Knowing when to transition from the cot isn’t always clear. Each child is very different and you have to take into consideration current circumstances, age and abilities of your child. It’s a big step, after all, they’ve slept in a small, cozy bed for all of their short lives. Like many milestones and choices around our children, you won’t find a one-age-fits-all rule for sleeping. It’s a mine field! Some children continue sleeping in their toddler beds through to five years old whilst others were transitioned as early as eighteen months into single beds.
In fact, each of my own children were very different. Tobias was the earliest in age, he transitioned to a toddler bed three months before Hamish was born (Tobias was seventeen months old), I also remember sitting with Tobias whilst he fell asleep when we initially moved him into a toddler bed. Hamish was transitioned later when Seth was five months old and needed the next bed size up (Hamish had just turned two years old). Seth is still in the cot bed with the sides on and he’s currently eighteen months old (I can’t see him moving out of it anytime soon either as he isn’t trying to climb out etc)!
After speaking with other parents, I learnt that approximately eighteen months old is an average age to take the sides off the cot or move into a toddler bed and between three and four years old is when parents moved their child from a cot bed/toddler bed to a full single size. However many of us transition our children for a very different reason than just age, usually circumstances or their developmental growth. For example, a new baby is on the way, redecorating their room or problems with sleeping.
One of the main points about the whole process is to try and make the change over as smooth as possible. Using bed rails or placing the mattress on the floor to start with can help with your child’s anxiety. Another good way to help with the change is to introduce some fun new bedding to help get your little one excited!
Im currently introducing a pillow and duvet to Seth and he’s taken to it like a duck on water, this might be due to seeing his other brothers using them too! Eventually Tobias is going to need a bigger bed too but with potty training in progress with Hamish, I’m only wanting to make one change at a time and I’m not in any major rush until Seth is needing to be moved into a toddler bed.