Transitioning your child from their crib to a bed can be a challenge. It may seem like just yesterday that you finally got your baby to sleep through the night and now you face sleepless nights once again as your child (naturally) tests the limits of this newfound freedom.
Many kids will get up several times a night because instead of rolling over and falling back asleep, they prefer to show up at your bedside. One of the reasons they do this is because their new sleeping situation can seem scary. After all, being by themselves in larger bed with no sides can make them feel insecure at first. Thankfully, with time and a whole lot of patience, things will get better.
If you are contemplating the big switch, here are some tips to make it go as smoothly as possible:
- Reinforce your child’s bedtime routine. If your child is used to a snack, bath and a story before bed, follow this same pattern when they move to a big bed. This will help your child adjust. Speaking of adjustments, don’t make the move out of the crib when there are other big events taking place. This includes potty training or a new baby. Expecting? Make the transition at least three or four months before your due date so your child doesn’t feel like they are being pushed out of their crib.
- Read about it. There are plenty of good books you can read to your child that talk about how exciting it is to graduate to a “big bed.”
- Get your child involved. If possible, let your child pick out the new bed. If you already have one, at least let them pick out some bedding to make it feel like their own. You can make the bed extra cozy with the blanket from their crib and stuffed animals.
- Allow plenty of extra time at bedtime. You may want to start your child’s bedtime routine earlier than usual the first few nights to allow for some inevitable ups-and-downs.
- Let your child know they are doing a great job. For every small step toward adjusting to their new sleeping arrangement, let your child know how proud you are of them. Maybe they only got up twice during the night instead of every hour – that’s progress – and it needs to be acknowledged!
You may think your child will never stay in their bed all night. But it will happen. It just takes a period of adjustment for you and your child.
Premier Academy offers affordable childcare in the Omaha/Elkhorn area. To learn more, visit us at premieracademyinc.com.