Switching from Crib to Bed

nicole548 asked a question in the Advice for Moms group that many of us wonder about as our kids start nearing age 2--is it time to move my crib-sleeping daughter to a bed?

"She has NEVER once tried to escape it, either. But is 2 too old to be in a crib? I would like to switch her, but I'm not sure if I should," nicole548 says.

Pediatrician Dr. Cheryl Hausman, MD, medical director of primary care at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, says the general rule from moving from a crib to bed is when:

  • The child learns to climb out and you're worried he'll hurt himself;
  • He's outgrown it and doesn't have enough room to stretch out; or
  • He asks for one.

There's no downside to letting your toddler stay in his crib past age 3 or even 4. It's actually safer--less temptation to wander around and fall down the stairs or make mischief while you're conked out. Hausman suggests making the switch a big event--let them pick out the design on the sheets and really play up the fact that they are a big kid now. (BTW, there are some great convertible cribs out now; check out Cafe Suzanne's nursery furniture post in BabyBuzz.)

The worst possible time to move a toddler to a bed is when a new sibling is coming. Many parents often choose this time to make the switch to avoid buying another crib. But that timing is almost sure to make your child feel deprived and slighted--leading them to resent their new bed and sleep poorly at a time when you need all the rest you can get.

What age did you switch your toddler to a bed?

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