Alfie is now 18 months old and I really don’t know where the time has gone. It seems like only yesterday I went on maternity leave and was left waiting for 5 weeks for my lazy baby to arrive! It is slowly dawning on me that my baby is no longer a baby – he is a proper little boy with his own personality. Determined, strong-willed and so independent (wonder who he gets that from?!).
So whilst I cry in the corner about no longer having a baby, to make me feel better my husband suggested we change Alfie’s cot to a bed – because that will confirm even more that I no longer have a baby!!
But after considering it, I’ve decided it’s probably a good idea. We all know Alfie’s never been a great sleeper (I’ve
moaned posted about it a few times – in the Sleeping Challenge and the Sleep Experiment) so I’m wondering if changing him to a bed might help his sleep be a bit more consistent. He certainly loves being in our bed!
I’ve been chatting to a few friends and fellow bloggers about how to go about making this transition. There are so many questions to consider – what age should they be, should you use a toddler bed or straight into a single bed, shall I use a bed rail or not, or should I just put down pillows on the floor, should I put up a safety gate? There is no right or wrong answer, and what works for one person won’t work for someone else (as is the general rule of parenting!). After reading a few other experiences, it’s made me realise that there often isn’t really a “right time” and you just have to do what works for you:
Emily and Indiana – We switched my eldest at 18 months, as we needed her cot for her baby brother. We did it slowly – took the side off (and popped a bed guard on), then got her a brand new toddler bed. We made sure to do it early enough so that baby didn’t go straight into the cot, so she didn’t feel pushed out.
Belle Du Brighton – We needed the cot for a new baby when he out grew his cosleeper, our daughter was 2 exactly. We took the side off for a week and used a bed guard and then she went right into a mid sleeper bed (purely because we had won it!) And she never even tried to get out of it/her room in the night so we didn’t bother with a safety gate. The next step is to transition them both into bunk beds! Eek!
Hello Beautiful Bear – Lily was about 20 months when we took the sides off her cot to make a toddler bed. It was bit earlier than planned but we realised she could launch herself over the bars so thought it was definitely for the best! At 22 months we moved her to a single bed as she is so tall and wanted more room (too used to our big bed I think!) We didn’t use a bed guard for the toddler bed but we do with the single bed as it’s so much higher. With the toddler bed we just made a soft landing for the first few days whilst she got used to it. We have a stair gate on her door too to stop her going in to the family bathroom or our room where everything isn’t completely toddler-proof!
Max and Kai – Max was about 15 months when he went from a cot to a toddler bed.We did it this young because his baby bro was on the way. He was fine in it, he spent a few nights on the floor strangely. He also has no bed guard and has only fallen out once.
Mumma Scribbles – We switched when Zach was 2 years and 4 months. He was getting frustrated behind bars! He went from cot to cot bed and we didn’t bother with a bed guard – I figured it would just be another thing to then deal with. He only rolled out a few times and now he’s 4 he’s in a single bed. We didn’t bother with a gate on his door either – I hated the thought of locking him in and there was only one phase he went through of coming into our room but we cracked it on days.
Five Little Doves – We switched my eldest when he was one, he was already climbing out of his cot, the little menace. Just took down his cot, put up his bed and it was like it or lump it. Such a mean parent but he didn’t make a fuss and it was way easier than us than transitioning in any way. Saying that, my youngest son is 2.5 and still in a cot – in our room!
Motherhood the Real Deal – My tip would be to leave it as late as possible (we did ours closer to three) so they are developmentally ready and to go and try loads of beds with them and talk about it lots to get used to the idea. I would ensure you get a bed with a safety guard and put their old cot mattress down on the floor for extra peace of mind when transitioning
Mummy is a Gadget Geek – My kids have all been climbers, figuring out how to get out of the cot from between 16-20 months old. That’s when we move them to a bed. We use foam bed bumpers to stop them rolling out, but no stairgate to their room – only at the top of the stairs. With Seb it was fairly easy to transition, the girls took a bit more work and we had to lie with them for up to an hour to start of with to encourage them to stay in bed. Letting them choose their own bedding and having a special goodnight song help.
Dear Bear and Beany – My eldest we moved at 18 months from a cot to a single bed with a bed guard. My youngest is 2 yrs old and we are moving her next month when she will be 2 1/2 years old to a single bed with a guard. The difference in age is down to their personalities and my eldest was totally ready. I’m nervous about my youngest, I’m sure she will be getting out all the time.
So, we have taken the sides off the cot, and replaced this with a bed guard. We have also put a baby gate at the top of the hallway to stop him getting anywhere he shouldn’t if he gets out of bed! Annoyingly we can’t put one on his actual door as he has a tiny door frame so I can’t find one that fits.
Tomorrow night will be Alfie’s first night in his big boy bed – let’s see how long he lasts!