Is it time to move your toddler into a big bed? After struggling with this transition the first time around with our oldest daughter, we've figured out how to make the transition to a toddler bed easier. Thanks to REM-Fit for partnering with us to truly understand how easy the transition could be.
How to Transition to a Toddler Bed
First things first, my youngest, Avery, has never been a good sleeper. When we lived in NY my girls who are three and half years apart shared a room. It was very difficult to say the least. We worked hard to set their room up so that my oldest didn't feel like the baby was taking over. You can check out exactly how we created the space for both girls in their NewbornToddler Room. What I quickly learned was that the activity that took place in the room during the day was not the issue. It was the nighttime, which lead to a lot of me bolting out of bed to pacify the baby so that she wouldn't wake up my toddler. This resulted in terrible sleep habits for my newborn though and we never quite broke them. She still wakes up at least once per night, but the toddler bed has definitely helped the situation tremendously.
Give the room a mini makeover. Our crib is a transition crib so we went from a crib to a day bed and then to a full size bed. The day bed was still only a crib size mattress though so we kept her Sugar Plum bedding and all the accessories when we moved to North Carolina and turned the crib into a day bed. A full size mattress meant new bedding and we made sure to add some big girl accessories to the mix. We chose a Pink and Purple Butterfly bedding set so that we could easily pull in fun princess wall hangings. As well as show off her "Rainbow" Build-a-Bear that she sleeps with every night. I wanted the room to still be pretty and meant for a toddler, but have some definite big girl touches to them and anything princess is seen as big girl in Avery's eyes since her big sister loves them.
Purchase a quality mattress. When choosing a mattress, I believe that comfort is important, but also how it will withstand over time. I also feel that it is vital that you have a good mattress because toddlers desperately need their rest. They are so active throughout the day that getting a good nights rest is extremely important for their cognitive development. Avery's mattress is a REM-Fit SLEEP 300 and it is literally like sleeping a on cloud. Joe and I want one for our room and plan on getting one when we upgrade our bed to a king. The REM-Fit SLEEP 300 has three different types of foam: support, cradle and adaptive. Plus, it has technology in the fibers that provide the most active moisture management and temperature control regulation possible. If you can't sleep on a REM-Fit SLEEP 300 then I'm pretty sure you're not going to sleep.
Plus, right now they are offering a free REM-Fit Sleep Monitor, powered by Sleepace with a the purchase of a queen, king or California king REM-Fit Sleep 300 mattress. The REM-Fit Sleep Monitor is a non-wearable sleep monitor that uses sensors to monitor heart rate, breathing and motion. The sleep monitor goes underneath the fitted sheet and is attached with a magnet lid so that it can monitor your sleep patterns and report the data via the REM-Fit app, which is available in Google Play and the iOS App Store.
Purchase conversion rails that drop the bed. Since we had a conversion crib for both of our girls we needed conversion rails to turn it into a full size bed. When we transitioned my oldest into a full size bed the rails were available where we purchased the crib. This time around it was not the case and it was a blessing. The picture below shows Avery's bed with the conversion rails that dropped her bed and the other shows Riley's bed that did not drop it. Can you see the height difference. The dust ruffle on Riley's bed is a good four to five inches off of the floor. She used to have to use a stool to get into it and we barely slept in the beginning because we were afraid she would fall out and tumble a good two feet down. Luckily, this time we found STL Beds that had conversion rails that dropped Avery's bed. I actually have her dust ruffle folded underneath the mattress on each side because it is too long. If you have a conversion crib I highly recommend reaching out to STL Beds. They made sure that we were choosing the right rails for our crib and had the rails to us within three business days and without paying for shipping!
Talk them through it. Regardless of when you transition your child to a toddler bed, it's important that you talk to them about the expectations. I am a huge believer in setting the scene and letting them know what is expected because how else will they know how to act if they've never experienced it. We told Avery that she was expected to stay in her bed unless she needed to use the bathroom and that she was getting a big girl bed because she showed us that she was a big girl. Not only is Avery sleeping better during the night, but she actually went back to napping! That in itself made me wish that we had transitioned her to a toddler bed sooner.
What are some of your top tips for transitioning to a toddler bed?