This is a question I have been seeing come up a lot on different mom Facebook groups I’m a member of, so I thought it would make sense to talk about it! Let’s first discuss the reasons NOT to transition from a crib to “big kid” bed.
1) Your child is climbing out of the crib. This is probably the number one reason why parents think it’s time to make the transition. I’m here to tell you, don’t jump the gun! Do whatever you can to keep your child in the crib as long as possible, because when they are in a “big kid” bed guess what...they can get out even easier!
2) A new little bundle is on the way. Yes this is an exciting time! It’s easy to think, gosh we already have a ton of baby stuff...why should we get another crib when we can just use the one we have. This is not a good plan for various reasons. First of all, just because you have another baby on the way who needs a crib, doesn’t mean your toddler is ready to give up theirs. Secondly, giving little brother or sister the crib can be very difficult for your toddler to understand, especially if they aren’t ready to give it up. Adding another member to the family is transition enough...why make it harder on yourself by assuming your toddler doesn’t need to sleep in their crib any longer?
3) Your family/ friends have children around your toddler's age who sleep in a “big kid” bed. The biggest thing to remember here is that all children’s sleep needs are different. One child might transition out of the crib at 3 years old, and another child might happily stay in their crib until 4 years of age. If your child will sleep in the crib, don’t move them out of it.
Now, lets discuss reasons it’s OK transition your toddler to a “big kid” bed.
1) They are old enough to vocalize that they want a “big kid” bed. If your child starts to talk about wanting a “big kid” bed, and seems excited about it...this is a good time to think about transitioning out of the crib.
2) If your child has literally grown out of the crib. Some children are content staying in their crib so long that they get too big to continue to sleep in it comfortably. If this is the case, they are also old enough to understand the concept of a “big kid” bed...which makes the transition easier.
While as I shared above every child’s sleep needs are different...so there is no magic age when children are ready to make the big move out of the crib. What I will tell you is wait as long as possible to transition to a “big kid” bed...and you can thank me later ;)