Moving from Cot to Bed

The Little One turned three years old the beginning of the year. She sleeps well, is fully potty trained and has a taste for salami and cream cheese. The next big change – the one that will make her a fully fledged big girl – is the move from cot to bed. I have been putting it off for ages, fearing the pitter patter of little feet at three o’clock in the morning. She still sleeps in a grow bag and is quite happy with her cot, giving her a sense of containment, snuggled with bunny and monkey and doggy. But over the last few months there have been quite a few, “mummy can I have a big girl bed now?” The time is evidently right to make the all important transition.

But I’m a stickler for getting the timing right. We are currently in the middle of a house move which means A LOT of change. So I’m thinking the plan is to let her settle into her new surroundings and bedroom first, and then begin by taking the side off her cot for a few weeks, letting her get used to that first. This should afford me the time to choose The Little One’s brand new bed, and some lovely new furniture and accessories for her bedroom. Just look at this range – don’t you think this will make her room look lovely?

Anna Junior Bedstead

Anna Junior Bedstead

Lasko Wardrobe, White

Lasko Wardrobe – White

Lasko Drawers, White

Lasko Drawers – White

Jomoval Scroll Tree Wall Stickers

Jomoval Scroll Tree Wall Stickers

John Crane Four Friends Toy Chest

John Crane Four Friends Toy Chest

Pkolino Chalk Table and Chairs

Pkolino Chalk Table and Chairs

Gro Clock

Gro Clock

I have been a little unsure on how to bridge the gap from cot to bed – to make the transition as smooth as possible. She already sleeps through, so that isn’t a problem. Taking the side of her cot for a while will give a sense of consistency too. But where to go from here? How to make it least disruptive as possible? Then I came across these excellent tips, and now I feel buoyed with confidence for the change….

  • Let your child help in setting up the new bed including choosing things like new bed covers.
  • Set the bed up early, preferably in the morning. If your child still has a day time nap, they can take it in the new bed.
  • If you have the room, move your child’s old cot out of their bedroom – this will help to avoid ‘musical beds’ later if she/he has difficulty settling.
  • During the day, you can encourage your little one to have some role playing fun with his/her teddies/toys by tucking them into the bed, and leaving them to go to sleep. Both you and your child should praise the teddies/toys for sleeping in the lovely bed – your child will get the message behind this!
  • Keep up the usual bed time routine. This will help with feelings of consistency and security.
  • Say goodnight and leave the room on cheery positive note, even if your child protests. Tell them that you will be back very soon to check that they are settled and okay. It’s also fine to pop back into the bedroom a couple of times even if she/he isn’t crying.
  • If you little one is very unsettled, wait outside the room and if they get out of bed, calmly take them back. You may have to do this several times. Do it in silence, but as soon as they are in bed, tell your child how well she/he has done to get back into bed.
  • Leave again even if they are still crying and trying to follow you to the door.
  • If you find that in order to avoid a wrestling match, you have to sit with your child as they go to sleep, you will need to consider putting a stair gate in the door. This will allow you more control. Explain to your child that the gate is “To keep you safe” This way, they won’t feel like you are punishing them.
  • Once the gate is in place, you should return to your child every few minutes to put them back to bed.
  • It’s highly likely that it will take longer than normal for your child to go to sleep when moving from cot to bed.
  • It’s also important you’re not in the room with your child when she/he nods off or she could expect you to stay every night.

When we are done and dusted with all this, I will come back and tell how I got on.

In the meantime how did you handle the transition from cot to bed? Would love to know!

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