Crib to Bed Transition, Tips for a Smooth Process

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I’ve hit another milestone in my house, my baby boy is growing up. My toddler finally transitioned from a crib to a bed.  I’ve got my crib all taken apart and ready to be sold to someone. I can honestly say that I cried. I did. When putting him to bed that night (even though he was extremely excited!) I cried when I rocked him. How can it be that we don’t need the crib anymore. Yes, he’s 3 years old, but how can we be at this stage where we don’t need a crib??


Let me just say that everyone does things their own way and different ways for their kids, at least we do. When my daughter turned 2 (the day of) we took down her crib and moved her to a twin bed. I think back and think how crazy we were. Was she a good sleeper? Yes, not bad. Did we need to transition her that soon? No, we did not. The reason when I did is because I thought “She’s 2 now, she needs a bigger bed!” And so we did.

Fast forward years later to my 2nd child. We transitioned him when he was 3 years old and 4 months! The reason why? He was a GREAT sleeper. Like the best sleeper you’ve ever seen. He LOVED his crib. He NEVER tried to climb out and he loved going to bed and would sleep 12 hours most night. Seriously, plus naps. He loves to sleep! But this time was different. He was growing. His poor body was starting to be cramped in his crib. He was ready, I was not.

Can you just transition your toddler to a big kid bed on a whim? Well, sure you can, but I suggest not doing that. These are some things that have worked for us.

  • Talking: We talked and talked and talked about this. Since he’s potty trained we talked constantly about being a ‘big boy’. So now it was time for a ‘big boy bed’. We talked to him all the way until we actually took down the crib. It was a lot of talking and building it up. He was soooo excited!
  • Make it Fun: Possibly take your child with you shopping for sheets or new decor. Let them help pick out fun things for their new big room.
  • Have Patience: This is a transition, it might take a few nights. I suggest leaving your crib mattress close by in case they want to sleep on it. It’s a crazy thing to move from a teeny tiny bed to a bigger bed with a pillow and actual blankets! The night of the switch my little one burst out crying after being sooooo excited. He said “I no want this bed!” and he was very sad. Insert Mommy tears here. I was soooo tired and thought this would be simple, but it wasn’t. We read lots of books that night and I even slept a little with him in his new bed. WHATEVER WORKS!

[bctt tweet=”From baby crib to big bed, tips for a smooth transition #momlife #parenting” username=”dailymomtivity”]

I’m happy to report that after a few days he LOVES his bed and has never looked back to his crib mattress. He can stretch out and I know he feels like a big kid. (Here come the Mommy tears!) We have a had a few bumps though this new found freedom and big bed. For example, he has NEVER been able to get out of his bed UNTIL now. It’s been a little tricky but I think I finally got him to realize that Mommy will come get him in the morning.

The other issue is now there are no guard rails and a little kid can easily fall out of the bed! You do NOT want that to happen so there are a few things you can do. You can purchase a guard rail that tucks in the mattress and works great. I had one with my daughter and there were no issues at all. I personally don’t love the look of them so at some point I saw this Mom Hack about using a pool noodle to keep them in. I think it was actually a travel hack to use in a hotel but I’m using it with him in his bed and it’s GREAT!! You can buy cheap pool noodles for $1. I bought 2 and they are great. They are not as secure as the railing and they do slip some through the night but they do work. Whatever you decide on, some sort of safety needs to be put in place for awhile.

Use pool noodles to keep kids in place and they will not fall out of the bed!

Even though my Mommy heart hurts a bit because he’s getting older I know that this is a happy and exciting time. We are getting closer to some having a more independent child and it’s exciting! Plus, decorating the room was so much fun. I think it turned out pretty cute. Don’t you think??? We kept the same dog theme as his nursery and just made it a bigger boy room 🙂


How did it go when you transitioned your child to a big bed? Do you have any tips to share?


Crib to Bed Transition for Toddlers, make it a smooth process


September 26, 2016
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  • Reply Julie

    We’re on our second week of bed transition! My kid isn’t 2 yet but was refusing the crib. I like your pool noodle idea. I got a bed rail thing at a yard sale while I was pregannt and we are using that.

    September 29, 2016 at 10:41 am
    • Reply Shannon

      Good luck!!! It’s such a crazy time and sad when the crib is gone!

      September 30, 2016 at 10:40 pm
  • Reply Lindsay

    We’re about to transition my 3 year old to a bed too and I’ve been worrying about him falling off when he’s asleep! I’m glad I found your post, will definitely try using pool noodles!

    October 7, 2016 at 4:32 pm
    • Reply Shannon

      Great! I hope it works for you too! I do have to re-position the noodles daily but I still like it better than a big bed rail guard! Good luck!!

      October 8, 2016 at 9:47 pm
  • Reply Kim

    Thank you so much for the tips. We moved him because we needed the crib. It may be too soon. I’ll try the noodles!

    October 17, 2016 at 3:27 pm
  • Reply Dogan

    Awesome tips. I will read again when my baby comes to world ! 🙂

    June 11, 2017 at 5:55 pm
  • Reply Lisa

    What an awesome post. I like the pool noodles idea. I am going to try it in my case. 🙂

    July 7, 2017 at 6:33 am
    • Reply Shannon

      Thanks! It totally works, I’m still using them in his bed!!

      July 8, 2017 at 9:15 pm
      • Reply Lisa

        Awesome 🙂

        July 10, 2017 at 12:42 am

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