Transitioning from a Crib to a Bed

Tips to transition from a crib to a bed. Find out the best age, if a toddler or twin bed is best, and tips for success!

Child in big kid bed

The idea of moving from the crib to the bed is a pretty scary one. Will your toddler stay in bed at night? What will happen to nap time? Will all sleep be ruined once you move?

Despite the worry, this is a major milestone you cannot ignore!

For many Babywise moms, the transition from a crib to a bed is much easier than they anticipate.

That is how it was for us with Brayden. Brayden is our oldest child and we were worried about what would happen to sleep once he moved to a twin bed from the crib.

We moved Brayden from the crib to a twin-size bed when he was 21 months old (but close to 22 months old). At the same time, he also moved to a new room.

It was shortly before Kaitlyn was born, and I wanted him to be fully adjusted before Kaitlyn came along to sleep in the crib.

I was nervous. I didn’t want him to get out of his bed and play instead of sleep.

We moved him over, and things went smoothly. We had no problems. A Babywise child typically has little difficulty (relatively speaking) with this transition because he is trained to obedience.

He is required to obey mommy all day, so why should night be any different?

It isn’t.

Best Age to Move From Crib to Bed

There is a lot of debate about the best age to move a toddler or preschooler from the crib to the bed.

I would say the ideal age for making this move is 18-24 months old.

Some moms love to do this transition even earlier. They like to make the move before the child is really into the boundary testing phase so that it is just normal to stay in bed when it is nap time or bedtime.

Other moms like to push it to 3 years old or older. They like to wait until they are sure their child will listen to instructions to stay in bed.

Before you start potty training, you probably want to move your child to a big-kid bed. You want your child to be able to get to the potty when toilet training.

Moving to a bed is a freedom. Be sure your child is ready for that freedom. If your child won’t listen during the day, she isn’t more likely to listen when she is in her bed alone.

Here are the ages we moved at our house:

  • Brayden moved around 20 months old. I wanted him to have time to get used to the change before Kaitlyn was born. We needed the crib for Kaitlyn. Brayden moved to a twin bed.
  • Kaitlyn moved around 21 months old. Again, I had a baby coming and I wanted her to get used to sleeping in the new bed before the baby came. She moved into a toddler bed because of space constraints. You can read about Kaitlyn’s transition here.
  • McKenna moved around 2.5 years old. We didn’t have a baby close to coming, but it seemed like the right time. She moved to a twin bed. You can read about McKenna’s transition here.
  • Brinley moved at 33 month old. She is our youngest and we didn’t have need to move her out of the crib. The timing seemed right. She moved to a twin bed. You can read about Brinley’s transition here.

Tips to Transition from Crib to Bed Smoothly

Here are some tips to help you have a smooth transition.

Have Rules and Expectations

Once your child is no longer in the crib, the only thing that holds your child in bed to sleep is your word.

There are no longer physical boundaries.

Your word needs to be obeyed in the day if you want it to be obeyed at night.

Do not allow your child to get out of bed without your permission. Teach them to call to you when they want to get up.

Whatever your rules will be for staying in bed, decide on them before you move your child over so you are ready if you are faced with your child getting out on his own.

Give lots of praise for obedience! Kids love positive reinforcement.

Make the Move Exciting

You can really hype up the move to a big-kid bed. A countdown can help make the move exciting. This gives you time to talk it up and it gives your child time to process the change.

You can include your child in purchasing the new bed and the sheets etc. (although we didn’t do this; we already had it all).

The child can help set up the bed and make the bed.

Show a lot of excitement over the transition. I know I was emotional, but I didn’t show that to Brayden. Do not sit and cry about the transition in front of your child.

Time the Move Wisely

Make the move on a night when Mom and Dad can both be there in the morning to make a big deal out of the transition.

It is also wise to make the move on a night when you won’t be stressing about your toddler or child getting out of bed. You need to be as patient as possible.

Keep Things Familiar

Be sure your child has something familiar to carry over to the new bed. You want to be clear that this new bed is where your child now sleeps.

Brayden had a few stuffed animals that he slept with in his crib. He also had his blankie. I put those on his bed with him to sleep just like he had in his crib.

NOTE: I have said it before, but if you read stories, I recommend not reading them in the bed. We used to do that. Bedtime ended up being dragged out forever. Kids are very good at lengthening out the time of the bedtime routine. We changed it so we read stories in a recliner. We also had a predetermined number of stories that would be read.

Keep your naptime and bedtime routine. Singing a song, reading a story, etc. Whatever your routine is, it will help signal your child that it is now time for sleep.

>>>Read: Sleep Routine Ideas to Get Your Baby Sleeping Well

Toddler Bed vs. Twin Bed

What type of bed you get can be a tough call. In the end, I think you need to make the decision that is most convenient for your family.

Here is some criteria to consider:


With Brayden, we moved to a twin bed.

We already owned a twin bed. I considered buying a toddler bed for Brayden, but in the end decided to go with what we had.

We would have had to buy the toddler bed and the mattress since we were using the crib mattress we had for the crib for our next baby. We also would have had to store our twin bed somewhere while using the toddler bed.

In the end, it just logically made more sense to use the bed we already owned.

Convertible cribs are easy to simply remove the crib rail and turn it into a toddler bed. If you have one of those, it will make financial sense to go in that direction.

If you will have another child while your toddler is using the toddler bed, then you will have to buy another mattress. If not, you already have the mattress and the sheets for a toddler bed.

Future Use

Is this your last child? Are there other children in your future? Will you have other children who will get use out of the toddler bed?

How long would you anticipate using the toddler bed before buying a twin?

