While there are no hard and fast rules on this, most toddlers make the move from the cot to their own beds any time between 18 months and three and a half years. Create a sense of continuity by moving over some familiar items from the cot, such as a favourite blanket or teddy, or reposition a much-loved cot mobile over the new bed.
Your toddler will no longer be confined to the safety of the cot, so reassess your home for potential dangers. If the new bed has no sides, you can install bed rails, or place cushions, pillows, or folded duvets and blankets onto the floor beside the bed to soften any night-time rolling mishaps. To stop your toddler coming to any harm while wandering about unsupervised, install a baby gate across the bedroom door, and ensure stairs are barricaded.
Check that all plug points are covered, tidy up electrical cords and wind up blind cords that could be a strangling hazard. If there are items of furniture which your toddler could pull over, such as book and toy shelves, secure these to the wall with brackets.
Some children are quite happy to wave goodbye to their cot and never look back, moving in one jump from cot to bed. Others cope better if allowed to move over in stages.
Consider starting with daytime naps in the big bed, sleeping in the cot only at night. Or have your toddler spend a few nights sleeping on the cot mattress on the floor beside the bed before making the final move.
Here are two methods that can be used to keep your toddler in bed. The first is to immediately return your toddler to bed, making as little fuss as possible. Be prepared to have your patience sorely tried, as you will likely have to return your toddler to bed twenty, thirty, even a hundred times in an evening.
Moses baskets Typically made from palm or wicker, Moses baskets are suitable from birth and feature a cosy-looking design with sturdy handles and linings available in a variety of prints and colours to suit any space or set-up. If you like the idea of a Moses basket but not the traditional look, there are other, more contemporary options available, namely the brightly hued Moba Moses basket, available at John Lewis, which is made from an eco-friendly recyclable material with anti-microbial and hypoallergenic properties. However, these are not essential as toys can easily be attached to a cot.
With perseverance and consistency however, this method usually sorts out the problem within a few days. Otherwise try the gradual approach; it generally takes longer, but is less taxing on the nerves.
Over the following nights, gradually move closer and closer to the door until your child falls asleep without you in the room. If both these methods fail, your toddler may not be ready for the move.
Be patient and give your toddler time to adjust to what is a major milestone in his or her life, and before you know it, the cot will be a distant memory. Must be easy to maintain The mattress protector should be machine washable on hot, and should be able to be tumble dried.
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