Tips and Tricks to Transition from Toddler Bed to Full Bed
Your toddler is getting tall fast, and the toddler bed just isn’t big enough for them.
Maybe they’re just not comfortable on a crib mattress anymore.
It may be time to make the transition from toddler bed to double bed for your little one.
It's a good idea to make this big change to a double bed, or twin bed, at the right time.
There are many reasons you may want to keep your young children in their toddler bed.
You like the bed rail around the entire bed to prevent them from rolling off in the middle of the night.
The good news is there are ways to keep your child safe and still give them the freedom and comfort of the bigger bed.
If you want to make sure your child sticks to a bedtime routine during their transition, check out my post Consistent Bedtime Routine for Young Children.
I would like to share my tips and tricks for a smooth transition from the convertible toddler bed to the double bed.
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Why Should You Move Your Child to a Double Bed or Full Bed?
So how do you know when the time has come to move your child to their big kid bed?
The biggest reason parents move their children to a big bed is because they have grown out of the toddler bed and need more room.
Another reason is because they are expecting a new baby, so they need the crib for the new sibling that is on the way.
My daughter was not comfortable on the crib mattress anymore. She wasn’t sleeping well in the toddler bed, and we knew she needed a new mattress to sleep better.
My son is still in the toddler bed, and we decided we’re not ready to move him yet. At 2-1/2 years of age, we know his toddler bed is still the best option for him because of the height off the floor and the added protection of the guard rails.
How Can I Make Them Comfortable?
You want their bedroom to be very comfortable, so they continue to sleep well once their own bed changes to a double bed.
Our daughter had the best transition from the toddler bed to the full bed. She started sleeping through the night and that happened to be around the time she stopped wearing pull ups to bed. She was proud of herself for becoming a big girl.
If you would like to know how to transition your child from the convertible crib to the toddler bed, check out Tips and Tricks to Transition from Crib to Toddler Bed.
1. Give Them Comfort Items to Sleep With
My kids love their comfort items. Their beds have so many different items to make their nighttime routine more comfortable.
Our children love stuffed animals so there are always a few of their favorites tucked in bed next to them. They both also have special blankets they snuggle with or have nearby. My daughter has also stolen a special pillow I made my husband before we got married that has pictures of the 2 of us. She says she likes to look at it if she misses us at night, which is a big deal and important to her.
As long as the comfort items follow the safety standards for your child's age group, it can help them have an easier time getting a good night’s sleep.
2. Turn on Night Lights
It can be scary laying in the dark alone at night no matter what type of bed you have. I’m an adult and I hate the room to be pitch black while I sleep. A soft light can help your child sleep much easier. There have been studies that show you sleep better if it’s pitch black in your room, but exceptions can be made to help your child feel more comfortable.
One of our favorite night lights is the Hatch Rest Baby Sound Machine. This awesome system is controlled from an app on your phone and can be programmed for what your child needs, especially when there are new changes.
You can set the Hatch to stay on one color or rotate between rain bow colors. You can also program it to change colors depending on the time of day.
Our daughter’s Hatch is hot pink while she sleeps and turns green in the morning when it’s time to get up for school. It’s been a great teaching tool while she has been learning how to tell time.
Our son's Hatch stays one color all night long until the morning when the program turns itself off for the day.
3. Play Music or Sounds
White noise can help even adults fall asleep and can be so helpful in creating a warm and comfortable environment in your child’s room.
Our son has the sound of rain while he sleeps, and he drifts off to sleep so well in his big boy bed. As our older child, our daughter no longer likes white noise to sleep with. She prefers to listen to music at night to fall asleep to.
The Hatch Rest Baby Sound Machine can be programed to play music or white noise sounds with the lights. You can also pick and choose if you don’t want sounds of you don’t want lights.
4. Let Them Pick Out Their Bedding
A great way to help your child transition to their double bed is to allow them to pick out their bedding themselves.
Our daughter’s rainbow room is perfect for her and has helped keep the transitions between bed types smooth for her. She received her full My Little Pony bedroom set complete with comforter, sheets, pillowcases, curtains, wall hangings, and removable stickers.
Our son loves the color blue, and his new sheets really keep him happy when he wakes up in the morning. His special blue dinosaur blanket glows in the dark and is very soft. It’s one of his favorite things to snuggle if he wakes up in the morning, but still wants to snuggle in his bed.
What are Ways to Keep Them Safe Once Transitioned?
The house can be full of unsafe things they can get into without your supervision in the middle if the night. Even if you childproof your house, there are still safety concerns that you will need to address.
1. Put Safety Rails on the Side of Their Full Big-Kid Bed
If your child moves around a lot in their sleep or is likely to roll off the side of the bed, side rails are a great item to purchase. You simply slide the bottom of the railing under the mattress and lock the rail in the upward position.
Another option is to buy bumpers for on top if the bed. There are soft bumpers that slide underneath the fitted sheet and create a bowl-like area for the child to sleep in. When they roll, they will simply roll into the bumpers. My favorite part about these is they roll up and are great for travel.
2. Bunkie Board / Box Spring Replacement
When shopping for a full mattress, we realized we didn’t want our daughter too high off the ground. We wanted her to be able to get in and out of bed easily. We also didn’t want her to have far to go if she did happen to roll off the bed.
We decided to invest in a Bunkie Board instead of a box spring and it has been the best option for her. It gives her the benefits of a box spring, without having to purchase a large box spring.
Check out these great Bunkie Board options if you decided to go this route instead of a box spring.
3. Put a Safety Gate at the Top of Stairs
This worked great when our daughter transitioned from the crib to the toddler bed. We were able to install a safety gate that opened like a door at the top of the stairs.
This baby gate is still there but is not as safe as it once was. Since our daughter is 5 years old now, she has newfound freedom in our house. We decided it’s not safe or fair for her to be locked upstairs anymore. In an emergency, we want her to be able to get downstairs. Therefore, it's a good thing the second option is a great idea.
If your child makes the transition to their full bed when they’re a little older, you may find you don’t need gates anymore. This is especially true if you have already successfully gone through potty training and your child needs to leave their bedroom to use the bathroom.
4. Install a Doorknob Cover
If you’re not a fan of gates, you could install a doorknob cover on the inside of their door. You will be able to close their bedroom door and the doorknob cover keeps them from opening the door.
Fire safety states that bedroom doors should be closed at night to prevent fires from spreading from room to room. The doorknob cover is a great idea if you plan on keeping the door shut all night.
If your child is older, you may decide against using ways to keep them in their bedroom in case they need to evacuate their bedroom in an emergency.
Transitioning from a toddler bed to a full size bed is such a big next step for your child and makes you realize you don’t have a baby anymore.
This step can be great for preschoolers and children who have become school aged. It’s also great for children who need a little more independence.
Just remember, the transition doesn’t have to be a hard time, and they may even sleep better once the change is made.
What are some ways you made the toddler to full bed transition easier?
Are there any things your child needed to help with the transition?
Let us know in the comments below!