How can I help my 2-year-old adjust to a bed?

How can I help my 2-year-old adjust to a bed?

Answered by: Linda Jonides, R.N., C.P.N.P.

Question: What are some easy suggestions to help our 2-year-old adjust to her first bed? She wants nothing to do with it, only her crib. She cries so hard every time we attempt to put her in the bed.

Answer: There's no specific age when children are ready to move to a big bed. As with all other developmental changes, children make this transition at a tremendous range of ages. If she's not climbing out of the crib, I'd just wait and try again in a few months. Many toddlers feel very secure in that bed with rails around, even if your new bed for her has guardrails. One approach that sometimes works is to put the mattress of the new bed on the floor in her room, and let her get used to that, maybe just for naps at first. That way if she rolls, she won't go far or hurt herself. You may have to put a gate at her doorway so she can't wander through the house and hurt herself. Also, gradually keep talking about the big bed, and make sure she knows she can take her favorite blanket or stuffed animals with her to the new bed. Good luck!

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