One determining factor for me was that Brayden would be moved to a twin bed in a couple of years anyway. I decided it was better to just stick with buying stuff for one bed rather than two.

If you have future children, however, they could use the toddler bed when the older child moves to twin.


A toddler bed is a lot smaller than a twin bed. If you have limited space right now, you might want to go with the toddler bed instead of the twin.

When Kaitlyn, our second child, moved out of the crib, she was in a very small room. The best use of the space in that room was to get her a twin bed.

At that time, the crib was moving to soon-to-be-born McKenna and Brayden already had the only twin bed we had. We had to buy an entire bed for Kaitlyn anyway, so with the space of the room, a toddler bed made the most sense.


We parents can really stress out about how safe things are for our kids, but the reality is a twin bed and a toddler bed are both safe options. Risk of injury is low for both.

The fall from a toddler bed is a shorter distance than from a twin bed. But you can take measures against falling.

A toddler bed is easier for a toddler to get in and out of (for better or worse). Brayden had a step stool next to his bed to help him get in and out (it was pretty high).

In the end, one bed isn’t fundamentally safer than the other. Do what is best for your family’s situation and your child.

If you go with a twin bed, buy a side rail for the bed for your child’s safety.

This helped me feel much better about Brayden’s safety in the night. I also put a pillow at the foot of his bed, and a pillow between the side rail and the pillow at the foot of the bed just to help have a boundary.

If you put the bed against a wall, you might need to roll up some blankets or towels to put between the mattress and the wall if there is a gap.

Here is what our kids did:

  • Brayden moved to a twin bed. We owned it already.
  • Kaitlyn moved to a toddler bed. It worked best for the space.
  • McKenna moved to a twin bed. We had to buy it and we had a toddler bed in storage. However, I prefer moving to a twin bed over a toddler bed.
  • Brinley moved to a twin bed.

Helping Your Child Stay in Bed

This is the heart of concerns of parents when moving your child to the bed.

You don’t want your child getting out of bed! You love the sleep you have worked so hard to get. You don’t want your child getting out of bed over and over again.

The day will probably come when your child test this boundary no matter the age of your child when you move over.

If your child gets out of bed after you instruct him not to, evaluate yourself and see if there are parenting gaps you need to correct. You might be allowing your child to not listen to you here and there. Make sure you require obedience during the day.

When your child calls out to you, respond. You want to reward him for listening to the rule to stay in bed. I can see some kids calling out after a few minutes and declaring the nap over. Respond and inform him that naptime is not over yet, that he needs to sleep, etc.

If this becomes a persistent problem, purchase a clock for your child to read to know when nap is over. There are a lot of clocks made specifically for this age group to make it easy for them to know when to wake up.

Toddlerwise says to initially instruct your child to not get out of bed until you come get him. So how long is initially? Toddlerwise doesn’t say.

This really will depend on the child.

You will have to decide when your child is ready. Of course you want the day to come when your child gets up on his own. He needs to be completely ready to take a nap, then get up. Not lay for a while then get up and play.

Again, this is a time when the sleep clock can be helpful.

I remember when Brayden was almost three, and I still didn’t allow him to get out of bed until I went to get him.

I knew Brayden and knew that sleep is absolutely last on his list of priorities.

If I allowed him to get out of bed on his own, I think he would have gotten up and play with his toys instead of sleeping.

What do you do if they get out?

Brayden went about a year without ever getting out of his bed without permission.

I went in and told him he needed to get in his bed. I then told him he needed to stay there until Mommy or Daddy came to get him.

I then put him in his bed and left the room for a few minutes.

I went back in and he was in his bed. I praised him for obeying and being a good boy and got him out (it was the end of his nap).

Some parents like to use a baby gate, a child safety door knob cover, or lock the door to ensure their child will stay in bed. This helps ensure the safety of your child. You can have sleepless nights worrying about if your child will get out of bed in the night and you not know it.

I do have an entire post with how to handle this: What To Do When Your Toddler/Child is Getting Out of Bed


These tips will help make the transition from the crib to the bed much smoother for you and your kiddo.

On Becoming Toddlerwise talks about this transition starting on page 135, so that is a great reasource if you have more questions.

Reader Tips

“know their personality. I knew she would be fine. my son does not have the same natural self control. work on building self control first by requiring them to stay put at various times throughout the day.”

“We only had a very small crib, so we had to do the transition early. Now I’m happy we did, it might be easier this way. With he bumper pads I can make the space bigger as she grows.”

” I am so glad I waited until she could truly understand the transition and her need to obey. There was no reason to hurry to a big bed in my opinion. We opted not to do the toddler bed since she had a double bed in her room anyway, so she moved right to that big bed. We used pool noodles under the fitted sheet to help her not fall out for the first few weeks in the big bed. 

Right at 3 years old, we started allowing her get up and go potty independently since she can do that completely on her own now & understands that it isn’t a playing opportunity. 

I also bought her the “Ok To Wake Up” alarm clock right at 3 years old too. You can set it however you want for alarms or just light options and you can customize the times. It also has a separate nap timer you can set. She loves the responsibility of being allowed to get up on her own when it turns green. I love that it takes the pressure off us since she’s no longer waiting for us to come in, but rather just waiting on the clock to change colors until she can get up for the day or from nap. It has been great!”

“Keep the same routines and just be firm about the fact that they should stay in the bed. Try and transition between age 2-3. I think around age 3 it may become harder. Once our DD could open doors, she started getting out of bed. I didn’t feel like I could discipline, because I want her to get out of bed if she needs to potty. Now we have the OK to wake clock and that has been working well so far. She still has trouble with knowing its ok to get up and potty if she needs to, so that has caused some accidents.”

