Parents dread the transition from crib to toddler bed. It can be scary moving your little one from the safe confines of her crib to the insane freedom of a bed she can get out of (gasp!) all by her self. A whole bunch of irrational fears may creep into your mind-your toddler getting out of bed in the middle of the night and attempting to use the stove or taking the dog out for a midnight stroll being just a few of those really ridiculous worries…. Your child may be a little nervous about the transition as well, and she’ll pick up on your anxiety. The best way to make her excited for the change is to show that you are excited. Here are a few tips to make sure she loves her new toddler bed.
#1 Go shopping together
One way to make sure your child loves their new bed is to let them decorate it. Ask for their opinion when you are choosing the bed (after you narrow it down to a few selections that you feel are safe and of good quality), and take them shopping to pick out sheets, blankets, pillows, and new stuffed animals. You can even extend the idea to a whole room makeover-allow your child to choose other new furnishings and decorations for their room that tie in with the new bed. New curtains, posters, and accents can be very exciting. Make it a big day out!
#2 Let your child make their bed
After you’ve done all your fantastic shopping and you’ve got that new bed put together, let your child put on their new sheets and blankets. They’ll need some assistance from you, of course, but they’ll really start to feel like a big kid if they are helping with their own bed. This will boost that confidence they need to make it through the night in the new bed. They’ll already feel like a big kid, so they’ll know they can do it.
#3 Read books about new beds
There are children’s books written about nearly every obstacle and change in life, and moving to a new bed is no exception. Choose some books from your local library about getting a new bed. Consider your child’s personality, and choose stories that you think will really get through to them. If your child has a love of adventure, look for a story about the awesome voyages a child takes when he falls asleep in his new bed. If your child is more apprehensive, find a story that exaggerates the funny things that can happen in a new bed (laughter truly is the best medicine). Here’s a link for about Elmo moving to a big bed. And, another good one called Your Own Big Bed. But, better yet, write your very own story customized exactly to your child’s personality.
#4 Show it off
After the new bed is set up and your child has added all of their own special touches-show it off!!! Invite every friend and family member you have to see the new bed and make a HUGE deal out of it. Excitement is contagious, and if your toddler sees how excited (and proud) everyone else is, they can’t help but feel it too.
#5 Reward and praise
When your child finally hits that pillow and has a great night, reward them in the morning. Let them know how proud you are that they are doing so well in their new bed, and pile on the praise. Use stickers, books, special breakfast treats-whatever they love.
Moving to a “big kid bed” is a huge step in your child’s life, and it can be nerve-wracking for even the calmest of parents. Instead of spreading your anxiety, embrace the moment and make it fun. This transition is only going to happen once for a child, and it can be a really great memory. Keep them involved in these new changes by allowing them to make choices regarding the new bed and they will surely be excited.
#6 (Bonus) Lay With Them
If you have the Zoom Toddler bed, shown above in this post, then you can lay in the bed with your little one. This was one of the main design points considered in making this bed. Most of the other toddler beds out there can only handle 50 lbs. But, the Zoom can handle an adult’s weight with no trouble. You can lay in the bed and snuggle your little one to help him or her adjust to their new bed and help them fall to sleep on that first night.