Top tips // Moving your toddler from a cot to a bed


It is an exciting stage of a child’s development when they make the transition from a cot to a bed.  It’s important to make sure this move is as smooth as possible.

Many new mums may wonder when the time is right to make this move, but there will be natural signs that indicate this. There is no set age that a child should make this progression; some children will be ready from as early as 18 months old and others three years old.  If your child has started to climb out of the cot and is using the toilet during the night, it may be time to start looking at purchasing a bed for your child.

In order to help the move from cot to bed go without any tears or tantrums, follow these top tips:

  • Try to get your child involved in the change so that they feel excited about it.  Allow them to choose their new bed, bedding and accessories. Build their excitement up about growing up and them having their ‘own big bed’.
  • Put your child’s teddy bear in the bed in order to keep them comfortable within their surroundings.  Keep with the same bedtime rituals and routines, such as reading a story with your child in their bed. Be positive with your child and praise them for sleeping in their new bed.   Be patient and reassuring if your child takes a gradual liking to their bed rather than an instant one.  Even if they are not fussed on it, stick with it and be encouraging.
  • Children like routine and to feel secure, so only make the transition at a period when no other big changes are happening at home, such as a new baby arriving on the scene, potty training or a house move. Keep the new bed in the same place as where the cot was, so that the change does not feel too big a deal.

Some people choose to get a toddler bed, which can help provide a stepping-stone between having a cot and a proper, single bed. There are lots of varieties and styles of toddler beds, some which are particularly fun and appealing to children.

If your child is moving into their own bedroom from yours, they may be scared of the new surroundings especially in the dark. Light up the room with a bedside light which will make them feel much more confident and safe.

Remember, this is a huge change for a young child so remain calm, patient and encouraging.

There are some parents who feel that their child was not ready for this move from cot to bed, to which there is no harm in returning your child back to the cot.

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