“Be consistent in your responses. Stay calm, difficult to do at the end of a long day. We instituted the you may get out of bed to potty rule when it was appropriate.”

“I think success can depend temperament/maturity of child and prior training by parents so child already understands behavior expected. Also consistency in rule enforcing always. Truth be told it was some fervent and desperate prayer. I was so scared it would be a failure bc he seemed so young but we believed it was our only choice, so I begged for mercy from God. He answered above and beyond my expectations.”

“I’ll also add that my daughter started climbing out of bed (crib) at 19 months. I thought it was all over and knew she wasn’t ready to stay in a real bed on her own. I ended up telling her firmly that if she climbed out again she would get hurt, so she must stay inside. She said “okay.” Happily and has never done it since. I tried this as a last ditch effort and thought it would totally fail. I’m so glad I got those extra 9 months bc now she’s 100% ready and I love the extra cuddles we get in bed at bed time before lights out.” (ultimately moved her at 29 months)

“it totally depends on your kid, my middle son does not do any change or transition well, so I expected this fight, but I know with consistency and patience all children can learn…. ”

“Prepare them ahead of time for the transition.”

“Leave it as long as you can, it doesn’t need to be rushed, unless you have a reason, remove all distractions and be firm and consistent. The whole taking him back quietly to bed everytime he got up didn’t work for us, we had to ignore him, now he gets up less.”

“Be consistent – I think success in the transition of crib to bed is a direct correlation to your consistency in training and disciplining in every other area of your child’s life. Don’t give up!”

“Don’t be afraid to go straight to twin bed, not toddler bed. My child stayed in bed in part because of the bed’s height and that made transition easier.”

“I won’t move my second born to a bed until I think he’s ready, new baby or not. It caused unnecessary stress for us. Blackout curtains were very helpful.”

Related Posts

Transition from crib to bed

This post originally appeared on this blog May 2008

55 thoughts on “Transitioning from a Crib to a Bed”

  1. Thank you so much for this post! It is exactly what we needed. Thanks so much for doing this blog – it really is an amazing source!

  2. I don’t think you’ve dealt with this yet, but would like to ask anyway. Kyle is great at staying in bed until we come get him. Too good. We want him to get out of bed to use the bathroom when he wakes up. Sometimes when he wets the bed (not always)it is when he wakes and has to go, but I haven’t come to get him. He doesn’t say anything/call for me, nor does he get out of bed to go. He knows he is allowed to get out to go to the bathroom, and he knows he can call for me. (I know this b/c we went through several nights where he tested the theory shortly after being put to bed.) I don’t know how to get him to get out of bed to go. Any ideas?

  3. Dana, I haven’t had that problem. I will think on it, and if anything strikes me, I will let you know. I would try limiting liquids close to bed…I think I would focus more on that side of it if he doesn’t get out of bed 🙂

  4. HI. Just found your site as I was trying to research an issue I’m having. My daughter is 10 and 1/2 months old and I’m having trouble getting her to go to sleep. In the past, naps and bedtime were a breeze but for the past two weeks she stands in her cribs and cries. I’ve let her cry it out, and I’ve also tried comforting her at times. Nothing is working. Have you experienced anything like this or have advice? THank you for your help!

  5. Thanks for writing on this. We are due with #2 in January and DD will only be 20 months when the baby is born. we are going to attempt to start the transition process at 18 months to see how ready she is. Thanks again!

  6. Dana Do you think kyle is waking up in the middle of the night and needing to go to the bathroom but doesn’t want to get up unless you get him, or is he possibly still having trouble controlling his bladder at night. I know a lot of kids are “night potty trained” a lot later than they are day potty trained.

  7. Thanks Rachel! Up until March, when we tried to let him go completely through the night, he stayed dry & clean. We had been (and are now) taking him to the bathroom one last time before we went to bed. Initially I think it was the waking wet those couple mornings we tried to let him go through that set it off. Then it kept happening and more frequently. It’s been getting better, but is still not back to the way it was. My two thoughts are that he is either dreaming or he doesn’t get up w/o us. (He was potty trained in October. Almost 5 months of dry and clean from 10:30 pm to 7:00 am before the wetting started.)

  8. Thanks for this post. My toddler is 19 mo and we just had another baby. We got a toddler bed (cheap:D) but she is still sleeping in her pack ‘n play that we’ve used as a crib since she was born. She is still pretty young but when I tried to have her take a nap in the toddler bed awhile ago she really freaked out when I left the room and closed the door. We think it’s just some form of separation anxiety? She thinks we’re leaving for real. She does just fine if we put her in the pen and leave, but not if she has a lot of space to move around. After my little “trial” she was super clingy for the next couple days, not letting me out of her sight, whereas before she was fine with independant play. She is back in the pack ‘n play for now, and her clinginess subsided after a few days. I figured we would try again later. She will climb on the bed to read by herself for 10-15 minutes while i’m out of the room so the issue doesn’t seem to be the bed itself, just all the open space. Any suggestions? Should we practice taking naps in the bed but continue to use the pen? Or is it more effective to just put the pen away? Should I just wait until she’s older?

  9. K, Your daughter is at an age for separation anxiety. Part of it is likely also the new baby transition. They can get really clingy with a new baby, so to change more on her might be too much right now. I think I would wait until she is totally good with the new addition of a baby. She is still young, so it isn’t like she is at an age where she should definitely be in the bed right now. If you intend to move the baby into the playpen at some point, I would suggest you move older daughter out of the playpen at least a month before you need it for the baby.For now, I would make sure she has some stuffed animals or blankets or something to sleep with in the playpen that you can use to move to the toddler bed when the time comes. Also, if you don’t already, have her sleep in the playpen next to the toddler bed. Have her spend time on the bed with you there so she can get used to it and know it is safe…it sounds like she is getting there.Keep in mind that sometimes we don’t really see the affect a new baby has on our older kids, especially since we ourselves are experiencing such an impact. Leave time for her to transition before you do another huge change in her life.

