Signs your child is ready for a toddler bed

toddler beds
Loading... 71 view(s)
Signs your child is ready for a toddler bed

toddler bedsSleep is incredibly important for the development and health of young children. A lack of sleep has been associated with a number of issues for children, including cardiometabolic risk factors, ADHD, low cognitive performance, poor emotional regulation, academic achievement, and quality of life.

Sleep is the key for children to healthily develop mentally and physically. This is why they require much more sleep than adults. It is recommended that children from the age of one to three years old sleep around 12 to 14 hours per day.

With that being said, a child's bed becomes incredibly important. They need a bed that is the right size, with a comfortable mattress to ensure that they get a good night's rest.

For new parents, it can be hard to know when their child should move up from a cot to a toddler bed. It's an exciting step, but also one with lots of questions.

That's why we'll look at some of these questions in this article, from what age a child should make the jump from a cot or crib to a toddler bed to what safety considerations might come up.

At what age is my child ready for a toddler bed?

The recommended range for moving a child from a cot to a toddler bed is anywhere from 18 months to three and a half years. It all depends on how fast your child grows. The rate of development differs vastly from child to child. They may be ready for a toddler bed earlier, or later than you expect, or at a different age than your friend's or family's children.

Many parents worry that their child is not developing as quickly as other children. However, it is important not to think like this. If your child isn't ready to leave their cot yet, it doesn't mean something is wrong with your child or parenting. It simply reflects the vastly different development rates amongst young children. It is far better to wait and ensure they are ready for a big kid bed rather than push them into a bed they're not ready for.

With that being said, most parents switch to toddler beds around the child's second birthday. Unless there are signs they need a big kid bed before they reach their second birthday.

When is my child too big for their cot?

Toddler beds should be introduced when a child is able to climb out of their cot. Also, if they are tall enough to start climbing out of the cot, that is the cue to start moving them to a toddler bed.

Some experts suggest that you should make the transition if the child is 35 inches (85cm) tall or above. If the height of the side rail is approximately on or lower than their nipple level, it is time for a new bed.

The emphasis on switching to a new bed when they are big enough is because falls are a very common cot injury, occurring when children are big enough to try and climb out of the cot but slip and fall.

Should I switch to a toddler's bed when potty training?

Parents usually begin potty training children around the age of two years old. As two is also the recommended age to switch to a new bed, this is perhaps the best time to do both. When you are toilet training your child, you do not want to place a barrier between them and the toilet.

When nature calls, it is much easier for them to get up from their toddler bed and go to the toilet. It also helps eliminates the need for them to climb out of the cot if they need the toilet. Conversely, if they are in a cot and try and climb out to use the bathroom, they will be at risk of injury.

Should I switch my child to a toddler bed when a new baby is on the way?
One of the reasons parents switch their child to a toddler bed is because there is a new baby on the way. For example, you may need to free up the cot for when the baby arrives. Buying another cot for the younger sibling may not be financially viable. Or, this may present you with the perfect opportunity to move them to a toddler bed.

It is recommended that you make the transition before the baby arrives. This is so your child does not feel like they are being replaced by the new baby. Try to enthuse them about moving to a big bed, telling them it's part of becoming a big boy or big girl.

My child is asking for a toddler bed; should I get them one?

As your child develops and learns speech, they will begin to make their feelings known. They may begin to express that they want a big bed like mummy and daddy. Perhaps this is when it is time to accept their growing independence by giving them their own bed.

Similarly, they may also make their disdain for their cot known. They may struggle against you when you try to put them in it or cry to get out of it. This may be a sign they are ready for a toddler bed. It also makes the transition easier if your child already wants a toddler bed, rather than introducing a bigger bed without warning.

How can I safely make the transition to a toddler bed?

When you believe your child is ready for a toddler bed, it is time to make the transition. However, there are a few factors to consider to ensure the move is made safely and to make sure the child is ready.

Firstly you should make the baby's room safe overall to make sure they don't hurt themselves if they get out of bed. Furthermore, you should childproof your house in general as much as possible. For example, you should secure furniture, set up safety gates, remove any trip hazards, lock windows, and ensure no curtain cords are hanging down.

You should also do a boundaries test to see if they understand imaginary boundaries. If they manage to stay in the bed the entire night without continuously getting up, your child is ready for a toddler bed. However, if they do not understand the concept of staying in bed and continuously try to get out, you may have to wait a bit longer.

In some cases, it may be better to bring back the cot and start the transition to a toddler bed at a later date.

How do I make the switch to a toddler bed easier?

Making the transition from a cot to a toddler bed is not always smooth. Your child may struggle with the new system. Luckily there are tips to make the process easier for both of you.

You should make their change to a toddler bed feel like an exciting new experience. This will make them happier and more content when they go to bed. You could also allow them to choose their bed or bedding to make them even more excited. This should also help them feel like it is also their choice and that a toddler bed has not been forced upon them. Some businesses even have fun toddler beds that help your child adhere to their bedtime schedule. For example, these beds are themed to look like a princess carriage, a race car, or other themes a little one might enjoy.

You should stick to a nightly bedtime routine and schedule. So, if their bedtime is 8 pm, keep it consistent. If not, your child may become unsettled and believe that because their bedtime has changed, so have other rules.

You should positively reinforce any positive actions they make. For example, if they go to bed without any arguments, you should encourage and congratulate that behaviour, or reward them. You should be patient when implementing the new routine as it is a big change for them. It will likely take them a couple of weeks to adjust the new setup.


Sleep is one of the most beneficial elements of a child's development. On the other hand, a lack of sleep is severely unhealthy and is linked to several health issues. Therefore it's vital that when you're child is ready to move to a toddler bed, you make the transition as smooth and positive as possible.

Most parents aim to move their child to a toddler bed around the age of two. However, there is no set age at which you should make the move. This is because the development rates amongst children often differ significantly. Instead, you should pay attention to signs your child is ready for a toddler bed.

Check for signs that your child is ready to move to a bigger bed, such as climbing out of the cot, or that they are ready to start potty training.

If you have a baby on the way, you may have to transition them to a new bed. This is so there is a free cot for the new baby. Try to make the move before the baby is born so that they do not feel replaced.

Pay attention to direct signs your child wants a bigger bed. They will often tell you in a dramatic fashion that they want a new bed. They may also cry and throw tantrums about having to sleep in a cot. This is a good sign that the time is right to make the change, and for the change to come without resistance.

Safety is important when moving to a toddler bed, as your child can now more easily get around the house. A few simple checks and changes will help ensure that the transition is a safe one.

If things don't go smoothly and your child resists a new bed, there are plenty of things that you can do to help them feel more positive about the change. From allowing them to choose their own bed to sticking to a consistent bedtime routine, these are all steps to help your family adjust to this exciting new stage in your lives.