6 Signs Your Toddler is Ready for a Big Kid Bed

Updated: Aug 4

The transition for your toddler from a crib to a big kid bed is a big one. All of a sudden they can get out of their bed… whenever they want. To make the transition successful, we want to try and time it when they are developmentally ready. There are a number of factors that can help to signal that it’s time (or that it’s not!). Ideally your toddler checks off at least two, if not more, of these.

1. Age. Ideally you want to wait until your toddler is three years old. This is an age when toddlers are generally developmentally ready to move beyond the four familiar rails of their crib.


2. They are already good sleepers. Moving a toddler to a big bed won’t solve their existing sleep issues. If your toddler already has struggles going to sleep, protests bedtime, doesn’t sleep through the night or consistently wakes up too early (before 6a), it’s best to work through those challenges and set a healthy sleep foundation ahead of time before making the transition.


3. Your toddler shows interest in a big bed. Perhaps they’ve seen a friend’s bed or they have an older sibling. Whatever it is, if they are telling you that they want a big kid bed or that they don’t want a crib anymore, then it’s a good indication that they are ready.


4. They are climbing out of their crib. Before we check this one off, I would encourage you to try some other tactics first, especially if your toddler is under 3 years old. Zip them in a sleep sack with the zipper on their backside. Ensure their mattress is on the lowest setting. Make sure you have a gate at their bedroom door and if they continue to climb, silently put them back in their bed without any interaction. If you’ve tried these tactics and your toddler consistently keeps climbing out, then for safety reasons, a big kid bed is a better option than a crib.


5. Outgrowing their crib. Your toddler may literally just be getting too big for their crib to be able to sleep comfortably. If your toddler is getting to be 35 inches/3 feet tall, have a look at how they sleep and if they can stretch and move around comfortably.


6. Can be left in a safe room unattended. We want to ensure that your toddler’s room is ‘toddler-proofed’ and safe since they can get out of their bed and move around. This gives you peace of mind that you can say goodnight, leave their room and know that they cannot do damage to themself in their room.


If your toddler meets at least two or more of these factors, it may be time to make the change. This can be a really big transition and if timed well, a fun and exciting change for your toddler. Check out my post on how to successfully transition your toddler to a big kid bed.

If you have any concerns about making the transition and want some guidance and an action plan to make the transition successful, let’s connect!

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