  10. Hi, thanks for this post. My son is almost 2.5 yrs old. I am pregnant with baby #2 and due at end of May. In the next 6 months I’d like to transition my son from crib to bed (so baby can use the crib) and also do poddy training – which my son doesnt seem to be ready for yet. Should I go ahead and transition from crib to bed now, or wait until he’s poddy trained first? Any opinions?

  11. Kristin, I would do the crib transistion now and wait for potty training until you think he is ready. Being in a crib wouldn’t be good for the potty trained child anyway because he couldn’t get out of the bed to use the potty if needed. You don’t want to potty train before they are ready; it just won’t work.

  12. Hey there! I just found you and have a few questions about my 26 month old boy. First of all, we did babywise with him and he’s slept thru the night since 5 weeks, and for the most part has been a champion sleeper! We moved him to his big boy bed this summer in August, 6 weeks after our second son was born. My two year old has major issues getting out of bed. We have gone rounds on this one and I just wanted some advice/suggestions, anything that might work! He is used to obeying mommy during the day (i.e. blanket time,etc.) but when it comes to naps and bedtime, he runs and jumps all over his bed, does headstands (his bed is against the wall) and cries bloody-murder when we leave him after a well established routine of reading, singing, and praying. He used to wake us up by getting on the floor by the door and screaming out under the crack of the door. I’ve let him cry it out, I’ve moved his bed, taken his lamp away, put books up, taken away the chair and he seems to finally be settling down, but please, WHAT ON EARTH makes a child this crazy?! I do think he’s having a hard time with the new baby, as the second was a traumatic preemie 2 month ordeal getting him home. Any ideas on this?

  13. Hello! First of all, I just want to let you know that I LOVE this blog! I wish that I had this tool 7years ago when I BW trained my daughter! My question is,is it ok to sleep train in the bassinet? I plan on moving my son to his crib when he is around 4 months (he is only 3 wks old now) and I don’t want to confuse him. I don’t want to move him now because we have a split floor plan and his room is clear across the house! Furthermore, my seven year old sleeps on the same end of the house that his room is on and I don’t want to disturb her. Thank you!

  14. Amber, It could be a problem with the new baby. I would make sure he gets some quality time one on one with each parent each day. Something else I have heard for this is making sure you have couchtime. It sounds strange, but I have heard many parents swear by it as a solution.It sounds to me like it is a freedom issue. Read in toddlerwise about this–I think it is in the “toddler topic pool” chapter. Since he obeys you well in the day, it seems odd that he is getting out of bed and disobeying you at night. Evaluate his first time obedience. Also his freedoms surrounding bedtime. Really think through and evaluate how well he accepts your instruction during the day (the first time) and your decisions. If all of that is great, then I would look toward him possibly needing more quality time with parents each day. Good luck!

  15. mshave, I had Kaitlyn sleep train part time in the bassinet. I have read that by 3 months you want to have your baby sleeping where you want them to be sleeping at one year. For Brayden, location of sleeping wasn’t a big deal. He ended up moving beds and moving around the house all without problem. With Kaitlyn, I could sense from the beginning that she was going to be particular about her sleeping location, so while I had her in a bassinet in the night (her room was upstairs and mine on the main floor) for a the first few weeks, and in the bassinet for most naps, I was sure to have her in her crib for some naps each day. She really didn’t like it at first. Up until a month ago, she still took one nap in the playyard and one in her crib, just to be sure she could handle various sleeping locations. She sleeps well in various sleeping locations now, but it is definitely because I varied it for her.So, I would say you can definitely do some sleep training in the bassinet, but I would strongly recommend you do some naps in the day in the crib.

  16. Hi. I’m going insane. I’ve been reading your blog for answers and it has helped. Thank you for that. However, I read in this post, “A Babywise child typically has little difficulty (relatively speaking) with this transition because he is trained to obedience. He is required to obey mommy all day, so why should night be any different? It isn’t.” I must be bad at this because my toddler is not highly obedient. I have not read Toddlerwise. I’m looking to buy it when I have enough to get free shipping. Am I missing something?Also, my 4 month old is driving me crazy. I try to do parent-directed, but I don’t have a clue. His cues are all over the place and so am I. We’re detecting a dairy allergy right now, so I recently went off dairy, but I still feel lost. The biggest trial for me is that I never established a wake-up time and he is choosing 6am. I would be okay with 7am. 6 is just a bit early for me to be a happy mom. Any suggestions?

