What to Expect the Second Year Q&A: The Transition from Crib to Bed

Q: We want to move our son to a bed. When’s the right time?

A: Consider what most experts say: It’s best to introduce a bed at about age 2½ or 3, or, as the AAP advises, to switch out of the crib when a tot is taller than 35 inches. If you’ve got an extra-tall 1-year-old on your hands, or if your little daredevil is climbing out of his crib night after night, it might be the right time for the switch. But if all’s quiet on the crib front, there’s no need to rush the relocation just yet.

Got a new baby on the way? That’s still not necessarily reason enough to push your tot out of his old digs. Before you do, think about what the crib means to him (it probably makes him feel secure and comfy) and how he might feel toward the new sib who bounced him out of his accustomed accommodations (resentful, to say the least). Instead of booting your toddler out of his crib, consider borrowing a second crib for the new arrival, or keeping the new baby in a bassinet or co-sleeper next to you for the first few months (which is recommended for safer sleep, anyway).

One more thing to keep in mind if you’re eager to transition from crib to bed:  Once you make that move, you’re giving an adventure-loving tot a ticket to nighttime freedom (it’s a lot easier to hop out of bed than it is to scale the crib walls)—and that opens up a whole house full of safety concerns.

Want to learn more about the second year? Heidi Murkoff will be answering your questions about toddlerhood and offering tips on how to make the most of months 12 to 23 live on Twitter TONIGHT, April 7, from 9 to 10 PM EST. Join the party!

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