Tips on transitioning from cot to bed

Tips on transitioning from cot to bed

The decision to move your little one from the cot to the big bed is not a simple one. This is because unlike other child development stages like going to the potty or getting dressed on their own, this one depends purely on your intuition.

If you make the move too soon, your child might start to have trouble sleeping. If you wait too long, the toddler might resist change because of a well-established habit. This is why you have to ensure your timing is right before you start the shift.

There are a few signs you can look out for to know when to start the cot to bed transition. This article contains all these signs, as well as a few tips and tricks on how to make this move as smooth as possible. 

Why should you move your child from cot to bed?

Moving your child from cot to bed is a major step in building their independence. It also boosts their confidence by making them more open to new experiences.
It's often a source of pride as independent sleeping is something big children do.

Here are some of the signs that might mean it's time to move your child to a bed:

  • Your child has grown enough to climb out of the cot on their own or they are too big to be comfortable in the cot.
  • A new baby is on the way who will need to use the cot.
  • Potty training. A bed will provide your child with easier access to the potty than the cot would.
  • If your child expresses an interest in having their bed and you feel like they are ready for one.

From cot to bed- get it done!

Once you decide that it is time to say goodbye to the cot, here are a few things you can do to assist the transition:

Choose the right bed

When choosing a bed for a toddler, there are a couple of things you need to think about. First, go for a bed that is close to the ground to prevent injuries caused by falling.

If you are not expecting a new baby soon, you can invest in a convertible cot for your child to sleep in. 

Convertible cots save you some money and might make the transition easier since it provides a familiar environment for your child to sleep in. 

Give options

Let your child have some input when making choices related to the move from cot to bed. You can let them choose things like the bed color, decorations, and the designs on the bedsheets and blankets. You can also let your toddler choose some of the stuffed animals that they want to keep on the bed with them.

All of this will help them to receive new bed as less unfamiliar. Remember to look for bedding that is made from antiallergenic materials since children have sensitive skin.

Safety first

Moving from an enclosed cot to a bed means that your child has more freedom to move around the room and the house. 

There are various ways to ensure their safety during the transition. You can start by getting a toddler bed with guard rails which will prevent your little one from falling. 

Ensure that the bed you get is made of strong materials and assembled properly. You can offer some extra protection with cot bumper or by laying some pillows, cushions, or soft blankets around the bed.

Make sure that your toddler’s room is baby-proofed by getting socket covers for any electrical outlets. All cabinets, doors, and edges around the house should also be baby proofed. 


From cot to bed Q&A

Here are some frequently asked questions about how to transition from cot to bed: 

When is the right time to move my child to the bed?

There is no age that’s set in stone for when your child will be ready to make the move. However, at about two years old, your child might be tall enough to climb out of the cot by themselves. 

As mentioned before you should be looking more into signs if they are ready, rather then crossing certain date in the calendar.

What if my child refuses to sleep in the bed?

Just like in most child-development stages, patience is vital. It might take 2 to 3 weeks before your child is fully settled in the bed.

How to help your toddler stay in bed

Before your little one can spend a whole night in bed, you will need to help them along a little. Here are a few ways to do this: 

  • Create a bedtime routine for your child.
  • If your child stays in bed, give them some positive reinforcement by telling them you’re proud of them.
  • Give your toddler the chance to get into bed and cover themselves.
  • Get a night light and place it next to their bed to reassure them.

Final Thoughts

Patience is the most important thing when getting your child to move out of the cot. Remember to take it one day at a time. When you lay the foundations for this transition right, you’ll be able to establish good sleeping habits that will benefit your little one. Perhaps from then on the nights will bring some much needed  sleep for mums too.


Marek Wojdala

I’m thinking about making the transition with the sleep training method. I’ve been given this book: How to teach a baby to fall asleep alone and the author says it’s good for the situation. Although I guess your tips will be very helpful, so thanks a lot!

Leave a comment

Please note: comments must be approved before they are published.