Wednesday, December 04, 2013

Transitioning your toddler to a bed

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After Nathan turned two at the beginning of the year, we started talking about transitioning him out of his cot to a toddler bed. And as we were expecting baby #2 to arrive later in the year, we also had to start thinking about getting the baby’s nursery and bedding ready as well.

I was a little hesitant about launching into the whole process at first. All sorts of questions jumped into my mind: Was Nathan too young? What if he felt he was being sidelined to make room for baby? Would his solid night time sleep pattern be disrupted by the change?

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I read through tons of articles and forums for all the best tips and advice, I planned the sequence of how we would make the change, I talked up the whole thing excitedly to Nathan whenever I could and finally we took the plunge.

And you know what? The whole experience turned out surprisingly smooth and happy for everyone.

I don’t claim to be an expert on toddler bed transitions. But I can share how we did it and what worked for us. Is you’re going through a similar stage with your toddler, perhaps you might find a few of these points helpful.

Our five steps for transitioning our toddler to a bed

Step 1: Talk it up
As we were gearing up for the move, we talked about the big bed move with Nathan whenever we could. If we were walking through the beds section at the shops, we would point it out to him and tell him that next time he could sleep in a big bed like that. If I was reading a book to him which had a picture of a bed, I would talk about how fun it was to sleep in a big bed. And so the big bed move became a big thing he was really excited about and looked forward to.

Step 2: Let him ‘pick’ the bed
Next, when went to shop for his bed, we let Nathan check out the various beds on display and ‘choose’ a bed for himself. Of course we kind of steered his selections a little. But the main thing was to let him be involved in the whole process. We let him test out the different beds and lie down on each of them. He had soooo much fun pretending to go to sleep in each bed.

Step 3: Get him involved in the set up
Once we arrived home, we unpacked the box together and let him ‘help’ daddy assemble the bed. Hubby gave him a spare Allen key for him to help ‘tighten’ the screws. He took the job very seriously as you can see.

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He also helped me to put on the bedding sheets, pillowcases and blankets. And after that he was so excited he could hardly wait to jump in for his first ‘sleep’.

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Step 4: Don’t forget his favourite loveys
Also, very importantly, I remembered to tuck his favourite cuddly friends in bed with him. I also held off washing his blanket and pillowcase that first night so he would have some familiar smell with him when he slept.

Step 5: Allow some space before setting up the nursery
One other key thing we did NOT do was to assemble his cot straightaway in the new baby’s nursery. We didn’t want him associating ‘losing’ his cot to the baby. So we allowed a decent interval before reassembling the cot. We made the nursery set up a separate chapter on it’s own without any association with his big bed move.

If you happen to be looking around for beds for your children, you can check out bunkers.com.au for their selection of bunk beds and clever space-saving bedroom furniture.

 

{All the contents of this post have been written personally by me
and includes a sponsored link for Bunkers bunk bed specialist}

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