  17. Kristin,Reading Toddlerwise will help you. I am unsure of his age, but if he is 18-20ish months, he might be experiencing a very typical “rebellious” time. Until you can get toddlerwise, see the blog label “discipline” and also “toddlerwise” for guidance in this.See these posts for your four month old:Nap Cues : a Consistent Schedule: Morning Feedings Before Waketime:

  18. Hey! I have multiple questions for you. First, my daughter is 26m, and has been babywise trained from the beginning. Violet has always LOVED her sleep… 12+ hrs at night, a 2hr morning nap, and usually another 45m in the afternoon. Even if she doesn't sleep, I put her down anyway, because she gets grumpy when she's up too long, and always gets up refreshed. Violet is also obedience trained (a parent can always be more vigilant about that, though, and I'm trying to be). I'm 6 1/2m preg, and wanted her to be out of the crib before any baby adjustment was necessary. A little over a month ago, we moved her out of her crib, to her crib mattress on the floor (and her blankie and stuffed dog) with the side rails. There are definite boundaries. Violet did great for about a week before she decided to test the boundaries. A couple days later we found out we were moving THAT WEEK. As we started packing up her room and things started to look a lot different and empty around the house, Violet started to look and act confused, and got very clingy (she's not normally an affectionate child at all, so it was VERY noticeable). To ease her conscience, we moved her to a pack 'n play (she's familiar with it) so she could get used to a new apt. The new one is almost identical to the old one, and in the same location, so that didn't take long, but then there was traveling, so going back to the mattress was delayed until a little over a week ago. Now, she will not stay in bed, and she's sleeping less and less (and more grumpy). She knows she's supposed to stay in bed, she just won't. We do discipline her, but this time it's just ineffective. If I put her back in the P&P, she sleeps just fine, no problem. As my belly is getting bigger, Violet is also starting to understand that there's a baby coming. She's gone from sucking her thumb only when she's tired to most of the day, and gotten very clingy again. I stay at home with her, so I've been spending more time just cuddling with her, reading books, etc. We've also been thinking about moving her two naps into one longer one, just to see if that helps, but I don't want to try it if it will just add to the confusion. I only have 2 1/2m left, and I was planning to try to get potty training at least started before then (she already randomly sits on the potty, tells me when she's pooped, and is uncomfortable in a wet diaper). So, how much is too much? Any suggestions on keeping Violet in bed? How soon is too soon to begin potty training? I know that part will be a long process, especially with a new baby. I know this is a lot going on for such a little person, and i feel so bad for her. But pregnancy is also draining me, and I'm exhausted! Please help!

  19. Ruth, sounds like a lot! I would first just be sure she is comfortable and used to her new surroundings. Then try a bed.One thought is that a matress on the floor might be too close to temptation for her. I would put her in an actual bed. Putting her on the floor and expecting her to stay in bed is like putting you in front of Thansgiving dinner and saying "don't eat for a couple of hours." It would be easier for you to wait a couple of hours if you weren't in the room with the food. Toddlers want to play. I know you want her to be obedient, but set her up for success to do so.One thing to try is to wait by her door and open it when she gets out of bed and tell her to get back in bed and stay there. With potty training, you might want to start it right now if you have the energy. You might be able to get her trained before the baby comes. When McKenna was born, Kaitlyn was potty trained but unable to pull her pants down her self and climb up on the potty. Since I was nursing McKenna so much, I ended up putting her back in diapers. Once we have moved, I plan to hit it again. So if she is able to pull her pants down herself, it would be nice to only have one in diapers. But if not, you might create something that just has to be redone later. Good luck!

  20. Hi Valerie,My toddler is now approaching 21 months and I've been reminded of this post from a while back. Do you have any suggestions for the crib-to-bed transition and how to do this if the child uses a sleep sack? Sarah has been using one ever since she was a wee baby and I have been having trouble getting her to use a quilt in her crib so I am anxious what might happen with the move to a big-girl bed. Any suggestions you might have are appreciated! Thanks!

  21. I don't have experience with that age and a sleep sack. I would say just try it with the sleep sack…it might make things easier because she might be less likely to try to get out of it.

  22. Hello, my daughter is just turning 24 months this month. I am due for our 2nd baby in early May. We bought a twin size "big girl bed" and have been having troubles with her wanting to sleep in it. Since we started babywise when she was 3 months we could put her down in her crib and leave. Now, for some reason she wants us to lay with her in it. I tell her she needs to sleep in it alone like a big girl and we always go back to the crib which is in the same room. Then, I can lay her down and leave. If I lay her down on the twin and try to leave she freaks out and screams and hollers. Could she just not be ready? Should I take the twin out of the room and convert the crib to a toddler bed for a little bit? I would LOVE your advice!

  23. I would probably take the crib out of the room so she can't see it.Does she have stuffed animals or something like that she loves that can go to bed with her?Do you have a rail up? We used a rail on one side, with the bed against the wall. We also put a pillow at the end of the bed. I think it helped him feel more cozy.

  24. Hello, haven't used your blog in ages! My little guy just turned 2 last month, and once we finally got the babywise thing down he did awesome. We've encountered an issue with waking up early and getting out of bed recently, though. He moved to a toddler bed about a month ago, just after his 2nd birthday. He did wonderfully the first couple days/nights. Then he started having some issues with occasionally waking up early both in the morning and naptime, and now it's pretty much every day. In his crib he slept till 8:30-9am (anytime after 8 is acceptable in our house), now he's waking up anywhere from 7-8am. He is obedient in other regards, but in this one area he is not. He fully understands he's not supposed to get up and open his door, but he will open and shut it and run back to his bed quickly. We give him spanks when he does this, and don't let him get up until the proper time. It doesn't seem to be helping at all. He will continue to get up even after a spank. The other night my husband fell asleep on the couch and luckily he did, because he found our son opening his door at 2am even. This raised safety concerns so we just put plastic door handle covers on the outside doors and his bedroom door. Now he can't open it. Last night was the first night like this, and he was VERY upset about it being put on his door. He woke up around 2:30am crying at his door, calling for me. I put him back to bed and told him it was not time to get up, and that he needed to stay in bed. He did until about 7 this morning, and then did the same thing. I'm so frustrated and don't know what to do, and am really missing my boy who would sleep in so nicely every day!

