Cot to bed transition at 18 months old

The time has come, my little girl is no longer sleeping in a cot, she is now in a toddler bed with a safety guard on the side. Im going to talk about how we did it, how Isla is doing and also to share some tips and advise on the big transition. 

When is the right time?

There really isn't many signs or the right time to transition your toddler, it all depends on the toddler and as every child is different you need to decide when is best. Anytime from 18 months + is considered normal. Until your child is physically climbing out / falling out of the cot that is the main time to transition them, or until they reach an age that you feel they are ready to transition as it is a big thing, I wanted to wait until closer to the 2 year mark as I felt Isla would be that bit older and understand more, but after her falling out of her cot at 18 months we decided to make the transition. 

A safety guard

I would recommend getting a safety bed guard, we got one by the brand Summer at Smyths for £24.99, it is a white one so it matches Isla's furniture and also we can use it for any future children. We put it as far as it could go at the top of her bed so she had a gap at the bottom to get in and out of her bed by herself. It also folds down which makes changing/ making her bed easier and also of a night time I can sit on the floor next to her and read her a story without the net being in the way. 

Bedding is from Asda and the bed guard is by the brand Summer


We also use a V pillow for Isla, she has used this since she got unwell and needed a extra pillow to prop her up, she also has a ordinary toddler pillow underneath it. She sleeps really well in the V pillow as it keeps her nice and secure and is very comfortable for her. We decided to keep it in the bed as we didn't want to take it away at such a big time for her, it was important to try and keep it the same. We kept her night light comforter next to her pillow as well as she still uses it of a night time to help her go to sleep. 


Involve them in the change

When making the transition I found it hard to involve Isla as she is still pretty young and not quite understanding what I was saying. I took her into Asda as I needed to buy a duvet for her bed and a bedding set. I picked out 2 bedding sets and let her pick which one she wanted. When we got home we unpacked it all together and she helped me put the bed set on (I say helped but of course it was more me putting the duvet in and then Isla pulling it out!) We decided at night time not to make so much of a big deal about it, I read on so many sites about explaining how its the new big girl bed and to get all excited etc, but we felt it would suit Isla best if we just didn't make much of a big deal about it and not really talk about it before putting her to bed. Of course it may suit your child if you did talk about it with them etc only you know your child best. 

What we did?

Here is just a few tips on what we did with Isla when transitioning her
  • Let her feel involved by picking her new bedding and helping make her new bed.
  • Kept comforters and special items in the bed with her still.
  • Get a safety bed guard to prevent them from falling out of the bed at night time.
  • We switched Islas night light on so if she did get out of bed at night time she could see where she was going.
  • We kept her door closed (but with the safety cushion on the top so it was open enough for her to open it) and then once she was fully asleep we fully opened the door. 
  • We also keep our door fully open at night so she can come in if she needs to.
  • We turned on our Angelcare monitor once she was fully asleep so if she was to get out of bed in the night or early in the morning the alarm would go off and we would know she was out of bed. 
  • Secure all heavy furniture to the walls so if your toddler was to get out of bed early and play or climb nothing can fall on them.
We decided to keep the motion sensor part of our Angelcare monitor on so that if Isla was to get out of bed early in the morning we would be alerted and would know she was awake, I am happy that we can still use the monitor for a added benefit now. We rent our place and are not allowed to make many holes in the walls, also we are moving soon so we can't secure furniture to the walls like drawers, her cube unit etc. I have heard many stories of heavy furniture falling on young children so this is why we have kept the motion sensor on. Of course when we move we will be securing her stuff to the walls. 

Her bed is still very low to the ground


How is Isla doing...

Night 1
Night 1 went very well, we had been out most of the day and got home past Islas bedtime so she was pretty tired, we got her straight into her pyjamas and warmed up her milk for her to have and put her into bed. After 15 minutes she opened her door and came running into the living room. We put her back to bed and tucked her in and that was it she went to sleep and woke up around 8am the next day.

Day 2 Nap & Night time
I was worried how well nap times would go as Isla can take a while to go to sleep, she got out of bed 2 times and I just put her back in and she went to sleep, when she woke up she got out of bed by herself and came running into the living room with a huge smile on her face. Night time was different, she was not tired at all and I think she got out of bed 7-8 times, we put her back into bed straight away but she just kept coming out. The last 2 times that I put her back into bed I didn't say a word to her I just took her by the hand back to bed and tucked her in, it must of worked as she went to sleep after the second time. 

Day 3 Nap & Night time
Nap time was amazing, she didn't get out of bed once, she just laid down and was playing with her soft doll before falling asleep. Night time was amazing as well, she only got out of bed once and that was it we didn't hear a peep out of her all night until morning. Some times when she wakes up she waits for us to come in before getting out of bed, and other times she likes to wake up by herself and come out when she is ready.

She is napping right now as I type this and she again didn't get out of bed once she just laid down and went to sleep in her own time. I'm so proud of her and how well she has done with this transition. I was so nervous about her being quite young still but I think she has done amazingly with it all and it suits her much better as she is a very strong willed, independent little girl so she is loving that she can get in and out of bed all by herself. I often walk in her room and find her laying on her bed with a book which is the cutest thing ever, my little book worm! I also don't know if it is worth buying her a toddler bed or when she is 2 get her a standard single bed size? What would you suggest, is it worth getting a toddler bed?

When did you transition your little ones? Let me know in the comments :)
Tara xxx 

1 comment :

  1. Hey hun, I don't think you would need to bother with a toddler bed as it'll be pretty much the same size as her cotbed. Getting a standard size bed when the time comes will probably be the best option xx

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