Originally we had no intention of moving Ava from cot to toddler bed, I wanted to keep her ‘caged’ in for as long as possible. She has always been a good sleeper and I certainly didn’t want to disrupt that. However since becoming pregnant and knowing the girls will be sharing a room we started to discuss moving Ava from cot to toddler bed earlier than planned. Mainly because I didn’t want to buy another cot for the new baby, yes I know I’m a cheap skate!
Thoughts on moving from cot to toddler bed
We knew we had to be careful on timing the move, we were worried a new bed on top of a new baby in the house might be too much to for Ava to get used to at once, I have to say we were leaning more towards after the baby was born at this point.
In my head I had planned to do the move slowly, we would introduce a duvet first as she’s only ever slept in sleeping bags, then put the bed into the room so she could get used to it, before trying to get her to sleep in it.
Things don’t always go to plan
I never thought my daughter would be sleeping in a toddler bed at 18 months in a million years. However a trip to Ikea and an Aldi special buy later, here we are. My Auntie lives close to Ikea so we often pop in when we visit. I wanted to look at the cots and toddler beds as by this point I was still pretty undecided. Whilst we were there though I let Ava climb into the toddler beds just to see what she thought of them, she got straight in, snuggled up and pretended to go to sleep! That threw a bit of a spanner in the works and really got me considering buying her a bed, I decided to wait and speak to hubby, note – show him how cute she looked in a bed and see what he thought. He was very sceptical about the whole thing and was convinced she would never sleep again.
On the way back from Ikea we nipped into Aldi, by chance their special buy for the coming week was a white wooden toddler bed with mattress for £70, absolute bargain! I would not be able to get a cot or toddlerbed for that let alone a mattress too, and a white wooden bed was exactly what I was looking for, as soon as I got home it was ordered, not everyday you go out for milk and come back with a bed, although with Aldi it’s always a possibility!
When the bed arrived I was dubious to say the least, how can anything that cheap be any good? I put it up straight away (I’m an impatient bugger) and I have to say I was pleasantly surprised. More surprisingly, Ava jumped in, snuggled up and wouldn’t get out, what had I done? I wasn’t ready for my baby to be in a bed but that night she was adamant that she was sleeping in her new bed.
Move from cot to toddler bed – Done
We had visions of being up all night putting her back in to bed, we had discussed how we were going to do things and when things went tits up we would put her back in her cot and try again at a later date. The first night I only had to go into her once, not because she had got out of bed, nope, she had lined all her teddies up on her pillow so there was nowhere for her to sleep, I went in and explained why I was moving them and that it was sleep time now, she had a bit of a grumble but then went to sleep albeit a little later than usual.
I had no sleep whatsoever that night, I was paranoid she would be climbing drawers and running riot in the night and when I heard her wake at 2 I thought it was game over! She didn’t get out though, she just sat chatting to her teddies and then went back to sleep. Morning came and once again upon waking she sat playing in bed and didn’t get out until we went in to get her – success!
And that was that, no messing, no getting out, nothing. Ava is an independent little madam so she loves being able to get in and out of her own bed.
My advice on making the move
I know we have been extremely lucky that the move from cot to toddler bed has gone so well, the fact that Ava loves sleep has probably played a big part in it. As the move happened a lot quicker than expected I don’t have as much advice to give as I imagined.
My biggest piece of advice would be to just go for it, we were pleasantly surprised and you may be too!
The only real thing I did to prepare Ava was to introduce watching the cbeebies bedtime hour in our bed a month or so before the move happened. Ava has never been a snuggly baby and would never dream of sleeping in our bed so I couldn’t imagine her actually sleeping under a duvet in a bed. We started getting in to our bed after she was bathed and in pyjamers and making a thing of snuggling down to watch in the night garden (yes part of me regrets this now) I definitely think this helped Ava associate a big bed as somewhere to sleep not just dive off.
Make it exciting but don’t put too much pressure on the move. Not every little one is going to welcome the move so easily so try to make their new bed seem like a fun thing, we bought fairy bedding which she loved and moved all the teddies she had in her cot over and got her to tuck them in to her new bed.
Keep your cool if they do get out of bed, calmly put them back in to bed and explain that it is now sleep time and leave the room. It might take a few goes but they will get it eventually.
Don’t lose your shit, screaming at them to get back in to f*cking bed ain’t helping anyone (It’s probably gonna happen at some point though)
If the move from cot to toddler bed wasn’t quite as unexpected as ours and you have some advice to give, please leave it in the comments.