Moving from cot to bed can feel like a big deal for both toddlers and their parents. For the child it’s a big change and for adults, there is of course the concern that your youngster could injure themselves falling out of bed.

The key is to wait until your child is ready. Some make the transition as young as 18 months while others don’t start sleeping in a toddler bed until they’re three. You know your child better than anyone else so when to move from cot to bed is your decision to make.

There are several factors which may help you to consider when to move from cot to bed:

• If your toddler can climb out of their cot, it’s a good idea to try to get them to move to a bed because they could injure themselves

• They’re too tall to sleep comfortably in the cot

• You have another baby on the way and will need the cot for the new arrival

• You feel your child is ready for the change

If you think your child is ready to move from cot to bed, the guide below will help you to make the transition as smoothly as possible. You can also watch this video on the BabyCentre website:


Get them used to the idea first

Every child will respond to the idea of changing beds differently. While some will adjust easily and even be excited about the prospect, others might not be so keen. When you’ve decided you’re going to make the change, start talking about it a few weeks in advance so they have time to get used to the idea.

If you don’t already have the bed, it’s a good idea to take them shopping with you so they can help choose. This will help to make them feel it’s a special experience rather than something they need to be scared of. If they can’t choose their bed, let them pick out some bedding and their favourite cuddly toys to take with them to make the experience enjoyable for them.


Try to keep the layout of their room the same

When moving from cot to bed, you may think this is the perfect opportunity to give your child’s room a bit of a makeover. Quite the contrary, try to keep everything as similar as you can. If possible, put the bed in the same place as the cot and if they want to continue sleeping with their old cot blanket, let them.


Toddler-proof the room

Knowing that your young child will be able to get up by themselves is a scary thought for any parent. If you haven’t already, make sure their bedroom is toddler-proof so they can’t get hold of anything which might cause them harm. It’s also a good idea to keep windows locked at all times and hide the key somewhere safe.

No matter how prepared you think your child is, it’s still a good idea to install a guard rail to stop them falling out the bed.


If things aren’t working out…

If the transition is going anything but smoothly even weeks after you introduced the bed, your child simply may not be ready for the change. If possible, bring the cot back and try again another time. If this isn’t an option, you’ll have to give them a bit of time and patience. Try to stay calm and stick to your normal routine because if you’re stressed and anxious, your child will be as well. As tempting as it may be to let them sleep in your room with you instead, try to avoid doing this because it will create a whole set of new problems.

If your child attends Tigers Day Nurseries and you would like to know more about when to move from cot to bed, please don’t hesitate to get in touch and we’ll be more than happy to help.