Transition to Toddler Bed
How did you transition your toddler to a toddler bed?
Our Mommy MD Guide’s reply: My family moved from a condo to a house when my older son was two years old. He had just started trying to climb out of his crib, so that seemed like the logical time to transition him from his crib to a bed. My younger son was born around that same time, so that made for a lot of changes in a short amount of time for my older son!
I had a really hard time keeping him in his bed. I tried to be as consistent as possible with his bedtime routine and returning him to his bed if he got out. I also try to make his bed as comfortable as possible, with soft pillows and his favorite stuffed animals.
I also set up a reward system. I told my son that once he stayed in his room for an entire night, I would buy him a present he really wanted. At first he wanted a kids’ guitar. Then a violin. I couldn’t deliver on that, so I was able to talk him back to the guitar, which he pretends is a violin.
By about three months after our move and sleeping in his own bed, my son was pretty consistently staying in bed!
—Deborah Kulick, MD, a mom of two-year-old and eight-month-old sons, a child and adolescent psychiatrist at the Everett Teen Health Center, and an instructor in psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and the Cambridge Health Alliance, in Boston, MA