Big Kid Bed Transition

How and When to Transition to a Big Kid Bed – 


First things first – transitioning your toddler to a bed is NOT a solution for bad sleep. If your toddler isn’t sleeping well in their crib, then transitioning them is not a good idea.

Get them sleeping well first.

​By the way- I can absolutely help you with this. It’s never too late to teach a child to sleep well.

Removing the boundaries and security of a crib is a hard and often confusing adjustment for some toddlers – and making sure that they are age appropriate is important.

Keeping your little one in their crib as close to the age of 3 is highly recommended for developmental readiness.

Preparation is key

  • BEFORE transitioning your little one to a big kid bed, ensure you involve them in the set up and choices to get greater buy in. Have them choose their bedding, a new pillow or some new accessories for their new bedroom set up.
  • Ensure you purchase toddler clock, or if they are able to understand numbers, purchase a simple digital clock and tape over the numbers except for the hour – showing the number 7 as when they can get out of their bed. Boundaries are key to success. Set the clock accordingly.
  • Discuss expectations and celebrate the night of the transition and the morning after.

Boundaries & Maintaining Success

  • First of all, no matter how good of a sleeper your little one is, it’s expected that they will test the boundaries at some point – they are toddlers after all! Ensure that you are clear what the boundaries are and that you reinforce them. Letting them out of bed before their clock says it’s ok, even once, can undermine the boundary.
  • Ensure you are clear on what the consequence is for not behaving as expected in their bed – staying in bed quietly until their clock says it’s time. Certainly, a warning or two is fine, but if you are warning consistently, then the warning begins to mean nothing. Any consequence needs to be immediate and not delayed.
  • Remember, don’t shame your little one by accidentally punishing them or being angry. They are looking to you to be firm and sure of who’s in charge and if you aren’t in control of your emotions, it can set them off towards insecurity and add to the problem.
  • There is usually a honeymoon period with the big kid bed, so don’t be fooled if things are going well – stay true to the rules of the bed! ​
  • A reward chart for great behavior is always a good thing if you ever need to get good bed habits back on track.

Toddlers are hard work and need a lot of consistency around this change!

Please let me know if you have any questions.

Contacting Jo Anna was the best thing for our family! We have twin boys and did not know how to navigate bedtime and naps with two. She gave us easy, practical steps to follow and our boys are now great sleepers. She would get back to me quickly if I had any questions and was very knowledgeable.
- Emily

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