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There is no 'right time' for a cot to bed transition and parents usually base this on a number of factors such as the child's age, size, natural progression, child's comfort, etc. At times, the arrival of a sibling contributes to the cot-bed switch. However, if it reaches to the point where your little one is constantly trying to get out of their cot and, more importantly, if they manage to climb out, it's probably time to move them to a bed. In general, most toddlers move to a bed between the ages of 18 months and three years. Leaving the cot can be a big change for many toddlers but even more so if there are other significant changes taking place in their surrounding environment, such as moving houses, you returning to work or other major development stages in their lives. Tips for making the transition smoother:
- If you are buying a new bed, take your toddler and let them help you choose one. Making them feel involved in the decision making is likely to make it a less daunting experience for them.
- Try giving them short day-time naps in their new bed before the changeover to an overnight stay.
- You could even throw a bed party to make it a fun experience for them..
- Tell them how proud of them you are, offer lots of praise and impress upon how 'grown up' they are after the move.
- Regardless of how big your toddler is, it is important to use a bed railing during the initial stage of the transition for safety.
- Take safety precautions in case of night-time wandering. Ensure there are no wires or loose strings on the floor and perhaps a stair gate at the door or at the stairs.