I remember when we decided to have our daughter transition to a toddler bed.
We didn’t give her a lot of warning. I wish that we would have known that we could have waited. That we could have prepared her a little more. That there was no exact timeline for transitioning to a toddler bed. But, from that experience we’ve learned a lot about what you need to have ready before you even start transitioning to a toddler bed…
1.) Mattress on the floor, toddler bed, or big bed with a railing?
Before you start transitioning to a toddler bed, it’s important to know the options. Both of my kids on and off co-slept with me and then slowly transitioned to a crib before moving to their own bed. For both of them, we turned their crib into a toddler bed with small, homemade wooden railings. It worked great for us, but there are many other options out there like having a mattress on the floor (to prevent falls and help kids get in/out of bed on their own) or a big bed with a railing (here’s a similar railing to what we use <—affiliate link).
Either way, it’s best to know what your child (and you) will be comfortable with. For us, our kids loved their cribs, so turning them into another type of bed was the best choice.
2.) Video Monitors.
There is nothing more important to me than safety when moving kids to a toddler bed. Our first video monitor broke (after years and years of use) right as we transitioned our son to a toddler bed. I thought, “oh, he’ll be fine, no need to replace those monitors.” Then, I walked in on my son while he was supposed to be “napping” and he was standing on his dresser looking out of his window. Even though he told me, “See those cars, Mommy?” as he pointed out of the window and it was very cute, I nearly passed out seeing him up that high without me knowing! I could not risk him being in that situation again.
That’s when we got our Levana video monitors and set them up in the room immediately. Not only is my son having an easier time staying in his bed (because I can see him as he’s trying to get out of his bed and walk back in to tuck him into his blankets again), I have piece of mind at night because I know that at a glance, I can see how he’s doing.
Here’s why we love Levana video monitors:
- It’s completely wireless, so you cannot only move the monitors anywhere in the room, but there’s no cords for you little one to play with or get caught up in.
- You can save photos and videos to the included micro SD card, then upload them to your computer (who doesn’t love a sleeping baby photo?!).
- Invisible night vision LEDs so you just have to touch any button to illuminate the screen and see your little one!
(Psst…buy these monitors at an AMAZING price just through Happily Ever Mom (yay))
I think most of us can agree that big changes in little one’s lives can be really unpredictable. My daughter transitioned easily to a toddler bed, but my son figured out quickly that he could get out of his bed whenever he wanted!
Take a deep breath, take a few breaks, and really assess whether or not it’s the best time to make the change ~ are they sick? Are they teething? Are the holidays coming up? Are you overly stressed? If that’s the case, it is better for everyone if you just wait until things calm down a little!
4.) Experiment with Bedding.
I’ve read a lot of articles about transitioning to a toddler bed and most of them suggest that you should go out and buy special bedding. While I’m not going to go against that (necessarily), I think that’s important to figure out what type of bedding your toddler needs before getting them something special. Let me explain…
My daughter loved fuzzy, soft blankets, but ultimately tossed them out of the bed every night. If I would have bought brand new bedding for her, it would have gone to waste because we relied on warm pajamas instead. In another example, my son HATED blankets as a baby and when we first moved him to a toddler bed, but he slowly realized that he loved multiple, weighted blankets at night.
My advice? Wait until you’ve transitioned to the bed to get the bedding. Unless your child is older and wants to pick out their own bedding to get excited about the process!
If there’s one thing that’s helped both of my kids transition to a toddler bed, it’s talking about the basics of sleep before we moved them into their bed.
You can read more from the book, The No-Cry Sleep Solution (affiliate link), but here are some topics that have worked for us:
- We talked about when the sun goes down, it’s time for our bodies to rest and go to sleep. And, we stay in our beds until the sun comes up.
- We talked about how we all get the best sleep in our own beds. And, that Mommy and Daddy need to sleep well too so that we can wake up ready to play and have fun together. (this comes from a family who co-sleeps, but as our kids grow, we want them in their own beds…that’s what works for us!).
- We talked about safety and how walking around when it’s dark in the house isn’t safe. You could run into something or trip! (This is another reason that we have a video monitor, so that we can see and hear them from our room).
6.) Expect it to be ROUGH <— Bonus tip that will keep you sane.
If there is one thing that I’ve learned from transitioning two very different kids into a toddler bed is that you shouldn’t go in with high expectations. In fact, expect it to be rough. If it’s easy like it was for my daughter, then congrats! But, if you struggle with the transition like I did with my son, just remember that you’re not alone and there’s no exact science to transitioning kids to their own bed.
Keep being consistent and, above all else, remember #3. It will get you farther than any other tip that anyone can offer!
Want a monitor like the one we have? You can win your own set!
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Levana. The opinions and text are all mine.