The first few years of our children’s lives are spent learning the most basic, but the most important, human functions available. They learn to walk, talk, read, and write. Their learning rate is astounding and never fails to amaze even the most experienced parent on the block! There are however hurdles to overcome amidst all of this learning. For instance, once your child learns how to walk, suddenly your house doesn’t appear to be as baby proof as you initially thought. And when your child learns to talk, they always seem to pick up the “bad” words first! But when it’s time for your child to adjust to sleeping in a bed as opposed to their crib, suddenly a whole new world of challenges is presented to you.
Transition to a Toddler Bed Takes Patience
Sure it’s not logical to keep your child sleeping in their crib until they’re five years old. But oh think of the freedom! Once they’re in their crib you know, for the most part, where they will be and that they are safe and contained. But as all things in your toddler’s life, this too must change and evolve. The transition to a toddler bed can be dramatic for both parent and child, but the key thing to remember is patience.
Think of it from the child’s perspective. Their bedroom likely plays host to a variety of toys and other fun things. And suddenly there are no bars holding them back from eternal play. It can be difficult to teach your child that bedtime is different from playtime and that both are important in their own way. But persistence is key and children will eventually respond to your repetitive reinforcement of the bedtime rules.
Establishing a Bedtime Routine
Another commonly encountered problem is children constantly leaving their room and either going into the parent’s room or downstairs to where the action is. In this case it’s up to the parents to be firm and in control and immediately walk the child back to their room. The more you give in to their constantly leaving their room by allowing them to play or hang out “for just a few minutes” the less likely the child is to stay in their bed once bedtime hits. Try establishing a firm routine with reading books or singing songs, and be clear that it’s now bedtime and to stay in their beds.
Between constant trips out of bed, falling out of bed and exploring new-found late night freedom in their room, switching your child to a toddler bed is a chore for the entire family. Stay firm with your bedtime rules and soon enough your toddler will be happily sleeping through the night in the comforts of their big kid bed!