We measure our children's lives in milestones, and we know when those important moments usually occur: standing, walking, talking, or even moving from a crib to a bed. Our kids, on the other hand, are perfectly happy to develop at their own pace. When it comes to transitioning out of a crib, there are signs your toddler may not be ready for a bed, despite what you may have heard or read in the parenting books.
Children are generally ready to make the move to a bed between ages 2 and 3, though it's not unusual for children to stay in their crib past that age, explains Andrew Bernstein, MD, FAAP, Clinical Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. He tells Romper that a lot of factors come into play when it comes to switching to the big-kid bed. Some of it has to do with the child's developmental readiness: "The younger a child is when changing out of a crib, the more important it is to make sure they can’t hurt themselves getting in or out of a bed that’s too high," he says.
But the home environment plays a part, too: If there are hazards in the bedroom, such as furniture that isn't anchored to the wall or a nursery door that's easy for a child to open, parents should avoid ditching the crib until the dangers are dealt with. To avoid injury with the toddler bed itself, "a child's first bed should be low to the ground, or it could even be just the mattress from the crib placed on the floor," says Dr. Bernstein.
Are you debating making the transition? Before you go shopping, take a look at these signs that a child needs to stay in their crib a little longer.