Most children move from a cot to a bed between the ages of 18 months and 3½ years. There is no set time to move your child, but it is probably safest to wait until they are 2. There’s no hurry, though. And there are some advantages to leaving your child in a cot if they’re happy there. For example, your child can’t fall out of the cot. And you can put off the cost of buying a new bed and bedding for a while longer.
It’s also best to wait until your child is emotionally ready to move to a bed and physically able to get in and out of the bed safely. Sometimes the shift to a bed brings a few new bedtime challenges, and you might want to choose when you deal with these.
Why children might move from cot to bed
You might consider moving your child into a bed when:
- They have outgrown the cot.
- Another baby arrives (move your child into a bed at least 6 to 8 weeks before the baby is born, or put the baby in a bassinet for a few months before you move your older child).
- They are trying to climb out of the cot.
- They are toilet training and need to get to the bathroom easily.
Where should my child sleep?
Toddler beds are low to the ground so they reduce the risk of your child falling out. If you are using an adult bed, make sure there is no space between the bed and the wall where your child could get stuck. You can use a portable bed rail to stop your child from falling out of bed. Make sure it is installed properly and that there is no gap between the mattress and the rail.
Another idea is to put the mattress on the floor or lay soft flooring materials around the bed in case they fall out. The sleeping area for all young children should be free of clutter from soft toys. Wait until your child is 2 before you introduce a pillow for sleep.
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