The Toddler Transition: A Guide to Moving from Cot to Bed


As your child gets older, some things change as part of a natural progression. One of these changes is the move from the move from their cot to their bed. For many parents, and indeed their little one, it can be a notable step.

However, just because it’s a big move, that doesn’t mean that it has to be difficult, and with our tips, you can hopefully make it a smooth and happy move for all the family!

Get a bed that’s baby-friendly: Choose a bed that’s not high off of the ground, and also isn’t a really big bed that might be a little overwhelming. This will be an easier transition before the move to a full-sized bed.

…And a mattress too: There’s no point in having the best bed for your little one if you don’t have the perfect mattress to go with it as well. You can let them try a few out and ask for advice/read guides before choosing the mattress you think will best suit your toddler’s needs.

Make it special: If you hype up the move from cot to bed with your tot, it will help them enjoy some excited feelings that they can associate with the switch. Take them out for a shopping trip and let them have their own input on the bed choice – that way, they will feel included which can make them feel more comfortable when they go to bed each night.

Use the same bedding to start off with: By using the same bedding that was previously in your little one’s cot, it can go a long way toward helping them settle. This is because too much change, especially when sleep is concerned, can lead to unsettled and restless nights for all concerned!

What’s more, familiar smells are proven to be a relaxing influence and are there to help ease the change.

Use naps to trial the move: A great way to make the move away from the cot is to make the transition a steady progression instead of a cold turkey-style change from cot to bed.

Try putting your child down for a few naps in the new bed during the day before giving the night-times a whirl. This can assist in making them feel more content and settled when they come to sleep through the night in it.

Don’t make the change too drastic: Easing the switch can be something as simple as putting their new bed in the same place as their old cot. That way, they are already used to the surroundings and the layout of their room, etc.

Fit a guard to the bed: A safe and wise choice is to for a bed guard; even if it’s just for peace of mind for you that your little one isn’t going to injure themselves by falling out of bed. Furthermore, it can be reassuring for your child too as the guard isn’t too dissimilar to the gates on a cot.

As soon as you nipper becomes used to their bed you can remove the guard in your/their own time.

Keep the bedtime routine the same: It can be quite a lot to come to terms with when your child moves beds; after all, humans crave routine and toddlers are no different.

With this in mind, you should try to keep the bedtime routine the same as before and not alter things because they have a new bed. Keep bath times, bedtimes, and even wake times the same as part of a healthy nightly routine.

Naughty habits may appear: For lots of parents, as soon as the bars come down from the side of the bed, toddlers can fall into the habit of ‘feeling the freedom’ and making appearances next to you while you sleep at night.

Once you get over the initial shock and establish that it’s not a ghost, simply take them back to their bed in a calm manner and remind them gently that it’s still bedtime and not a time to be awake.

if you allow them to get away with being up, even just once, then you’re opening a proverbial can of worms and some sure-fire repeats of restless nights, so don’t allow this to happen under any circumstances.

Accept that there will be some sleepless nights: Taking time to adjust is normal, and this is no different for your little one and their new bed, so be prepared to have a few restless nights along the way.

While you can make the switch as exciting and enjoyable an experience as possible, they may have a few wobbles and get upset. As long as you are understanding of their feelings and help them to find reassurance with their new bed through investing time in the transition process, it will work out fine.

Don’t forget to reward your tot’s efforts when they do stay in their new bed by telling them how proud you are and how good they are too!

About Author

LaDonna Dennis

LaDonna Dennis is the founder and creator of Mom Blog Society. She wears many hats. She is a Homemaker*Blogger*Crafter*Reader*Pinner*Friend*Animal Lover* Former writer of Frost Illustrated and, Cancer...SURVIVOR! LaDonna is happily married to the love of her life, the mother of 3 grown children and "Grams" to 3 grandchildren. She adores animals and has four furbabies: Makia ( a German Shepherd, whose mission in life is to be her attached to her hip) and Hachie, (an OCD Alaskan Malamute, and Akia (An Alaskan Malamute) who is just sweet as can be. And Sassy, a four-month-old German Shepherd who has quickly stolen her heart and become the most precious fur baby of all times. Aside from the humans in her life, LaDonna's fur babies are her world.

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