I loved the crib years. I knew exactly where my baby was, and felt relieved knowing he couldn't get out without my help. Until he did. I remember watching on the monitor as my little nugget hoisted himself up and over the rails of his crib, landing proudly on the floor with a smile of victory. This marked the beginning of the end to keep him contained. I started to wonder what the next move would be, because I wasn't quite ready to put him in a bed. But when should you transition from crib to toddler bed?
Even though my son had figured out an escape plan from his crib, I still had a feeling that moving him to a toddler bed was the wrong choice. I was expecting another baby in a few months, and didn't feel I had the energy to put into properly transitioning my son's sleep environment. As the Baby Sleep Site pointed out, there is no reason to rush your child into a bed, and out of his crib. The right time will make itself known when your child begins to show you signs that they are ready to make the switch.
Once your child begins to regularly climb out of his crib, you'll want to start making a plan. According to Baby Center, you don't need to transition immediately to a toddler bed, even if your baby has been escaping on the regular. Take time to prepare your child for the switch instead of making sudden changes in their room. Let them know the plan is to move into their big bed in a few weeks, maybe you can even let them shop with you and help choose their new slumber digs.
If you're wondering when all these events are most likely to take place, get out your calendar to help you calculate. Although each child is different, the average age of leaving the crib is between 18 months and 2 1/2 years, according to Parenting magazine. It possible that also around this age range, your child will begin to talk more about having a big-kid bed, which is another sign of readiness as What To Expect's website pointed out.
Making the move from crib to toddler bed will be a transition for the whole family. With the new found freedom of a freestanding bed, your child may pop up and out the door while learning how to adjust to sleeping in a new environment. But as learned with my kids, change takes time. Eventually the switch out of the crib will seem like old news and the toddler bed will be their favorite place for sweet dreams.