Growing Up: Signs Your Baby is Ready to Move Out of the Crib and into a Toddler Bed
Harder for parents then kids...
More often then not, young children are more than ready for the big move out of the crib, but for many reasons, their parents are not ready. When the signs that it's time for a toddler bed, many parents find themselves clouded with fear and doubt, which leads to excuses for why their child is not ready.
They might feel their child is too young, mischievous or immature. They might reason away moving out of the crib because of opposing schedules, easy access to the kitchen or a fear their child might get hurt. None of these are good reasons to keep a young child in their crib, and all of them are good ways to create more problems in your family then are necessary.
So in an effort to make things easier and to get through the excuses, let's go over some signs that it's time to move your child out of the crib and into a toddler bed.
Climbing out of the crib
This is a BIG sign that it's time to move your little one out of their crib, though it's often used as a reason to keep them in the crib, as many parents fear that their child's mobility could get them into trouble. Though let's look at the possible consequences of keeping a child in a crib when they are showing signs of climbing out of the crib or they already are climbing out of the crib.
1. They could fall when climbing out of the crib and seriously hurt themselves
2. They could try to find another way out of the crib, like trying to stick their head through the crib bars and getting stuck or climbing under the mattress.
These aren't the only problems that can come about from keeping them in the crib when they start to climb out, but they are potentially the most disastrous situations and are very common reasons for children getting hurt in cribs.
Signs of Independence
When you're child starts to make the transition from infancy to toddlerhood, they will start to show signs of independence. This a good sign that they are ready to move out of the crib and feel more like the big kid they are on their way to becoming. Some hints that they want more independence:
1. Playing with their clothes, or wanting to pick out what they wear.
2. They are becoming more picky about what they will or won't eat.
3. They want to explore draws, cupboards or the refrigerator.
In general, asserting themselves or showing defiance are a toddlers way of saying that they want to be more independent. Each child has their own way of doing so, but as their parent, you need to understand when your child wants more independence, as it is often confused with immaturity.
By recognizing these signs, you can use moving them out of the crib and into a toddler bed, as a way to encourage their independence and help them move out of the "baby stage" much more smoothly. They might not see it this way at first, and you might not either, but you'll both find it much more beneficial in the long run.
Older than 12 months
Many parents over look the usefulness of moving out of the crib early. At one year old, they certainly are still your little baby, but they are also at an age where they are trying to be more independent. They are also pretty excitable at that age and if you can handle the change, they will be more likely to be up for the challenge.
Most parents choose to wait until their kids are 2 or 3 years old before even considering a toddler bed. This wouldn't be so bad if it didn't happen to be right in the throws of the terrible two's and a large part of your child's "attachment" stage. If you make the move at 12 months or shortly there after, the switch will be easier for both you and your little one. Even if they do put up a bit of a struggle against the change, it will be all that much sooner that the battle will be over with and you'll have a safe and soundly sleeping toddler who has made the right move toward the world of a "big kid".