Tuesday, June 4, 2013

The 'Big Kid' Bed {Sleep tip of the month}

Lauren is back with a sleep tip...just in time! Leila is napping in her "big girl" bed this week. I will fill you in on how the transition is going later this week.
Jen and I have been talking lately about Leila's upcoming move from the crib to the 'big girl bed' and I thought it was only fitting this month's sleep tip be on the topic of the move to the big bed.

I told Leila to pretend to sleep. Can you see she's smiling behind that pacifier?
Children under the age of 2 1/2, and even up to age 3, may not have the ability to cognitively understand what 'stay in your bed all night' means.  This is why some parents with otherwise great sleepers will see a big regression in sleep if they move their little one into a toddler bed before they are developmentally ready.

As with any major change, it will take your child a few days to adjust to their new bed, and the freedom of no crib rails, but if you move them and after a week they are still struggling to stay in bed, and stay asleep all night you might consider moving them back to the crib and waiting a couple of months to try again.  Unfortunately there's no real 'test' to check your child's readiness except by trial. 

Some parents think moving their child back to the crib is a regression, but in fact, you're simply allowing your child to do what they are developmentally able to do.  

If you are having trouble with a nighttime 'Jack in the Box' and moving back to the crib is not an option, you will likely have to do some sleep coaching to teach your child what's expected of them (staying in bed all night, quietly).  A wake up light can also be helpful if your child understands colors.  These clocks change colors when its nighttime and daytime and you can use this tool to help them understand when they need to stay in bed.

If you'd like more info on the 'big bed' check out this link.


Lauren is a certified sleep coach and DONA trained postpartum doula.  Her passion for helping tired parents began when her own newborn daughter's constant crying and terrible sleep habits finally got the best of her. Visit her blog and Facebook page for more information.

Check out Lauren's other featured posts on Leilaland:

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