  25. Since he is obeying in other areas, I would say this is simply an issue of him having a new found freedom. He wakes up and realizes he can get out of bed and is excited. So this should just take some time. Continue to emphasize that he needs to stay in bed. During nap time, be diligent about it and make sure he stays in bed so that can translate into night. I think the lock on the door is a good move. I would tell him once he shows he can be trusted to stay in bed, you will take it off. You could also do some positive reinforcement. You could do it as simply as praise, or do sticker charts, a special gift if he stays in bed X number of days, etc. Good luck!

  26. I am realizing after reading this that I may be a little behind with the transition from a crib. My daughter is 33 months! I am seeing that most kids have been moved around 20-24 months. She has always done so well in her crib and actually even liked it. She's never once tried to climb out of it, so it was never a safety issue. But I'm starting to feel the pressure of her age that she needs to be switched over. Is there a "too old" age for a crib. I do not have another one on the way, so I guess that's why I never really thought about it. We recently got rid of her paci, and I was originally thinking I was going to wait until things got back to normal from that, but now I'm wondering if it'd be better to do both at the same time instead of getting her used to something and then making another change. (It has been about 3 1/2 weeks since the paci, so it's not like it was just yesterday. And if I decided today that I wanted to switch her, by the time we got the bed and all, it'd be a little while anyway). I was also trying to decide to go right to twin or toddler bed. My mom has a toddler bed, so it'd be free, which is nice, but I'm trying to decide if it's worth having to make another transition again when either another baby comes or she's too big for the toddler bed. (Again, she's almost 3 already!). I kinda figure if I'm going to have to purchase a twin in the future anyway, is it worth using the toddler at all?? Thanks for your help!

  27. Stephanie, I would wait until the paci is old news before moving. I much, much prefer the twin bed over the toddler bed. We got a twin for Brayden. We got a toddler for Kaitlyn because at the time, her room wouldn't have fit a twin well. So I will be facing the same question with McKenna. Do I use the toddler bed I have, or just buy her a twin? I am not sure what I will do. I will prefer to buy a twin, but we will have to see if money will justify doing so at the time because we will be buying a twin for Kaitlyn at the same time.

  28. Hello, My son is almost 20 months old. He is still in his crib & has never tried to crawl out. After reading these posts, I am realizing it is almost time to transition him. He has a convertible crib that transitions to a toddler bed, then a full size bed. What signs should I look for to know that he is ready to be in a toddler bed? I figured I would just leave him in the crib till he tried climbing out (which is difficult to do b/c he is always wearing socks!). Right now when he wakes up he talks to himself & sometimes lays there quietly. There are times that he wakes up at 5:45am & I leave him in there…he falls back asleep. We have his room darkened with curtains so during the day he can see in his room but it's not real bright. It's the ONLY way he can sleep apparently! He's just like his parents! I do not have a pillow in his bed yet but he does have his security blanket. We try to only let him have this during sleep time but sometimes he pulls it out of his crib & walks around the house with it & sucking his thumb. He only sucks his thumb when holding the blanket, otherwise it's not an issue of thumb sucking, thank goodness! Thanks again for letting me know what signs to look for in knowing when my son is ready for that freedom. God Bless & I hope you & the family had a blessed Christmas 2010.

  29. LaChelle, One thing you want is to have your child 1)obeying you really well and 2)able to understand your instructions. You want to be sure your child would understand that he is supposed to stay in his bed before you moved him to a toddler bed.I moved my older two because we had a new baby coming. With McKenna, she is 21 months old and I don't plan to even think about moving her until she is 2. At that age, I will assess it and will probably move her within the first two months of turning two.

  30. I need some serious advice. Just moved my 2 year old twins to twin beds and I have no clue how to remedy the getting out of bed. Is it better to stay in there til they go to sleep or discipline them? How do I discipline that- it seems they just want mommy or daddy to come back in? Your post says to evaluate any parenting gaps- how do I do that? What do I look for? We teach obedience but I don't know how to measure anything or what to do differently. Help! They are getting out of bed even though they know they aren't supposed to!!

  31. Jenny Borders,Just going to chime in until Val gets to this since she is pretty busy with comments and you probably feel distressed and will have a hard time waiting days for a response.Personally, I would not stay with them in their room until they go to sleep. That is just creating a sleeping prop for them. They will want you to stay in there indefinitely. You'll have to leave eventually and then you'd have to deal with all the problems you are dealing with now.I would try to be 100 percent consistent with what you method you choose to do. I teach to stay in the bed. With twins, this is probably your best bet, since if you make them just stay in their room they will play and play. I know, I 'm a twin and that is what we did! So I would find some way to find out when they get out of their bed (listen in, a video monitor etc) and put them right back int he second they get out with minimal interaction. Maybe a "you need to stay in your bed". Remember, be consistent! They will get it. I would start at nap time when you have energy. By night time they might no longer get out of bed then you won't have to stay up all night with that. And plus, if they fight long at nap time they'll probably be too exhuasted to attempt getting out of bed much at night. Oh, before you do something, make sure to explain to them what you are doing ie "you need to stay in your bed during nap time. you need to stay in your bed until mom comes to get you". And be confident when you do this and put them to bed. Don't let them know you are feeling anxious about it or they'll read in on this.

  32. Rachel, thank you so much for your quick response. I definitely appreciate it and need advice! I keep telling myself that consistency and firmness is the key and there is a period of time they need to learn. We are only on day/night 4 of big beds!My next question is probably similar to my first. Ok, what if they wake up and get out of bed? Like at the end of the nap or even at night? My son woke up twice last night and an hour early this morning and came to the door and cried. Before bed, we have CIO and he gets back in bed in 5 min or less when he realizes we are not coming. I know in Vals post she says if they call for you respond/come so they know that is the appropriate way. But if it is the middle of the night or early should I still do that? Should I wait before going in to give him a chance to go back to bed?This is all so new to me. We are in the process of adopting babies that are due next month so I would like for this transition to be as settled as possible, ya know? Any more help I can get would be greatly appreciated.Thank you!

