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  • Some are excited about the transition, whilst others find it all a bit daunting. Make moving to their first big bed easy for your toddler with these simple tips. Moving your toddler to their first big bed is quite a milestone in their life.

    Children are generally ready to move from a cot to a bed around 2 to 3 years old. However it really depends when your child is ready, whether they are too big for their cot or whether circumstances such as the arrival of sibling dictate. Involve them in the process as much as possible: Make their new bed a fun place they want to be.

    This not only extends the use of the cot, but can help make the transition to a proper bed slightly easier. Despite your best efforts, you or your partner may end up spending the night in your little one's bed for one reason or another, so a comfortable mattress that can support your weight too will be very beneficial.

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    Try to avoid moving them into a bed at the same time as other life changes such as moving house , starting childcare or the arrival of a sibling. If possible try to move them at least months beforehand to help reduce any feelings of displacement. Keep some things consistent To help ease the transition from a cot to a bed, put the new bed in the same place as the cot was if you can. Remove the cot from their room completely so that there is no confusion about where they should sleep or a need for your toddler to want to go back to sleeping in it.

    Bed guards Bed guards are a good gentle way of reassuring little ones who have moved from the four-sided safety of a cot into a single bed.

    You can remove the guards once you think they are used to their bed and not likely to roll out.

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  • Another option is to put pillows, cushions or a mattress on the floor next to their bed in the early stages, so if your little one does fall out they are less likely to hurt themselves. If this routine worked well before then it will continue to work well even with the new bed thrown into the mix. So expect some hurdles and get ready for a few disturbed nights!

    Some children cry, whilst others shout out or become aggressive or frantic when they transition to a big bed and keep trying to escape.

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    If you can, make the transition over a weekend, that way you can get some extra rest yourself if need be. Be understanding and help your little one love their new bed by investing time into helping them settle.

    Reward their efforts when they stay in their new bed and tell them just how proud you are. Avoid sounding angry or frustrated when they get out of bed as this can make them feel anxious and make it harder for them to sleep at night. Reassure them that you are nearby and that you will see them in the morning. Prepare yourself for 20 or more trips on the first few nights! The less attention your give them no cuddles or picking them up , the fewer times they will get up in future.

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    If your little one is constantly getting out of bed, reward them when they stay in their and sleep through the night with sticker charts, extra bedtime stories, a trip to the park or beach etc. Another option is to put a stair gate across their bedroom door to stop them wandering around the house and into your room at night, or potentially falling down stairs or hurting themselves in the dark.

    So that they are not completely in the dark when they go to bed you could try using glow in the dark stars on their wall or ceiling, a night light or keeping the hallway light on with their door slightly ajar.

    Another option is to put pillows, cushions or a mattress on the floor next to their bed in the early stages, so if your little one does fall out they are less likely to hurt themselves. The regulations apply to new and second-hand cots designed and intended to be used in the home for a child's or infant's sleeping use. If they do not carry a warning label, they will be considered second-hand cots and must comply with the relevant parts of the safety standard.

    Avoid missing day sleeps or stretching out bedtime in the hope that your toddler will settle more easily. Instead they are likely to become over-tired and over stimulated, making the whole process much harder for both of you. More bed and sleep articles to enjoy:

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