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If you’re a first time parent (and even if you aren’t), you might be wondering when the right time is to transition your little one from a crib to a bed. Typically we recommend around the 3rd birthday as the optimal time. However, there are a few caveats to note:

  1. If you are aware of an upcoming life change such as a new sibling, move, starting a new school, etc you might want to do the move a couple months before the event or a couple months after, but ideally not at the same time. For a new sibling remember that the baby will most likely be sleeping in a bassinet at first so won’t necessarily need the crib until a couple months old.
  2. If your child is not sleeping very well in the crib, you want to try and resolve these issues BEFORE you make the transition to a bed. Transitioning to a bed in most cases will only make any issues worse not better so you definitely want to tackle any challenges such as soothing to sleep independently, in advance of the transition.
  3. If your child is climbing out of the crib and is well under 3 years old, you want to be careful about not switching them to the bed too soon. There are a couple of things you can do try to stop the climbing such as putting their sleep sack on backwards so that they can’t get it off and therefore cannot climb, lowering the mattress to the lowest setting, turning the crib with the higher side facing outwards, even putting them in a pair of jeans to hinder getting their leg up too high. We always want to consider safety first so see if you can stop them from climbing before you resort to a bed. If the child is well under 3 they might not understand the concept of staying in their bed and then you might inadvertently start a jack-in-the-box type issue where your child is in and out of their bed/room all night.
  4. Finally, the 3rd birthday is only a guideline, so if your child is sleeping well in the crib and they aren’t necessarily asking for a bed, you can feel free to continue using the crib until both you and your child are ready to make the switch.

I hope this is helpful! Please reach out to sleeponcue@gmail.com with any questions.