It’s a time we’ve all come to both love and dread — the transition from the toddler room to the ‘big kid’ room.
For kids, it’s a sign that they’re growing up and getting bigger, but for parents, it can be a nightmare. If you’re worried about this transition or are just looking for some ideas to help make it easier, then you’ve come to the right place. Here are 8 tried and true tips to help make the transition from toddler room to big kid abode a little bit easier.
1. Take Cues From Your Kids
Your kids aren’t going to mature at the same rate. Even if your first two children were ready to transition to their big kid rooms by the time they were 3, there’s no guarantee that the third child will be ready to do the same thing when they reach that age. The first step is to take cues from your kid — they’ll be the first to let you know, in no uncertain terms, when they are ready to move to a new or upgraded room.
Note that this doesn’t apply if your kids are outgrowing their bed or anything like that — necessity overrides wants in this case because the furniture needs to be upgraded to keep them safe and comfortable.
2. Keep Siblings In Mind
Do you have more than one child? If so, and they’re sharing a room, a bunk bed can be a great way to smooth the transition to a new big kid room. Most kids are excited about bunk beds — not only do they get this awesome new big kid bed, but they get to share it with their very favorite sibling! It’s a win-win for parents too, especially if you’re dealing with a small room. Bunk beds are great for small square footage areas, squeezing two beds into the space of one.
The only thing to worry about with bunk beds is kids who roll out of bed — if you’ve got a roller, take steps to keep them in bed or put them on the bottom bunk where they’ll be safer while they sleep.
3. Involve Them
Don’t plan a surprise remodel of your kid’s room when they’re making this transition — that will only lead to meltdowns and tantrums because they’re suddenly expected to sleep in this new and unfamiliar environment. Even if it’s the same room with new furniture, it can be traumatic for little minds.
Instead, involve your kids with every step of the transition, from picking out paint colors to choosing their new bed or bed clothes — within reason of course. Neon green should not be a paint color option, no matter how often your child repeats that it is their favorite color.
By keeping your kids involved, you help to foster their sense of independence. You’re giving them control over the world around them, something that they might not have experienced much until that point. That is what makes this transition so important — your child is growing up and this is probably the first time that they’ll really start to associate ‘growing up’ with change.
4. Don’t Ditch the Comfort Items
They may have outgrown their toddler bed and some of their baby toys, but make sure you don’t get rid of comfort items that they have grown attached to. This is the best way to make them feel safe and secure in their new bed, or their new room — by filling it with things that they love or that are familiar to them. These transitional objects are an enormously important part of childhood, and they should be retained as long as necessary — your children will tell you when they don’t need their comfort items anymore.
5. Safety Is Still Key
Just because you’re upgrading them to a new big kid room doesn’t mean that you should neglect your childproofing techniques. Safety is still important, even more so now that you child has more independence and flexibility in a big kid room.
We mentioned the problem of falling out of bed earlier — it’s probably something that you never thought about while your child was sleeping in a crib or toddler bed but it could potentially become a problem now that they’ve made the transition to the big kid bed.
Guardrails can be attached to the bed to keep them from falling out, or if they don’t roll a whole lot in their sleep, you can even made a softer ‘railing’ by putting a pool noodle under their fitted sheet — it doesn’t create a barrier like the guard rails do but for many kids, the gentle reminder is enough to keep them from rolling onto the floor.
6. Stick To Your Routine
A bedtime routine can make getting your kids into bed less stressful — and it can also help make the transition to a new big kid room a lot easier. Don’t change their routine just because you’ve changed up the room. That routine can add a sense of familiarity to the new room, making it easier for them to fall asleep in their new bed and to stay asleep.
7. Make It Fun
Kids love fun — so why should your new big kid room be any different? Turn it into a game. Make it fun for them instead of making a big deal over it. The more you fuss over it, the more anxious your kid will become over this transition.
8. Read a Book
Before you pick out a new bed or new big kid furniture, consider picking up a new book or two to help broach the idea with your little one. Books like Sesame Street’s “Big Enough for a Bed” and “Your Own Big Bed” help you to start a conversation about switching to a big kid bed. Incorporate these into your bedtime routine before you start to make your transition to the new big kid room — it might make things a little easier if your kids have seen their favorite characters making the same transition.
The transition to a big kid room can be a headache, if you approach it the wrong way, but if you’re prepared and keep your kid involved in all stages of the transition, this upgrade can be a great thing for both you and your little ones.
Kacey is a lifestyle blogger for The Drifter Collective, an eclectic lifestyle blog that expresses various forms of style through the influence of culture and the world around us. Kacey graduated with a degree in Communications while working for a lifestyle magazine. She has been able to fully embrace herself with the knowledge of nature, the power of exploring other locations, cultures, and styles, while communicating these endeavors through her passion for writing and expression. Her love for the world around her is portrayed through her visually pleasing, culturally embracing and inspiring posts. You can find her on Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram.
The views and opinions expressed on this blog are purely the blog contributor’s. Any product claim, statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer or provider. Writers may have conflicts of interest, and their opinions are their own.