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Are they ready for a bed?

Are they ready for a bed?

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As a parent we are always looking towards the next milestone. Their first smile, first steps and moving from a cot to a bed is another event we look forward to. However, when it comes to their sleep, the transition to a bed, if started too early, can be far from those idyllic pictures we see in a magazine. In this blog we will explore how you can keep them safe in their cot for longer, and when to consider making the move.

At Little Dreams, we are often asked about when children should make the transition, and the answer may be surprising – leave it as long as possible. Generally, until children are around three, they may struggle to understand sleep rules and their consequences when they aren’t followed. Starting this move too easily can result in night waking, early starts and difficult naps. 

Although generally, it is wise to wait for that first night in a bed, if your little one is trying (or succeeding) in climbing out of the cot, safety always comes first, and the time may have come for a bed. If you are at this stage already, check out this blog from Little Dreams to help make the transition as easy as possible.

If you feel you, or your little ones are not quite ready for the change, here are some handy tips to help keep them in the cot for longer

Sleeping Bag

As a parent, sleeping bags were one of my top tips for friends who were expecting a little one. Not only do they ensure they are comfortable all night long, but they also make it more tricky for them to try and climb out their cot. Many of us only associate them with babies, however they come in larger sizes, perfect for toddlers. For those who have learnt to undo a zip, try turning the sleeping bag around (as long as the neck isn’t too high up) so the zip is at the back.

Are they sleeping through the night?

If your little one is still struggling to sleep through the night, it is a good idea to try and tackle this before moving into a bed and introducing a big change. Often parents think that a move to a bed might help broken nights, however it rarely has this outcome. We have packages available to support a better night sleep (for all), as well as lots of blog posts with advice on the Little Dreams website. Only once everyone is enjoying their sleep, and children are old enough, should you consider making the move.

Make sure their environment is set up for sleep

One of our most common tips for peaceful sleep is to make sure bedrooms promotes a calm environment. Associating their cot with sleep is really important to help establish great sleep routines, not only for now,but also as they get older. We also recommend no toys in the cot, apart from a stuffed toy if they need one for comfort (over 12 months.) This isn’t just to stop them playing but also helps avoid them trying to pile them up to climb out of the cot. We all know that children love a challenge and piling up toys is one of these!

Gro Clock (or similar product)

As children get older and start to understand consequences, a Gro Clock, or similar product, can be great to support children understand when they should be sleeping, and when it is time to stay awake. Encouraging children to try and sleep (and therefore be lying down in a cot) is a useful way to not only reduce them being active in the night but can also help them stay in a cot for longer.

Mattress height

When looking at cots, it is important to consider if they have multiple heights. As your child gets bigger, consider if you can move the mattress to a lower setting. The higher the sides, the less easy it is for them to climb out.

If you need some help or have made the transition to a bed and feel you need some support, our Children in a bed package may be for you.

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Download our new FREE sleep guide: Five steps to getting your little one to sleep through the night

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