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Your baby has grown—is it time to transition from a crib to a bed?

From sleeping here, to there—how to make the leap and not lose sleep.

Your baby has grown—is it time to transition from a crib to a bed?

If you’re thinking about starting to transition your toddler from a crib to a bed, you are most likely wondering when and where to start. This can be a daunting process, trying to figure out if your child is ready and looking for sure signs that it’s time to transition.


Unlike some sleep transitions, this is one that is not determined by a magic number.


For some children, they are more than happy to let you know they have outgrown their crib by showing off their ninja moves and crawling or jumping out of it—but for the rest of us, it usually isn’t that obvious. Thankfully, there are other signs you can look out for that will help determine if it is time to make the move.

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Here are signs to pay attention to + how to transition safely:

Your toddler has recently reached other developmental milestones. While you want to try to avoid too many changes at once, if your child is showing readiness for change in other areas (increased activity, interest in potty training, increased verbal communication), it is a good time to think about a toddler bed. If you aren’t completely sure how he will respond, you can always ease in by introducing the bed slowly and giving him time to feel it out and get used to the idea.

Your toddler is physically outgrowing his crib. This seems pretty cut and dry, and for the most part, it is. But there are additional factors that should be considered when this is the case. Generally, when your child is tall enough (42 inches), he will start to feel confined in a crib and probably can escape it easily. If this is the case, you should start to think about making the transition soon. However, this isn’t always an indication that he is ready. It is possible that the rails aren’t set to an adequate height or that the mattress could be too high. These should be checked first and adjusted if necessary. If this doesn’t do the trick, I recommend starting to baby-proof his room, and then make the transition.

He has started to ask you or talk about a new bed. If you’ve heard these words, “Mommy I want a big boy bed,” then you should listen to your little one! Much like potty training, some toddlers might show interest very early on and some might never seem interested in switching beds. But when your child verbally expresses interest in transitioning, it shouldn’t be ignored.

He is receptive and understanding of boundaries. One of the biggest challenges when moving your toddler from a crib to a bed is the new-found ability to move freely about his room. If you have a difficult time with boundaries as it is, then bedtime with a toddler bed likely will be no different. But if your child has shown the ability to listen to and respect boundaries that are clearly given, transitioning will be that much easier.

Your toddler starts to have trouble sleeping. Not to be confused with refusing naps or bedtime, often times suddenly toddlers will start waking up in the middle of the night or earlier than normal. This is usually an indication that he is uncomfortable in his crib, and it is no longer a sleep-promoting environment for him.

If you think your toddler is ready to transition, safety is always the top priority.

You can follow these guidelines to make sure you are making a healthy transition:

  • When you purchase a toddler bed, it should be no more than three feet off the ground.
  • Spend extra time making sure the room is fully baby-proofed—you can even ask for an extra set of eyes or hire an expert to help. And when it comes to items in a toddler’s room, less is definitely more.
  • You also need to think about what would happen if your child were to get out of the room. Are there stairs nearby or areas that might be dangerous outside of his room that you need to consider? If so, those areas should be safety checked as well.
  • Try to find a toddler bed that has sides or rails to avoid your child falling out.
  • Carefully consider where you place the toddler bed, away from windows and vents.

Remember, your child is unique and may transition earlier or later than other children you know. Focus on being prepared now, and when the time is right, the transition will be that much smoother!

14 Toys that will keep your kids entertained inside *and* outside

They transition seamlessly for indoor play.

With Labor day weekend in the rearview and back-to-school in full swing, most parents are fresh out of boxes to check on their "Fun Concierge" hit list. It's also the point of diminishing returns on investing in summer-only toys. So with that in mind, we've rounded up some of our favorite toys that are not only built to last but will easily make the transition from outdoor to indoor play. Even better, they're Montessori-friendly and largely open-ended so your kids can get a ton of use out of them.

