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Tips To Transition Your Baby Into A Big Kid Bed

Baby/Parenting · August 12, 2019

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We had a big milestone around here the past few weeks. Liam has moved from his crib into a big kid bed! We knew that we were planning on moving him around August so that he would have time to adjust before school started and before baby sister arrives in November. I am sharing a few tips to transition your baby into a big kid bed so that you feel confident when the time comes. We honestly though had no idea what we were doing and all of these tips are things we tried that worked. I will also share what did not work.

Tips To Transition Your Baby Into A Big Kid Bed

Decide what size bed: So we honestly always thought we would have Liam in a queen bed. We had a queen bed that was in our guest room and we never really used it and figured we already have this bed so why buy another? Well we quickly realized that would be way too much bed for him. It was also very high off the ground. We decided a twin bed made way more sense and also in our new house his room is a little smaller. A queen bed wouldn’t have given any room for other items. We found a super cute bed frame from Walmart of all places and ordered a mattress from my cousin who works for Mattress Firm.

Let them be involved in picking out bedding: One of the biggest tips people gave us was to have him involved. Liam loves construction sets and dinosaurs so we picked out sheets with both on them and let him decide which would go on first. He chose dinosaurs. We also let him decide what else would go on his bed as far as loveys and pillows.

Have a transition buddy: This was an idea from my awesome sister-in law! I will say this didn’t work great for us as Liam only wanted things he was already attached to. For this you just kind of have to feel your kiddo out.

Have a reward in place: We didn’t start with a reward but decided to utilize a sticker chart for naps. We got this one on Amazon and every time Liam stays in his bed until his Hatch OK to wake light turns green he gets a star. After 5 stars he got a treat. It was a toy fire truck.

Read books: We got a few books about big boy beds and red them leading up to the move and for about a week after! Liam loves Elmo so I think for him seeing that Elmo slept in a big boy bed made him want to.

Talk it up: We talked about his bed for weeks! He watched Andrew put his bed together and was so excited. In fact the day we moved him we hadn’t prepared to that day but he saw it put together and wanted to sleep in it since we had been talking about it. I think the more you talk up a big transition the better they go.

Keep expectations low: This is just my toddler motto. For any big thing I just keep my expectations low. The first night Liam did awesome. The second night he cried. The third night he did great. The first nap he didn’t sleep and kept getting out. The adjustment period was quick but it was still frustrating at times so I am glad my expectations were low.

I would not say I am an expert on this transition to a big kid bed, but I do feel like I know what worked great for us. I hope these tips help you too, and I’d love to hear if you have any other tips to add!

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  • 15 thoughts on “Tips To Transition Your Baby Into A Big Kid Bed

    1. Phil

      We are about to begin transitioning our second son to a bed here soon and it was helpful to remember the “build up” portion of this move. It’s amazing how much you forget from one kid to another, even if it’s only been a couple of years. I think the more excited they are about it, the more helpful it is. As a side note, we also use an OK to wake up alarm and it’s been amazing-worth it for everyone in my opinion.

    2. Stephanie

      The crib we had transitioned to a toddler bed, so we did that first for my oldest. Then when we moved to Texas, he went to a twin bed that my in-laws already had so we could use the crib for our youngest whom I was pregnant with at the time. When we moved into our current house, our oldest went to a queen-sized (at age 2) because I wasn’t getting rid of that for a twin. When my youngest started to bring more stuffed animals into the toddler bed and ran out of room for himself, we bought a queen mattress and put it on the floor for a while before buying a frame. Now they both love their big beds at ages 4 and 6! It’s a transition and it’s different for every kid, but sounds like y’all are making it through well!

    3. Christa

      Congratulations on such a great milestone! We moved when my son was around 2 and used it as an opportunity to transition him. Luckily it worked out well.

    4. Patricia Chamberlain

      My daughter will be three in December, so at some point we need to get her moved to a toddler bed, but I’m just not ready! I love the idea of getting books to read about moving into a big kid bed.

    5. Philomath

      Thats lovely, letting him pick for himself is really good idea and will share these amazing tips because I’m not a parent yet haha.

    6. Tiffany

      Your article came through at a perfect time. We are just getting ready to start transitioning our youngest. I will keep many of these ideas in my mind for our transitioning of him.

    7. Lina

      Such great tips! I don’t have kids but I have so many friends who would love to read this post, it’s super useful

    8. Flossie McCowald

      Great tips! I love the idea of a “transition buddy”! In our case, each girl had her big-kid bed (frames we got secondhand and refinished) from the moment they moved into their rooms, and I would nurse them on their beds before naps/bedtime, so they were already used to the beds by the time we moved them into bed.


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