Continue with you regular bedtime routine as you did with the crib.  This may involve reading a book or singing a song before bed.  This will make your child feel safe and comfortable.

3.  You may want to introduce the bed during nap-time.  Give immediate praise for staying in the bed during naps and at night.

4.  For safety, use bed rails and possibly put up a gate at your child’s door and at the top of the steps. Continue to use a baby monitor.

Please comment below and tell us your experiences.  What have you done that has worked or hasn’t worked at all?

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