View Full Version : From crib to ? (Twin bed or toddler bed?)

03-09-2003, 09:20 PM
For those of you who have transitioned your toddlers out of their cribs, what did you move them to? A toddler bed, or a twin bed?

How did it go? Was there anything you wish you'd done differently?

We have cribs that will convert to toddler beds, but I'm concerned because they are so high off the ground. (Most toddler beds I've seen are pretty low to the ground so that kids can climb in and out easily. The crib mattresses apparently stay at the regular height when these cribs are converted to toddler beds.) I'm wondering if it would be a better idea to either buy a couple of cheap toddler beds or just go directly to twin mattresses and box springs on the floor. We already have twin bedding that we recently purchased for the kids, but DH is reluctant to move our toddlers to twin beds right away.

I'd appreciate any advice on this. :)

03-10-2003, 08:35 PM
My daughter transitioned to a 'big girl bed' at 18 months.

We used just a regular mattress on the floor (no boxspring) at first. After my daughter was used to this we moved the mattress onto a LOW bedframe. The top of the mattress is 18 inches off the ground. We also put it in the corner and we place my daughter in this corner (as far away from the edge as possible) when we put her down to sleep.

03-17-2003, 03:54 PM
We did the same thing as brubeck...when it was time to move DS out of the crib, we just put a twin mattress on the floor for a few weeks, and when he got adjusted, we moved it onto a frame with box springs. It's backed into a corner, so there aren't many directions he could fall off at night, and we also tuck the sheet into the unguarded side of the bed, which has prevented falls. The two times he has fallen, he hasn't remembered it the next morning (he usually gives us play-by-plays about that kind of thing), and he only fell because we'd forgotten to tuck in the sheet. HTH!

03-17-2003, 08:58 PM
Ok, this may be a silly question but does your toddler STAY in his/her bed (toddler or twin) once you put them down? I am hoping to transition Arielle to a twin bed at about 22 months and right now (at 16.5 months I can't *imagine* her staying put anywhere, let alone a bed! At the moment when I put her down for naps/bedtime she screams for a bit (or longer...), so if she weren't confined to a crib wouldn't she just get up and play in her room? I'm also worried because she will be sharing a room with her brother/sister when she's about 28 months. At that point I plan to move the baby from the bassinet (in our room) to her old crib in her (their!) room.

I know some children roll over and go right to sleep when you plop them in their crib, but not my child! :) Should I look into getting a portacrib? I've never even seen one--anyone know how much they generally cost/where to buy them? I really wanted to avoid getting a second crib...


Mom to Arielle Jill, 10/30/01
#2:) EDD 10/24/03

03-18-2003, 11:50 AM
Of course the child does not stay in the bed! It is a totally new experience to be able to get up and roam at will after having spent your life behind bars at night. Your child WILL roam (at least at first).

The way we dealt with this was to install a safety gate in the hallway between her bedroom and ours. So she would wander out to the gate and then back to her room. Once she woke up in the middle of the night and really wailed for a minute before going quiet. In the morning I found her asleep on the hall floor. Okay, so it's not ideal, but whom did it hurt? She knows comfort and she volunatrily crawls into her bed for a nap rather than sleeping elsewhere in her room.

This way we also avoided the problem of having her crawl into bed with us at night.

03-18-2003, 05:43 PM
We also used a gate in the doorway of our daughter's room at first - she was just past her 2nd birthday when we moved her into her toddler bed. Good luck!

03-18-2003, 06:43 PM
We had to unexpectedly convert our crib to a toddler bed at 16 months.

We recently moved overseas and apparently the transition was hard on the crib because after we reassembled it the side would no longer stay up. After finding the side down the third time we realized that our daughter (a real climber) was going to try to climb out any day so we converted to a toddler bed - what a disaster!

For three days we all suffered through temper tantrums and no sleep. I realized that my daughter needed the confining comfort (she used to go right to sleep when we put her down - no complaining.) So I cut a board that is 12" high and 6" longer than her crib. I wrapped the board in fabric and we slid it through the bed slats so that it created a fourth "side" to her crib. (It fits so tightly against the mattress that it required both my husband and I to get it in place.)

Tada, it worked! She went right to sleep the first time we tried it. The top of the board is about 18" off the ground (about 9" below where the old crib side was) so at first we put pillows on the floor next to the crib in case our daughter tried climbing it. We soon realized that she wouldn't try to climb out (in fact, she no longer stands up in her crib either unless her father or I is right there). In retrospect we probably would have been safe leaving the old crib side in place and just leaving it in the lowered position.

One advantage to this though - as she gets older I plan on trimming down the board 2" at a time until it is gone - basically weaning her from the need for a fourth side.

Jen in Okinawa
Mom to Noelle (10/25/01)

03-18-2003, 06:46 PM
Thanks for the advice! Glad my to hear it won't be unusual when she (inevitably) roams around her room once she's "free"!! I hope (if all goes according to plan) that she will be past this roaming stage once the new baby begins to share her room. There should be about 6 months between when we plan to move her and when the baby will likely outgrow the bassinet in our room. Although I guess there might be a bit of regressing when the baby arrives?

Do you leave her door open and let her walk between her room and the hallway? We live in an apartment where her bedroom door and ours are a step away, so I guess I would leave her door closed? How long did it take your daughter before she began to stay in her bed at night? I'm so fearful of leaving Arielle in the bedroom with a baby, but I guess I have no choice since even if I hold off on the bed for a few months she will have to move to a bed before we move!

