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In my typical worrying about everything fashion, lately I’ve been worried about the sleeping situation in our home before baby number three joins us. Maddie Grace started sleeping in a toddler bed before Tripp was born, so around 19-20 months is when she switched from the crib to the bed, and now that Tripp is nearly 22 months and another baby is on the way I knew it was time to get him set up in the toddler bed. I really would prefer not to buy a new crib and we had a toddler bed just sitting around so we got it set up and ready to go for him!
It’s funny to compare my kids at the same age. At 21 months there was no questioning that Maddie Grace was ready to sleep in a toddler bed. She hardly slept in the crib anyways and always ended up in our bed. Tripp on the other hand has always slept great in the crib. He doesn’t try to climb out and takes both an afternoon nap and sleeps at night in there. In fact the crib is the only place he will sleep except the rare occasion he falls asleep in his car seat. Because of this I thought switching Tripp was going to be difficult and kept putting it off. But the transition went surprisingly well and Tripp is now doing great with sleeping in his ‘big boy’ bed. Here are some tips that helped us out:
(1) Keep the setting familiar. I simply placed the bed where the crib was. I kept the same sheets on the bed and tried to make it as much like the crib as possible. That way he gets the idea that it’s still his sleeping place, it’s just changed a little bit. If your toddler has any stuffed animals or blankets they sleep with make sure you keep them in the new toddler bed as well! For us this involves keeping Tripp in the Halo SleepSack he wears to sleep in every night.
(2) Routine. Make sure you do the transition during a time where you can keep the same bedtime routine every night. In other words pick a time block of a couple of weeks where you aren’t traveling, having visitors, having a baby, etc. so you have time to really have the same bedtime routine every night that culminates in your child sleeping in the toddler bed.
(3) Start with naps. Overnight is a long period of time for a toddler. It’s best if you can start by getting your toddler to take naps in their new bed and work up to sleeping the night in it.
(4) Use sleep tactics. Basically anything to facilitate sleep for your child. For us with Tripp it’s the Halo Snoozypod. We actually began using this with him when he was still in his crib to help with the transition over to the bed, as it fits on most cribs, toddler, and twin beds. The Snoozypod is an all-in-one vibrating soother. It makes the bed vibrate which helps soothe your little one to sleep, plays white noise, and even has a nightlight that projects stars and moons on the ceiling which Tripp loves. You can control it from your phone so if your child wakes up you can turn it on to calm them down without going in the room! You can see the Snoozypod in action in this video:
(5) Go easy on them. Where sleeping in a toddler bed might seem easy to adults, it’s quite a daunting task to a little one. Lay down with them if you have to. Give them extra TLC. And just be easy about it. It might take some time but eventually your toddler will get the hang of it!
Have you successfully switched your baby from a crib to a toddler bed and have any other tips? Or have more questions about the process? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below!