  33. Jenny Borders,Sounds tricky! You've got a few things you are dealing with at once–getting out of bed, cio and wanting to respond to them. It might help to think of things in more of a crib setting. If your son cried out then because he didn't want to sleep would you go to him. Probably only if he had an actual need or woke up crying unusually. So I would probably do something similar with the bed. It is a new thing though so I might be inclined to go in more often than previously, but if you can tell he doesn't have a need you need to respond to then it might be a good idea just to do cio.But how do you do cio with getting out of bed. This is kind of tricky since he is getting out of bed and crying at the same time and you don't want to respond to the cio. But I would probably go in keep putting him back in bed when he gets out no matter what. You need to get that down. If you only put him back if he isn't crying or at certain times then he won't understand that he can't get out of bed. Once you have this down hopefully the cio issue will resolve itself or you can work on it then.You might need to change things up a bit with what I said if it seems like they work better for your situation. Interested to see what Val thinks. She might think differently, not sure.

  34. Thanks Rachel. I also am interested in what Val says.We have had big improvements with staying in bed at the beginning of nap/bed etc. Even 2 nights in a row of sleeping all night with no waking. Both are still getting out of bed to play (just with each other, I haven't put books or toys back in the room yet) without hardly making any noise. How do you correct that if you can't catch it when it happens? It only happens when they are done sleeping.Here is another concern. It is just now revealing itself now that we are a week in to the transition. They are both waking early (about 1-1.5 hrs) in the morning. This wouldn't be so bad if I thought they didn't need as much sleep. They have been waking up for the day 7-7:30 forever. Now it's 6-6:30. Then in the morning they are hitting a wall at about 10:30-11:00. Crying, fussing, disobeying,whining, not eating lunch, wanting to be rocked….obviously tired. Normal nap time was 12:30 but they can not make it that long. They are asleep without trouble by 12 if I lay them down. Their naps aren't super long either. Perhaps it's the big cycle, I dont know. So should I move bedtime up (it's 7pm right now! And they go sleep right away!) should I keep nap at 12 until they can handle later than that?Any help would be appreciated. Thanks! We have babies coming in 2 weeks or less so I am trying to get the 2 year olds established so I can figure out how newborns will fit in there to keep my sanity!

  35. Jenny Borders.If you don't know when they get out of bed that is a tricky one to work with. You just have to do the best you can with that.My guess is that they are started to wake early right after you switched them it is d/t the switch and they should stop doing it eventually. They probably are getting up early to play with each other. THe excitement of it will go away eventually. You might want to put them down a little bit early for their nap so they don't get overtired though. If their naps are normally short I wonder if you need to switch around the nap time a bit anyway. .Maybe they need a longer or shorter wake time. I'd shoot for shorter first and then longer if that doesn't work. OF course you have to get other stuff figured out first 🙂

  36. Jenny,In addition to what Rachel said, you might consider that they just aren't ready to be in a big bed. If they can't handle the freedom and stay in bed, then you might want to go back to cribs.An alternate to that, I know moms who have set up a pack and play and if the child gets out of bed, they put the child in the pack and play instead. So it is an immediate response, and you don't have to go through the trouble of setting down and putting back up beds.

  37. Jenny, if they wake up in the night and call for you, I would go in and say, "it is still time to sleep, you need to go back to sleep." This is pretty normal when first gaining the ability to get out of bed.

  38. I agree with Rachel that things are likely rough right now because of the novelty of it all. I would think through some consequences for them. Tell them if they get up and play with toys, then they will lose those toys for the day. Explain again that they need to stay in bed. You might do well with something like this: are several similar to this idea. They help kids have a visual and helps them know if they can get up or not.

  39. My son is 18 months old, and we just found out that we are expecting another baby in 4 weeks (we're adopting). I am struggling with when to transition him to a toddler bed. He is pretty obedient during the day, and I feel like in the last four weeks, he has really transitioned from wanting to run and climb, and now he is more content to sit still, read, and interact more with me. Although he isn't talking a lot, he understands all my instructions. So, I feel he may be ready. I know he's young, but I think if I waited to move him until after the baby was born, he may already be struggling getting used to the new baby, and it would be some time before he and I were both ready to do the work to get him into a bed. If he doesn't go to a bed now, I can use the play pen for the new baby until the crib is available. Also, I am still doing play pen time with him, and not room time. He loves being in his play pen alone in his room, but I'm not sure how he would handle the freedom of not being in there. Should I do room time with him before I put him in a bed? I wanted to see what you would suggest.

  40. Libby, you would have to start putting him in bed without doing those things. Read him stories, cuddle with him, say prayers, sing songs, tuck him in, then leave him in bed awake. Good luck!

