Moving from Crib to Bed
How do we make the change?
Which approach is best for you will depend on your reasons for making the change, your child's personality, and the size of his room. Here are a few options:
Big-kid bed hoopla
Some children enjoy having an official Big Kid Day party. Set up the bed, decorate the room and add a few sleep-related gifts like books and stuffed animals.
Take the mattress out of the crib and place it on the floor in the place as the crib was. This gives your child the same sleeping surface and view of the room as he's accustomed to. Place guard rails around the sides to create a crib-like enclosure. Keep the same bedding and crib toys. This is a mid-step between the crib and a real bed.
The gradual introduction
Set up the new bed in the same room with the crib. Allow your child to play on the bed and nap there. Do your bedtime reading in the new bed. This will help your child get used to the bed gradually.
Patience and encouragement
No matter which path you choose - be patient. Big steps toward growth often happen in spurts, and your child may be excited to welcome the change one day, but wary of it the next. Maintain your nightly bedtime routine and help your child develop a positive association with his new bed, since he'll be sleeping there for many years to come.
Excerpted with permission by McGraw-Hill Publishing from The No-Cry Sleep Solution for Toddlers and Preschoolers (McGraw-Hill 2005) by Elizabeth Pantley www.pantley.com/elizabeth
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