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8 Tips for Moving from the Crib to a New Big Kid Bed

moving to big kid bedThe day your child graduates from the crib is a proud day for a parent – their baby is growing up! – but a tough day for some children. If you’ve worked hard to make the sleep space a comfortable and familiar spot, you might deal with some anxiety when you insist upon a change.

Here are some tips for moving your child to a big kid’s bed.

1. Assess the situation

There isn’t a book or guide that will tell you if it’s the right time, so you’ll have to decide for yourself if it’s time for your child to move to a big kid bed. Most children make the switch between two to four years old. Don’t switch too early or you’ll cause sleep troubles.

2. Announce the decision

Before you make the switch, talk about it for several days ahead of time. Give your child some time to anticipate the change and make peace with it in her mind. See if you can get her to look forward to the change. Children of this age should be given encouragement of their big kid status and be given a sense of pride so that they can succeed in their new sleep environment.

3. Give your child some control

Don’t surprise your child one day with a bed and a missing crib. You’ll likely be moving too fast. Shop together for a bed. Make a day out of going to the store and trying out the different types. Within reason, let your child make the final decision.

4. Place the bed in the crib’s spot

Maintain consistency however you can so you reduce the amount of change you expect your child to tolerate. Put the bed in the same spot so your child sees the same things when she wakes up at night.

5. Keep the favorites

If you use any blankets or lovies, or anything like that, make sure they all make the transition to the big kid bed with your child so she can count on their familiarity. Also, for parents using the Slumber Sleeper they can move up in size to a twin sleeper making the bedding environment a very easy transition. Further, this helps children avoid the in and out of the new bed syndrome as they continue to get the reassurance the Slumber Sleeper offered them in the crib, making the transition effortless.

6. Invest in side rails

For safety, pick up a side rail attachment for either side of the bed to prevent your child from rolling out. This will also help them feel secure because they have “walls” like before.

7. Maintain that routine

You’ve been working on a bedtime routine for a year now, so don’t stop. Keep everything just the way it was (except now you can hop in bed for bedtime stories which you’ll both enjoy).

8. Be empathetic

Change is hard, especially for a little mind that’s still racing to understand the world. Don’t dismiss complaints or belittle your child, but don’t break the crib back out either.

safe sleep solutionWritten by Joanna von Yurt, Certified Pediatric Sleep Consultant and Co-Founder and CEO of Swanling Innovations Inc.

Joanna von Yurt is the mother of three intelligent, sensitive, and compassionate girls (who all want to be mommies when they grow up). She is first AND foremost a mom! Professionally, however, she is an accountant, controller and serial entrepreneur.

Joanna has a degree in Psychology from Harvard University with an emphasis in child psychology. She worked as an infant caregiver for 12 years and interned as a Child Life Specialist, family/social therapist, and assisted in clinical studies involving children’s personality and social psychology. Joanna is a Certified Sudden Infant Death (SIDS) Prevention Professionals, Safe Sleep Educator, Member of the International Association of Child Sleep Consultants, Member of the National Sleep Foundation, and Member of the Canadian Sleep Society.

Joanna has a lifelong passion for childcare and child safety. She enjoys sharing her experiences with other parents about sleep routines, attachment parenting, safe sleep guidelines, and children’s natural sleep patterns. Her company, Swanling Innovations, is committed to producing modern, safe and innovative products that meet the expectations of discerning parents. The Slumber Sleeper™ is a 4-in 1 safe sleep solution (mattress protector, flat sheet, fitted sheet and sleep sack all in one) designed to help keep your baby safe, warm and centered.

Joanna always says that a well-rested child and well-rested parents add up to a happy family!

Visit www.swanling.com for more information.

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