If you’re like many parents who choose to have their children close together in age, one thing you may need to plan for is where your toddler will sleep when baby arrives. Here are some tips to keep in mind when planning for this transition.
Don’t Take On Too Much
I know a lot of parents that put pressure on themselves to get all the pieces in place before baby comes. They want their toddler to be potty trained, sleeping in a big kid bed (through the night nonetheless) and reach other milestones before a sibling comes. The last thing any of us need is more stress in our life (especially if you’re a pregnant mom!) Take one step at a time; don’t stress out about creating a perfect situation and know that even if your toddler seems content in the big kid bed, uses the potty like a champ, etc. – this all might very well go right out the window when the new baby comes. And that’s ok.
Check For Signs That Your Toddler is Ready for A Big Kid Bed
If your toddler is anything like my first baby, showing signs might mean that s/he has figured out how to escape the crib. I remember the first moment I knew my son was ready for his big boy bed. I put him down for his nap and seconds later heard a thud. I walked into the nursery to see that, thankfully, my Mission Impossible 18 month old landed on his feet. Another -less startling- sign is that s/he simply understands the concept of a big kid bed and is excited about and receptive to the idea.
Get Your Toddler Excited And Involved
Key to the success of my son’s transition to his big kid bed was allowing him to pick out the bedding and theme of his big kid bed. He chose fire truck bedding and we spent a little more money to get his name printed on the pillow sham for a special, personalized touch. If you have a co-sleeping toddler (don’t worry you’re NOT alone), try reading “I Love To Sleep In My Own Bed” by Shelley Admont, that tells the story of why Jimmy the bunny decided that his bed was ultimately much better than his parents’ bed.
Use The Mattress Through The Transition
I suggest that parents purchase a 2-in-1 Naturepedic Kids Mattress or “dual-firmness” mattress right from the start. One side is firmer for safe infant sleeping and then, when your child is toddler-age, you can flip to the softer side. Many parents have had success taking the mattress and putting it on the floor as an interim step before moving it to a bed frame. The mattress on the floor gives parents the comfort in knowing that if the toddler rolls off of the mattress, they don’t have far to fall. If your child wants to go right to the bed, you can do that with a kid bed (designed to be lower to the ground) or just using bed rails on a standard bed is another alternative. Just be sure to keep the room as bare as possible; remove distractions like toys and be sure that there are no safety hazards since your child very well may get up at night.
Lastly, If At First You Don’t Succeed…
Give yourself and your child a break. If it seems your toddler is just not ready to leave the crib, don’t push it. Put it off until s/he shows signs of readiness. You can always get a bassinet or travel crib for your room when the new baby comes to give yourself and your toddler a little more time.
Monica Banks is the founder and president of Gugu Guru, launched in March, 2015. After 20 years of experience in building major brands in the new mom/baby market, and after having two kids of her own, Monica had a handle on what was missing from the industry. Out of those experiences, Gugu Guru was born to be the first baby registry to combine a personalized shopping experience with consumer reviews and industry expert input to deliver perfectly matched product recommendations for new parents. Prior to starting Gugu Guru, Monica has worked to launch successful initiatives with such brands as Pampers, Similac, Belli skincare and Baby Cargo — to name just a few. She currently lives with her husband and two children in Long Island, New York.
Gugu Guru is the first baby registry to combine a personalized shopping experience with consumer reviews and industry expert input to deliver “perfect match” product recommendations for expecting & new parents. Moms tell Gugu Guru about their personal style and lifestyle preferences, then the patent-pending algorithm pulls expert-approved product suggestions that best suit each mom’s needs for a stylish and functional baby registry. For more information, visit www.guguguru.com.