Thanks again for your help!

Mom to Arielle Jill, 10/30/01
#2:) EDD 10/24/03

03-18-2003, 07:37 PM
Sometimes my daughter will still roam a bit if she doesn't want to sleep but frankly as long as she stays in her room and is quiet I don't let it bother me. Generally though (95% of the time) she snuggles under the covers and goes to sleep within 5 minutes of being tucked in. Just as when your child was an infant, routine is everything. We have a going to bed routine and when we follow it she knows that it's time to sleep and she should lie down. Try to transition as much of your current bedtime routine as possible.

If you want to ease this part of the transition try putting her to bed when she's REALLY tired. And if she does end up staying up late a few nights, so what? Just let her take a longer nap (or put her to bed early) the next day.

However if your child and baby are sharing a room it's probably best to condition the baby to sleep through ANY noise. :-)

I do leave her door open both because she's used to it and because I like to keep an ear on her at night. You could always put the gate in the doorway to her room. If you use a pressure mounted one you could put it in and remove it at will.

03-19-2003, 12:13 AM
Hey, Rachel~
We've been really surprised, but Kellen has stayed in his twin bed through the transition (which started in Jan.) One time a bad dream woke him up, and he got out of his bed and wandered around the room, but we heard him and put him back to bed, and he was fine.

When he was still in the crib, he'd wake up in the morning/after naps and make his grumpy wake-up noises. I'd let him stay in bed until he sounded sweeter or started singing. Somehow, he kept with that routine, and lays in his big boy bed being grumpy, then conversational (with himself), then sings, then I go up to get him out of bed. I'm amazed it's lasted this long, but it has been a lot easier than I expected. Like I mentioned earlier, the outside of the sheet (not against the wall) is tucked under the mattress, so there's some resistence there, but nothing *major*.

We leave his door cracked open at night, so he has a little light, but we don't have to modify our activities for noise's sake. So far, so good. I really hope this transition is easy for you 3+ :)!

Talk to you soon,

03-27-2003, 05:22 PM
For my DD, I bought a set of bunkbed/twin beds. She moved out of the crib at 15 months to make room for DS. She sleeps in the
"top bunk" without the bottom bed(the bed is configured with the footboards and railing all the way around except for a 18" opening at the foot) in her room. The bottom bed (configured with the headboards and no railing)is in DS's room along with his crib. We bought the bunkbeds knowing that the kids would need a bed eventually and we might as well buy them at the same time. When DS moves out of his crib, we plan on switching their beds so that he will have the bed with the railing all the way around. We have no plans on stacking the beds until the kids are at least SIX years old. If we have to put both beds in one room, we will be putting them side by side.



PS. Put a stepstool at the foot of the bed to help them climb in! My DS(11mon) can almost climb into his sister's bed! :)

05-09-2003, 10:38 PM
We went the toddler bed route, and we're really happy with it. We basically childproofed the heck out of the nursery, including putting a device on the inside of his door so he couldn't open it without our help -- thus ensuring he wouldn't go wandering the house alone at night. That worked out perfectly. At first, he wouldn't even get out of bed without us. Then sometimes he'd get up and play quietly in his room until he was ready for breakfast.

Now that he's three, we have taken the childproof lock off of his door so he can get out and get to us if he needs to, but other than just one or two bad nights, he's been great about staying in his room at nighttime. Now he shares his room with his baby brother and it's going better than we'd hoped.

Best of luck!

05-12-2003, 08:32 AM
We transitioned our then-19 month old dd to a relatively low twin bed at my parents' house shortly after baby #2 arrived. She was thrilled to be in a "big" bed and to have a real pillow to put her head on. We started by using a safety rail but found it unnecessary - her problem was periodically clunking her head against the wall on the other side! Back at home, we have a higher twin bed so we put a mattress on the floor in front of it, but I found that she only used it to play on or as a step up onto the bed. We quickly replaced it with a 2-step stool at the end of the bed so she can climb in and out by herself.

As for roaming, we used Dr. Wiessbluth's sleep training method very successfully with her, so when she started roaming (especially during naptime) we'd just put her back in bed over and over without talking to her. That only lasted a few days, now she stays in bed all night and during naps and calls for someone to come get her when she wakes up.

I remember looking with envy at my friend's cute toddler bed last year but now I'm glad I didn't waste the time/money to go through that extra step.

Best of luck on whatever you choose.

05-28-2003, 12:22 AM
I moved my twin boys to toddler beds from cribs when they began climbing out at age 2......I put the beds in the same position as the cribs were and put a door knob device on the door so they could not leave their room. When I heard them roaming around I would go in, take them by the hand and lead them back to bed.....this only lasted about a week before they were sleeping soundly. I thought the problem was solved and they would be in these beds till age 4 or so but this was not to be....several weeks later they insisted on sleeping together in one toddler bed and this doesn't work. They roll out, roll on top of each other, hit heads and start crying, etc. They will not sleep without each other even though they did not share a crib after the age of 3 months or so......the beds are just too small for two 30 lb boys to sleep together......I am now debating whether to buy twin beds or bring the queen guest bed in to their room and let them use that for awhile. Or else I may just put the crib mattresses on the floor together. I think the toddler beds would have been perfect except for this sleeping together issue......I think this may happen with two siblings in the same room, not just twins like mine.....you may want to think about that....