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What comes after the crib?

Has your toddler outgrown his crib? Does he climb out or refuse to sleep in a crib? If you said yes, you’re not alone. Here are some ways to get your child down for a much-needed nap or a good night’s sleep.

With the recent crib tent recall, parents are turning to other options to safely transition their child to a new sleep space. Here are some tips to safely help your child transition from crib to bed.

Tip: When you purchase your crib, consider buying the toddler conversion kit at the same time — if the crib doesn’t come with one. That way you have it when you need it and don’t run the risk of not being able to locate it years later.

Crib conversion to toddler bed

Some cribs have the ability to convert into a toddler bed with an included or additional accessory. This option is typically the easiest transition for both your child and your wallet. A convertible crib provides your toddler with a comfortable and familiar sleep spot and saves you money, as you are able to get more use out of the crib.

Recall: Tots in Mind crib tents >>

Toddler beds

A toddler bed is a separate bed frame, but usually, a toddler bed can still accommodate a crib mattress. If your crib does not convert to a toddler bed or if your child ends up wanting nothing to do with his or her crib — even in the convertible toddler mode — a toddler bed can be a great transition piece to a bigger bed as it looks and feels like a “big boy” or “big girl” bed to a young child. The only downfall to a toddler bed is the length of use. Most children will use a toddler bed for, on average, one year before transitioning to a larger bed.

What to do when your toddler sleeps on the floor >>

Straight to the big kid bed

Some parents prefer to go straight to a twin or full-size bed once their child outgrows the crib. This option is not only economical for parents, but transitioning from a crib to a regular bed means your child only goes through one transition period, which can make for a more peaceful sleep in the long run. The downside to a twin or full-sized bed is the large size and the potential hazards to your child. Here are some tips on how to safely transition your toddler to a big boy or big girl bed.

  • If your child is an active sleeper, consider placing your child’s mattress on the floor until he or she becomes familiar with the larger sleep space.
  • Pick your child’s bedframe carefully. When shopping for a bed, take your child with you or bring your child’s height measurements to see where the bedframe would be when your child is standing next to it. A toddler’s coordination and balance is still improving and a bedframe with hard edges at your child’s head-height could cause more harm than good.
  • Use double bedrails! Bedrails help keep your child safely on the bed mattress while asleep. Double bedrails connect and tighten under the mattress, which holds the rails safely in the proper position.

More about toddlers and sleep

Sleep and toddlers: How to create soothing bedtime routines
Finally, the baby’s asleep
10 Quick sleepy-time tricks for kids

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