6 Tips for Transitioning from your Child out of their Crib

Your baby is no longer a baby—she’s grown into a fearsome little toddler. And she's ready to leap out of her crib, maybe a little too literally!

Picking out Your Child's First "Big Kid" Bed

Time to get her a bed of her own that is comfortable, safe, and perfect for a good night’s sleep.

Nowadays, some cribs do extend into a full sized toddler bed with removable railings. Another option is to go the floor bed route, where the bed is so low on the floor that there is no chance of your toddler falling out and hurting themselves. Check out our floor bed collection including "tipi" shaped floor beds, house-shaped beds, and Montessori style beds. Also, we offer a selection of US-made crib-sized toddler beds with roll-out protection.

Follow these six tips to help make the transition to "big kid" bed a breeze!

1. Bring in the Comforts

The change in sleeping arrangements may be daunting to your toddler, who may find sleeping in a different bed, with different bedding, unfamiliar and scary. Using some of the blankets that your child is used to from the crib can help with this transition, as can a cuddly soft toy and a nightlight.

2. Do a Safety Check

As you’ve probably already done when you first brought your baby home, check his or her room thoroughly for any possible hazards, like uncovered electric plugs, loose or hanging cords, furnishings with sharp edges, or oversized closets that could fall over and hurt your child.

Remember, a toddler is much more mobile and active. Remove any fire hazards and check the smoke alarm. Some bedding materials are made with fire retardant chemicals, which is also not ideal—but that is a topic for another blog post!

At first, it’s best to place your child’s bed away from windows, as kids jump and play on beds, it’s a good idea that it is not near glass that can break and injure them. This is also relevant if the room is on the second floor of a house—kids are inquisitive and may try to open a window or climb up onto a windowsill.

You can add fittings to the window to prevent it from opening more than a couple of inches, and there are some good options for shatterproof glass.

Additionally, make sure that the room remains at a comfortable temperature throughout the day and night.

3. Consider a Twin-Sized Bed

When choosing a new bed for your toddler, we can recommend that you buy something big enough to take your child through at least the first couple of years, with space to accommodate the rapid growth of early childhood. For many, a crib-sized bed is great because you can use your existing mattress and simply plunk it into a new frame. Monkey Bunks has a great selection of beds for crib-sized mattresses, but you may also want to jump straight to a twin-sized bed which they may very well enjoy until they are teens!

You may have to take future developments in your family into account, such as a younger sibling that will soon also need their own "big kid" bed before you know it!

Limited space and the need for your kids to share a bedroom make bunk beds ideal, and at Monkey Bunks we have a range of bunk beds to choose from and a wealth of advice on how to make the most of small spaces. Whether it’s a regular single bed or a bunk bed, there are some basic things you need to make sure of when transitioning your toddler from the crib.

Bunk beds that include a floor bed bottom bunk are amazing for tots with a bigger sibling (aged 6 or over) who can sleep above them in the top bunk.

4. Make Sure the Build is Sturdy

Choose a sturdy bed made of durable materials with strong fittings that can take some strain—you need a bed that will survive your kids’ jumping sprees! Since we at Monkey Bunks ship to locations all over the continental US, you will have to assemble the bed when it gets to you. When taking it out of its packaging, first check thoroughly if all the parts are there, that all the parts are intact and undamaged, and—to save you time and frustration—read the instructions!

If anything is out of place, contact us immediately to arrange a solution to whatever the problem is, whether it’s a missing part, or a part that was damaged during shipping, we’ll set it right at no extra cost to you.

When assembling the bed, make sure you tighten all the joints properly using the right tools. When it comes to the safety of your child, there really are no shortcuts. Check the joints and fittings from time to time to make sure all is still in order, and that no sharp edges or screws are sticking out. At the toddler stage, an overly themed or ornamented bed may not the best idea. Choose a simple rectangular bed without any protruding themed parts that your toddler may bump on.

5. Consider the Bed Height

Remember that your little person needs to be able to get on the bed without your help, so choose something low to the ground, or if you’re going the route of a bunk bed, a short but sturdy ladder so your child can get on and off his or her bed without your help. A low bed is also safer if your toddler should roll out of bed by accident, and if you choose a bunk bed, guard railings all around the top bunk are essential. We strongly recommend you don't put a kid on a top bunk until they are at least 6 years old. 

We have a great collection of floor beds, which are (as the name suggests) flush with the floor so rolling out is a non-issue. The mattress sits directly on the ground within the bed frame, which gives a stylish minimalist look to the room.

In the beginning stages of sleeping in their own bed, some parents opt to place a thin mattress along the side of the bed to cushion a fall should it happen.What has also become popular is a sleeping cushion with raised edges all around to keep your child from accidentally rolling out of bed. We recommend toddler beds from Little Colorado, which come with a wooden border to keep your kiddo in safe.

6. Pick a Waterproof Mattress 

The mattress should still be a waterproof one as it will still be a while before your child can go to bed without a diaper. We have some great suggestions on mattresses that are waterproof yet free of dangerous chemicals commonly used as flame retardants.

First off, Moonlight Slumber mattresses are a top pick according to the New York Times, who "spent 11 hours researching hundreds of crib mattresses and then a month testing a dozen different mattress brands. They wrote:

[W]e think the two-sided Moonlight Slumber Little Dreamer is the best choice for most families. It provides a firm, comfortable, easy-to-clean sleep surface for your child from infancy until it’s time for a big-kid bed.

Naturepedic Organic Mattress

You can also pick out a non-toxic made-in-the-USA mattress in larger size from Moonlight Slumber, they're available in twin and full sizes too. 

Lastly, you can do even better for your kid and the environment by picking a dual-sized mattress from Naturepedic, which, like the Moonlight Slumber options, is waterproof on one side but can be flipped over and used like a regular mattress once your child has matured out of nighttime wettings.