How To Transition Your Toddler From A Cot To A Big Bed

We moved Evan into his new bedroom and big boy bed less than a month a go when he was around 2 3/4 years. We expected some battles and challenges as this is now our second time trying to transition him, but this time it happened seeminglessly with no problems.

I’ll be honest in saying that when we attempted this first time round, we rushed into the decision, we didn’t prepare him or ourselves with how best to handle this big change and so it was no surprise we failed in making it a successful transition. So, this time round we approached things very differently as it was vital, as we are in the midst of preparing him and our home for our second child, that we were successful.

To help you with transitioning your little one, I thought I’d share with you some of the things we did that helped make this change an exciting adventure.

Are They Ready For This

Ideally before making any changes that impacts your child, you do tend to consider how ready they are. We attempted to move Evan into a big boy bed when he was around 2 – in our case, he was not ready. When considering if your child’s ready there are some telltale signs to look for. In our case, he was becoming more interested in our bed than his cot, however, it could be that you have a child who can climb in and out of their cot and are now looking at this transition to make sleep times a little safer.

Make A Big Deal About It

The key to making this an exciting venture, you need to make a big deal about it. Make the bed appealing. Choose or take your child shopping to choose their new bedding themselves. As we did this, midway through lockdown, shopping wasn’t an option but we did make it a priority to make his bed covers were marvel themed as Evan is going through a superhero and marvel theme currently.

Bedroom Set Up

Keep Your Routine The Same

When making one change, where possible, try to keep everything else the same. I am a big advercate of having a routine as it worked so well for us. So keep everything else the same. Follow your normal routine and allow your child to thrive within their ‘normal’ so it is only one change that they are going through at any time.

Be Consistent

Without the confines of a cot, you may find that your child darts out of bed at ever opportunity. Be consistent with all sleep times and keep taking them to their new bed so they associate this as a safe space to sleep.

Allow Reasonable Timescales For Them To Adapt

We had to proceed and make this change prior to Evan turning 3 due to the pending arrival of his new sibling. It was vital that he was transitioned successfully into his bed prior to their arrival so he could receive the relevant support he needed and also to guarantee that he never felt that he was being forced out due to the baby.

Keep Familiar Items Or Comforters To Hand

To ease the transition it is important to make the new setting familiar where possible. In our case this was about keeping his favourite stuffed elephant to hand and a few other soft toys.

Bed Guards

Try to see it from your Childs perspective. This is a big change, the bed is higher, they don’t have the safety of being enclosed within the cot. So with that in mind, put those safety measures in place and put bed guards on the side. That way your child will feel continue to feel safe in their new bed and will be able to relax more.

Along with these pointers, I would always recommend from a parents point of view to enter this with an open mind and to be mentally prepared for sleepless nights. It make happen instantly, or it make take a little more patience and support. Just remember to breath, you’ve got this and they will get there.

10 thoughts on “How To Transition Your Toddler From A Cot To A Big Bed

    1. Great tips, thanks for sharing. Thankfully our son made it very easy for us back then. Will see how it goes with our daughter when the time for transition comes.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. These are great tips ! I will be passing along to a friend whose daughter is about to get out of the crib and into a big girl bed ! Thank you !

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Great tips! Both kids have now successfully transitioned into bigger beds, but will definitely share with friends who are making this transition.


    1. My son loves his bedding. He still gets excited now when going to sleep with all his favourite super heroes. Good luck when the time comes to move him. Sure it will go well 😊


  3. That’s a great idea to make it a big deal. Thank you for this tip. I’m just reading this new toddler sleep training guide from Susan Urban from and I believe we’re doing just fine. But this change will be quite a step, right?


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