From sunny backyard afternoons to rainy mornings stuck inside, these toys are sure to keep little ones engaged and entertained.

Meadow ring toss game

Plan Toys meadow ring toss game

Besides offering a fantastic opportunity to hone focus, coordination, determination and taking turns, lawn games are just plain fun. Set them up close together for the littles and spread them out when Mom and Dad get in on the action. With their low profile and rope rings, they're great for indoors as well.

$30

Balance board

Plan Toys balance board

Balance boards are a fabulous way to get the wiggles out. This one comes with a rope attachment, making it suitable for even the youngest wigglers. From practicing their balance and building core strength to working on skills that translate to skateboarding and snowboarding, it's a year-round physical activity that's easy to bring inside and use between Zoom classes, too!

$75

Detective set

Plan Toys detective setDetective Set

This set has everything your little detective needs to solve whatever mystery they might encounter: an eye glasses, walkie-talkie, camera, a red lens, a periscope and a bag. Neighborhood watch? Watch out.

$40

Wooden doll stroller

Janod wooden doll strollerWooden Doll Stroller

Take their charges on a stroll around the block with this classic doll stroller. With the same versatility they're used to in their own ride, this heirloom quality carriage allows their doll or stuffy to face them or face the world.

$120

Sand play set

Plan Toys sand set

Whether you're hitting the beach or the backyard sandbox, this adorable wooden sand set is ready for action. Each scoop has an embossed pattern that's perfect for sand stamping. They're also totally suitable for water play in the wild or the bathtub.

$30

Water play set

Plan Toys water play set

Filled with sand or water, this tabletop sized activity set keeps little ones busy, quiet and happy. (A mama's ideal trifecta 😉). It's big enough to satisfy their play needs but not so big it's going to flood your floors if you bring the fun inside on a rainy day.

$100

Mini golf set

Plan Toys mini golf set

Fore! This mini golf set is lawn and living room ready. Set up a backyard competition or incorporate into homeschooling brain breaks that shift focus and build concentration.

$40

Vintage scooter balance bike

Janod retro scooter balance bike

Pedals are so 2010. Balance bikes are the way to go for learning to ride a bike while skipping the training wheels stage altogether. This impossibly cool retro scooter-style is built to cruise the neighborhood or open indoor space as they're learning.

$121

Wooden rocking pegasus

plan toys wooden rocking pegasus

Your little will be ready to take flight on this fun pegasus. It gently rocks back and forth, but doesn't skimp on safety—its winged saddle, footrests and backrest ensure kids won't fall off whether they're rocking inside or outside.

$100

Croquet set

Plan Toys croquet set

The cutest croquet set we've ever seen! With adorable animal face wooden balls and a canvas bag for easy clean up, it's also crafted to stick around awhile. Round after round, it's great for teaching kiddos math and problem-solving skills as well.

$45

Wooden digital camera

fathers factory wooden digital camera

Kids get the chance to assemble the camera on their own then can adventure anywhere to capture the best moments. With two detachable magnetic lenses, four built-in filters and video recorder, your little photographer can tap into their creativity from summertime to the holidays.

$179

Wooden bulldozer toy

plan toys wooden bulldozer toy

Whether they're digging up sand in the backyad or picking up toys inside, kids can get as creative as they want picking up and moving things around. Even better? Its wooden structure means it's not an eye sore to look at wherever your digger drops it.

$100

Pull-along hippo

janod toys pull along hippo toy

There's just something so fun about a classic pull-along toy and we love that they seamlessly transition between indoor and outdoor play. Crafted from solid cherry and beechwood, it's tough enough to endure outdoor spaces your toddler takes it on.

$33

Baby forest fox ride-on

janod toys baby fox ride on

Toddlers will love zooming around on this fox ride-on, and it's a great transition toy into traditional balance bikes. If you take it for a driveway adventure, simply use a damp cloth to wipe down the wheels before bringing back inside.

$88

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