How to Move Your Toddler into Their Own Bed

In Baby

How to Move Your Toddler into Their Own Bed By Mim Jenkinson.

Just when you think the worst is over when it comes to waking babies and sleepless nights, it’s time to move your toddler into their own bed. A thought that can terrify some parents, particularly if they’re finally getting a decent night’s sleep.

Your toddler might be used to sleeping in the safety and comfort of their cot, or even in your bed. So, the transition from that to sleeping in their own big bed, takes some thought and planning.

We’re sharing expert advice on the best way, and the best products to use, to make the transition as easy as possible. Being prepared right now will set you up for long term success for this next milestone.

This includes some exclusive offers at Protect-a-Bed on mattress and pillow protectors.

How to move your toddler into their own bed - Tell Me Baby

When is the right time to move a toddler into a big bed?

Natalie Ebrill, Sleep Consultant at Sleep and Settle recommends “leaving your toddler in the cot as long as you can until they are getting too big or are climbing out and at risk of falling on their head. They are contained in the cot and not roaming about the house. I think from two years of age is a sensible and appropriate age.”

So how do you move a toddler into a big bed?

Well you could just go cold turkey!

The other option is to gradually build up to it. This gives both your child, and you, the chance to get excited about them sleeping in a new, big bed, rather than dreading it.

Here are some tips on how to move your toddler into a big bed to hopefully make the transition a lot more fun and a lot less stressful:

Baby holding blanket - Tell Me Baby

How to Move Your Toddler into Their Own Bed

1. Start talking about it

Why not introduce the conversation early and start building up some excitement that your toddler is becoming a “big” girl/boy.

For toddlers with older siblings, they may have already seen how great a bigger bed can be, particularly for story time at bedtime.

2. Let them pick the fun stuff!

Letting your toddler help choose their new bed will further build excitement in them to sleep in it. You can also get them involved in helping you choose bedding – this is the fun part for all of you!

Natalie says, “if your toddler is involved in the process they are more likely to enjoy it!”.

Budget depending, you might opt for a toddler bed to begin with or move straight to a Single. Bed rails can be put on either side of the bed to give you peace of mind that your toddler won’t fall out in the night.

They can choose a design they love and that makes them happy while you can ensure you have the right mattress protectors and sheets to protect their skin.

If there is a risk of your toddler bed-wetting, invest in a mattress protector that can provide a waterproof layer that is still comfortable for them to sleep on.

This is what happens when your toddler wets the bed:

Protect-a-Bed is the number one selling brand of mattress protectors worldwide with their whole range approved by National Asthma Council Australia and Red Nose.  If your mattress protector can do this – you’re covered. Keep their beds – and them – as healthy and hygienic as possible.

Their mattress and pillow protectors protect from spills, stains and provide peace of mind when bedwetting is a consideration.

You can find out more about the Protect-a-Bed range here.

Girl asleep - Tell Me Baby


3. Toddler-Proof the room

If your toddler has been sleeping in a cot for some time, possibly three years, audit their bedroom to ensure it’s safe. If they do get up in the night, you want to ensure that they can’t come to any harm.

Ensure windows cannot be opened and there are no dangerous electrical items or blind cords in reaching distance. It’s also time to check that their heavier furniture is secured to walls and there is nothing potentially harmful that they can grab.

For more advice, check out the Red Nose website here.

4. Using the bathroom

If your toddler is still in nappy pants, how you currently manage nappy changes won’t change. However, if they are potty- or toilet-trained, they’re now potentially able to get up in the night to use the bathroom alone. This depends on their age and how much experience they have.

If you are still in the process of training, it’s best to wait until that has settled down before moving to a new sleeping situation. Let their routine adjust to one thing at a time before introducing something new.

5. Be consistent

Perhaps your toddler has a favourite blanket from when they slept in the cot? If it comforts them, move that to their new bed too to help reassure them and to signal that it’s bed time, just in a new bed.

When you say goodnight, turn out the lights and leave your toddlers room, they might be tempted to get up and follow you. Or they might plead with you to stay with them.

It’s your choice to stay in their room to help settle them, stay until they go to sleep or to leave after saying Goodnight. Your decision might come down to what their bedtime routine was before they moved into a new bed.

When your toddler has stayed in their bed all night, tell them how proud you are of them the next day!

It’s fair to assume that moving your toddler into a big bed can be upsetting and unsettling for them (and you!) in the early days or weeks. Both of your sleep might be interrupted so it’s essential to get sleep when you can. Very much like those newborn months! If you have the opportunity for an early night, then take it.

Be patient and consistent and continue to make your toddlers new bed as cosy and appealing as you can.

What if they just won’t settle?

If your toddler is very resistant to the change, Natalie says “if you move the toddler into the big bed and then do not have the energy to keep up a strategy for keeping them in there move the toddler back into a cot/port-a-cot for a few more months until you feel stronger or they decide they are going to cooperate.”

Teddy in cot - Tell Me Baby

My personal experience of Protect-a-Bed Mattress Protectors

When we transitioned my daughter to her own Single bed, a mattress protector was essential. It gave us peace of mine in knowing her mattress was safe from spills and it gave her an extra layer of cosy comfort.

Protect-a-Bed Mattress Protectors - Tell Me Baby

We didn’t hesitate in choosing the Protect-a-Bed StayNew Cotton Terry Mattress Protector. It’s absorbent, hypoallergenic and has their Miracle Layer which is soft, comfortable, breathable and waterproof.

She was newly out of nappy pants at night – we wanted peace of mind and to know that in case there was an accident, the mattress was well protected. This particular mattress protector was full proof and prevented any dampness whatsoever, so we could whip it off the bed and pop on a new sheet quickly to get her (and us!) back in our beds and to sleep with little fuss.

Protect-a-Bed Mattress Protectors - Tell Me Baby

My son is just about to move into a toddler bed and we’re starting to get him excited about the change! Unfortunately, he suffers with eczema that, at times, is severe. Having researched the best mattress protector for him, we’ve opted for the Protect-a-Bed Signature Tencel one.

Protect-a-Bed Mattress Protectors - Tell Me Baby

Protect-a-Bed Mattress Protectors - Tell Me Baby

It’s ideal for those with sensitive skin, rhinitis or eczema. It’s a great all-year-round mattress protector that will keep him cool on warm nights and warm when it’s cooler. This protector is approved by the National Asthma Council Australia Sensitive Choice Program as well as the Eczema Association as Sensitive Skin Tried and Tested. It gives me peace of mind too that his Single bed protector is also approved by Red Nose.

We’re ahead of the game again in having his mattress protector purchased and ready for when we make the transition. It’s giving us a lot of confidence in knowing that we’re prepared.

The Protect-a-Bed range is easy to fit and easy to wash – anything machine-washable and that I can tumble dry gets a big tick from me!


Click here to see the Protect-a-bed range and if you buy now, you will receive these special bonuses!

A Protect-A-Bed Perfect Pillow valued at $69.99! With Miracle Layer™ that is soft, comfortable, waterproof and breathable!

An Ecoya candle valued at $42.00

A pack of T2 Sleep Tight Loose Leaf Herbal Tea valued at $17.00

You can also enter for the chance to win a $1000 Flight Centre travel voucher – click here for more details. (no purchase necessary for this one!)

Be quick as these special offers will end soon!

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