  41. Thanks for this post! We are Ezzo followers…I don't know what to do about training our 2.5 year old to stay in bed – mainly because he is potty training and I want him to come get us if he needs to go potty. Therefore, I don't want to say "never get out of bed" b/c I want him to stay dry. But he doesn't really stay in bed anyways, which is the problem.Initially, he stayed in bed for a few weeks when we switched to a toddler bed, but one night he got sick and came to tell us and daddy praised him, and he's not stayed in bed since then for various reasons.He gets up at least one time during the night or early morning about 5 days a week, and it's rarely because he needs to go potty. I think he just wakes up and wants us to put him back to bed.We only rock him if he asks, which is maybe 30% of the time. His imagination is starting too and he's said his animals are talking to him and he doesn't like it. I think I've come up with some creative ways to help with that, but he's still waking up (he just doesn't say that anymore).He also wakes up too early in the morning. We have tried a night light on a timer, telling him when it comes on, it's time to wake up, but he's not stayed asleep that long. Timer is set for 7 am, which is our goal. He's up anywhere from 5:30 to 6:30 am and I have to put him down again.I've been up with him 1-2 times a night/morning for the last 4 months. I am 8 months pregnant and am exhausted from this and know that I will soon have a newborn. They will share a room (after newborn sleeps through the night).I was going to try the sticker chart, but I wasn't sure how to wean him off the "gifts" from it.Do you have any insight?THANKS!

  42. A continuation of my previous comment:after 6 am or so, we let him come sleep with us if he gets up (b/c by then we are tired of it and want to sleep longer).I'm wondering if this is part of the problem. My guess is because he doesn't know what time it is, when he wakes up, he wants to sleep in our bed so he comes in.I asked him the other morning after we were all up why he came into our room in the middle of the night and he said because he wants to sleep in our bed.We've never let him sleep there in the middle of the night, but I bet he doesn't understand that so he gives it a try any chance he's awake.Maybe not letting him get in our bed at all would help. I'm also seeing if having both my husband and I put him back down together in the middle of the night will help too.Thanks again for your insight and having a positive Ezzo sight!

  43. Laura you must be tired! I would not allow him in the bed with you right now. Honestly if it were me, I would put a diaper on him at night and tell him to stay in his bed. I would do that or pull ups for nap time too and tell him to stay in bed. To me, continuous sleep through the night is a higher importance rating than staying in underwear 24/7. I did this with both of my girls and it did not negatively impact potty training learning. I don't take the diaper off at night until the child can stay dry all night.Some people do a "dream pee" where they take the child potty around 10-11 PM. If you really want to stay out of diapers at night, this might be an answer for you, though I suspect the need to pee is not the driving force of him getting out of bed. That is why I would say put him in diapers to remove all excuses for getting out of bed–but you will know better than I what his true reasons are for getting out. Good luck!

  44. My 25 month old daughter is climbing out of her crib so im transitioning her to sleep with her older sister in a full size bed but she dosent listen and just plays and cries at the door and falls asleep on the floor after crying.

  45. Hi, I am just transitioning my 23 month old into a toddler bed because we are expecting a new baby in June and I want him to be well-adjusted to the bed by the time the baby gets here. Today is my second day "trying" to get him to sleep in it. Yesterday after a failed attempt, I read this post and realized that the totally new bedding seemed to be distracting to him. So today I changed it, took out the pillow, sheet and blanket, and put on one of his old crib sheets and his normal blankies. That seemed to make a big difference. He would lay in bed but as soon as I left he would get out of bed. I decided to go in each time I heard him get out and make him get back in bed. This worked! Luckily he listens to me (or with a little guidance) and goes back into the bed. It took about 5 or 6 times before he realized that no matter how many times he got out, I would make him get back in. So he is now napping successfully! So, it being the second day, I feel pretty good about this! However, as far as not letting him get out of bed until I come get him after he wakes up….How do I train him in this? Just telling him instructions doesn't seem to get through to him, so I'm trying to think of how I could show this to him so he would understand. But I don't see how I can do that when I'm pretty sure he will just get out of bed as soon as he wakes up and I don't think I could beat him to that!? I especially want to implement this in the mornings, since he usually wakes up a little before I'm ready to get up. Any ideas?

  46. Hi, my son is also 21 month-old and he started climbing out of his crib. He likes to sleep horizontal on this crib and since we are planning on converting the crib to a bed that he will fall off the bed. I just can't believe that my son will stay in bed if I ask him to – he is just too wild. He was used to go to sleep on his own but ever since he started climbing out we have to lay down by his crib to prevent him from climbing out and then sleep. I am so lost!

    • You could try using a crib tent if you need to. I would work on his obedience during the day. If he obeys you in the day, he should obey you at bedtime.

  47. We recently moved, I am expecting our third, and for the first time, my 2 year old and 3 1/2 year old boys are sharing a room! Yikes. The boys both take good afternoon naps 2-3.5 hrs. They are in bed by 7:00pm for the night but lately have been waking anywhere from 5:45-6:15 or earlier! They used to be good about sleeping until 7:00am or close to it. We moved them into beds this past weekend and are using the Ok to Wake clock telling them they can't get up until the light goes on at 7:00am. A few questions:1) Are they napping too long in the afternoon?2) Should I tell them to simply stay quiet when they wake really early and not talk until 7:00am?3) My 3 1/2 year old is potty trained but usually has to poop first thing in the morning – do we let him get out of bed to go before 7 and then just tell him to get back in bed? Any additional thoughts? Thank you!

  48. I wanted to say that my 2.5 year old daughter is now potty trained during the day but hasn't taken a nap since we stated potty training 3 weeks back. I'm seeing now that transferring her over to a twin on the floor and losing her binky and potty training was just too much. She has been out of control with her temper and tantrums. Therefore, I put her back in a pack n play for naps with a pull up. She was just doing underwear and staying dry for naps but wouldn't nap. She is a whole new toddler now that she is getting her 2 hours or more of rest during the day. I'm so happy we came back to a pack n play for naps. I got the idea from one of your blog entries in the answering section. I would do crib but we have a baby due in 6 weeks. We still use the twin on the floor at night but I'm thinking about trying to get a really low to the floor twin frame. Any ideas?


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