When should we move our toddler out of the cot and into a bed?
Traditionally a kid goes into a lower bed when they’ve worked out how to climb up and launch themselves out of their cot. Try to anticipate this, and change beds before it happens – and well before a new baby arrives, so a toddler doesn’t associate the arrival with being ‘evicted’ from their cot. Some cots are adjustable and the mattress can go at a lower level once baby can stand up in the cot. Then, when they’re ready for a bed, the side rail comes off. Most kids go into their own ‘big bed’ at about 2 to 2½ years old.
To prevent falls you can buy a bed guard for a single bed at baby equipment or bed shops, or you can put the mattress on the floor for a while.
Give your toddler plenty of warning about the change. Talk about getting a new bed being a fun, big-kid thing to do.
There’s plenty more on baby and toddler sleeping arrangements and routines in the book Babies & Toddlers: The Sequel to Up the Duff.