One of the most commonly asked questions I receive from parents is: “When and how do I transition to a bed?” The answers may surprise you.
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How to Transition to a Bed
1. Wait until your child is ready for a bed. I typically recommend that you child be as close to age 3 as possible. If you have a new baby on the way keep in mind that you might be using a bassinet for the first few months of your baby’s life. If your older child is still quite young, consider renting or borrowing another crib until they are reading for the transition.
2. Let your child to take part in the changes being made to their bedroom. Invite your child to participate in selecting new linens and décor for their room; however, you might not want to involve them in selecting their new bed. You might end up in a battle in the store over a style or price point that you aren’t prepared to bring home.
3. Celebrate your child’s milestone. Talk about the transition in advance, set a date and celebrate it. You could go as far as to have a big kid bed party and serve a favourite snack or meal. You could also give a gift to celebrate. A new story book would be appropriate.
4. Establish boundaries with sleep. You may need to check in on them from time to time, or return them to their bedroom due to their newfound freedom, but it’s important to not introduce new props such as lying down with them to help them fall asleep if it’s not currently part of their sleep strategy. Consider introducing a reward chart to further encourage your child to stay in their bed.
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