Moving Your Toddler from a Cot to Their First Single Bed

First added 30th September 2021

By Sophia Rimmer

4 min read

Moving into a big bed is an important milestone in your little one's life. Every toddler will respond differently and as a parent, you should not worry. In this article, we'll share our wise words of advice, help with extra planning and preparation to feel make you feel at ease.

When Should I Move My Child from a Cot to Bed?

Most children move from a cot to a single bed and mattress at the age of 18 months and to 3½ years. Some parents decide to make the transition to a toddler bed first. But if you feel your child is emotionally ready and can get in and out of a single bed safely, then there is no harm in jumping straight into their first big bed.

Consider Making the Cot to Bed Transition When...

  • They are too big for a cot
  • They have started climbing out the cot
  • You are expecting another baby (move your toddler to their new bed 6-8 weeks before, so it doesn't seem as though you're favouring your newborn)
  • You've started toilet training with them - they'll need to get to the bathroom easily
  • You want to move them out of your bed to their first bed

How to Make a Bed and Bedroom Safe for a Toddler

  • Remove any choking hazards and anything poisonous out of the bedroom
  • Install safety locks on windows and make sure they can not climb through
  • Buy safety plug socket covers for all plug sockets
  • Install a safety gate on the bedroom door
  • Make sure there is no bedroom furniture your child can climb on
  • Choose a fairly firm mattress to help aid growth and development
  • Add safety rails to the single bed to prevent your child falling out
  • Place the bed away from the wall to reduce rick of suffocation
  • Pillows are considered a suffocation risk for young children too, therefore do not have any on the bed. Learn more about pillow safety with the NHS.

Safety should always come first. While we have listed some important safety measures, you can learn more with the government's your child's safety in the home advice.


How to Make the Cot to Bed Transition Fun for a Toddler

Your child moving into their first bed is such an exciting event. Here are a few tips and tricks to make the transition run smoothly and most importantly, fun!

  • Discuss whats happening with your toddler and involve them as much as possible
  • Let your child pick their new bed- you may want encourage a storage bed so they have a place to store all their toys. Take a look at our essential guide to storage beds for more information.
  • Keep the same blanket they used in the cot
  • Allow them to get in and out of the bed themselves
  • Stick to a bedtime routine - you could even introduce a reward chart and give stickers for completing each bedtime activity such as brushing their teeth
  • Read stories with them to help them relax and wind down
  • Reassure them that you are proud of them and always say "goodnight"

If you find your toddler is struggling with sleeping in their new bedroom alone, there is plenty of online help and advice to support you. And you can always consult your local GP.

For children's bedroom design inspiration, make sure you read 5 Children's Room Design Ideas to Aid Sleep. As we all want our little ones to get the most peaceful night's rest, ready for their next adventure.


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