Despite your best intentions with your toddler, it’s going to happen. The day you have dreaded the most is finally here. Your toddle has learned to climb out of their crib. Once they’ve discovered that trick it will join their roster of blowing bubbles in their milk, drawing on the wall with markers and hiding the television remote. A new trick learned can never be unlearned. When that climbing happens, it doesn’t automatically mean they are rejecting sleep (all evidence to the contrary). It could just mean they are ready for the next phase of their development: Transitioning to a big kid room.
This can actually be a good thing. It will provide your kid with opportunities to make decisions and accept more responsibility. Will they be pushing boundaries? Have you met your kid? The good news is you can be ready. Here’s how to help make that transition from toddler to big kid room a smooth one.
5 Tips for Transitioning Toddler to Big Kid Room
Let Your Kid Pick Their Bedding
Although they might be excited to finally get into their own bed, it can also be a bit intimidating. That is why you want to make the transition a comfortable one. That starts with bedding. In your bedroom, it might be all about coordinating accent pillows with the duvet. With your kid, it comes down to cars vs. robots or fairies vs. princesses. Let them pick their bedding. This can also provide a good clue as to where you can head with the rest of decorating decisions. Whatever they do pick, try to have a backup. There will most definitely be some bed-wetting and other spills ahead.
Make it Safe
Your kid is going to have a ball in their new bed but that doesn’t mean you won’t feel anxious. Most big kid beds are designed to be low to the ground. You can enhance that ground with some pillows in case of a fall. Other options include safety rails. However, if your kid has already demonstrated their climbing abilities, then these might not be the best options.
You also need to “beef up security” at the exit point. A child gate on the bedroom door or doorknob protectors are the way to go. If they wake up and can’t get out, then they’ll either call out for help, find something to keep them occupied or go back to sleep. (Please, let it be the last one!)
Make It Soothing
Not only can the kid’s pick of bedding make things soothing but also the chosen color of the room. Here is where you need to step back in and take charge. Yes, you can offer them selections from a color palette but you need to be the one picking those shades. Don’t go anywhere near red. Instead, think “cool colors” like soft blue, green, yellow or purple. These colors tend to have a calming effect.
As long as you’re gearing up to paint, you might also consider taking on a few other rooms in your home at the same time. This is a great opportunity to liven up your living room and erase all the unwanted “artwork.”
Put Them to Bed Tired
You’re probably already working at the goal of putting your kid to bed tired but in the first few nights of the big kid room, you need to step up your game. Let them have a little extra playtime leading up to sleep time. You might even want to crawl in beside them to help them doze off. Just make sure you’ve got a clear exit strategy.
Maintain Your Nighttime Routines
Just because your young one is moving into a big kid room doesn’t mean they’re totally a big kid. They should still be going to bed around the same time and with the same nighttime rituals of reading together. If they start a pattern of late night exploring, then you need to shut it down ASAP. If you haven’t discovered the wonder of video monitors, then now is the time.
Finally, this is the chance for your kid to take ownership of their room. It is becoming more of their space with their influences. That’s a good thing because it helps foster their sense of independence. It also means they need to keep it clean. Well, good luck with that one.