As your little one grows, their sleeping needs will change and evolve. From a bassinet to a cot, from a cot to a toddler bed, and from a toddler bed to a larger bed, each transition can come with its own set of challenges and considerations. Choosing the right bed for your child's first bed according to age and development is important, as is creating a comfortable and safe sleeping environment. In this guide, Boori explores the different types of beds available for children and provides tips on making a smooth and successful transition to each stage.
Sleeping Arrangements for Different Ages
Bassinet or Moses Basket
Moses baskets, bedside sleepers or bassinets are often the first type of newborn baby bed your little one will sleep in. These are small, cosy and portable beds that provide a safe and snug sleeping space for your baby during the first few months of their life. They are designed to be kept close to your bed, allowing you to keep a watchful eye on your baby throughout the night.
Bedside sleepers and bassinets are beneficial for newborn babies as they provide a comfortable and secure sleeping environment. They are typically made of breathable materials such as cotton or mesh, which ensures adequate ventilation and prevents overheating. Additionally, the small size of these beds makes it easier for your baby to feel secure and snug, which can promote better sleep patterns.
Cot or Crib
For parents who choose to start with a sleeping basket or bassinet, most transition their baby to a cot between 4-6 months of age. This is because as babies grow, they require more space to move around and sleep comfortably. Additionally, cots and cot beds provide a more secure and stable sleeping environment than sleeping baskets or bassinets, which can help promote better sleep patterns.
Cots or cot beds come in a variety of styles and designs, from oval cots to convertible cots, expandable cots, dropside cots, and compact cots. Many cots can be adjusted to different mattress heights and some can even be converted into toddler beds, making them a versatile and practical choice for parents.
Child’s First Bed
If you opt not to have a cot that converts to your child's first bed, you have the option of going for a single bed, single king bed, or double bed for your little one. Most children make the transition to their first bed around 18 months to 3 years old, although there are no hard and fast rules.
When your child first moves into their own bed, you may want to invest in toddler bed guards to prevent them from falling out of bed. These are typically lightweight and easy to install, providing an added layer of safety and security for your little one.
As your child grows, you may want to consider bunk beds or loft beds to maximise space in their bedroom. These types of beds can be a fun and practical option for older children, providing a designated sleeping space for siblings or for hosting sleepovers with friends.
Tips on Making the Transition to Your Child's First Bed
Bed placement is an important consideration when making the transition to your child's first bed. To help your little one feel more secure and comfortable, it can be helpful to place the new bed in the same spot as their old baby bed. This can provide a sense of familiarity and continuity for your child, making the transition smoother.
By placing the bed in the same spot as the old cot and ensuring it is in a safe location, you can help make the transition to your child's first bed a positive and successful experience.
Establishing a consistent bedtime routine can be an effective way to help your child feel more comfortable and secure during the transition to their own bed. To make the transition as smooth as possible, it can be helpful to stick to the same bedtime routine that you had prior to making the transition.
Bedtime routine examples may include reading a story, singing a lullaby, giving a warm bath, or cuddling with a favourite toy. Whatever routine you choose, the key is to be consistent and to maintain a calm and relaxing atmosphere. This can help signal to your child that it's time to wind down and prepare for sleep.
Gradually Remove Yourself
Gradually removing yourself from your child's bedtime routine can be an effective way to help them learn to fall asleep on their own. One approach is to begin by laying with your child until they fall asleep, and gradually leaving the room earlier and earlier, so that they eventually learn to fall asleep alone.
The key to success with this approach is to be consistent and patient. It's important to establish a predictable and calming bedtime routine, and to gradually decrease your involvement in the routine over time. While it may take some time for your child to learn to fall asleep on their own, the long-term benefits of helping them develop healthy sleep habits are worth the effort.
Bed Transition FAQs
What Age Should a Baby Move from Moses Basket to Cot?
Most babies make the transition from a moses basket or bassinet to a cot between 4-6 months old. This is because as babies grow, they require more space to move around and sleep comfortably. Additionally, cots provide a more secure and stable sleeping environment than sleeping baskets or bassinets, which can help promote better sleep patterns.
It's important to keep in mind that every baby is different, and there is no set age when a baby should make this transition. Some babies may outgrow their bedside sleeper or bassinet earlier or later than others. You can look for physical signs that your baby is ready to make the transition, such as if they are starting to sit up or roll over.
What are Signs Your Child is Ready for a Toddler Bed?
There are several signs that your child may be ready to transition from a cot to a toddler bed. One of the most common signs is if your child is trying to climb out of their cot. This can be a safety concern and a sign that your child is ready for a bigger and more secure sleeping space.
Another sign that your child is ready for a toddler bed is if you are potty training. A toddler bed can provide easier access for your child to use the toilet during the night.
If your child is jumping in their cot or getting too tall for it, this can also be a sign that they are ready for a larger sleeping space. If your child is asking for a big bed or showing interest in older siblings' or friends' beds, this can be a sign that they are ready for a toddler bed.
How to Keep Toddler in Bed When Transitioning from Crib?
One way to physically keep your child in bed is by using toddler bed guards. These can provide an added layer of safety and security, helping to prevent your child from falling out of bed or wandering around the room during the night.
However, if your child keeps getting up and coming to you, it's important to be consistent about bedtime until they settle into their new sleeping arrangement. This may involve enforcing a consistent bedtime routine, setting clear expectations and boundaries, and offering reassurance and comfort as needed.
You may also want to consider using positive reinforcement techniques, such as a reward chart or a special treat for staying in bed all night. It's important to remain patient and consistent, as it may take some time for your child to adjust to their new sleeping arrangement.
With patience, consistency, and a supportive sleeping environment, you can help your toddler make a smooth and successful transition from a crib to a toddler bed.