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5 Mistakes I Made Transitioning My Daughter To A Toddler Bed

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My daughter just turned 3 this past month! Ahhhhh! 

And my other daughter just turned 1 this past week! AHHHH!

With all my kids growing up on me (sob) there’s a lot of new milestones to reach. One of those being upgrading their beds!

My youngest was sleeping in a co-sleeper next to our bed since birth, and the oldest was sleeping in her crib until now. 

Now, I’m sure you can imagine how nervous having a 1 year old in a co-sleeper makes me. 

With that being said, my oldest is getting evicted from the crib, and upgraded to a big girl bed. The best laid plans with kids never go according to plan though lol, so here’s some mistakes I made trying to transition them that you can learn from!

toddler smiling

1. Not Moving The Crib

My oldest is super easy going when it comes to change, so I really didn’t put as much thought as I should have in making sure I set the scene for her to make such a big change. 

I was planning on moving my youngest into the crib so I left it where it was, and my oldest threw a fit! 

I feel like out of sight, out of mind would have been a WAY better approach. 

toddler bed

2. Not Letting Her Pick Out Her Own Bedding

Y’all. This one is a hard one for me. I have a very specific idea of how I want spaces to look, and Shimmer and Shine bedding is not it. 

But maybe if I would have let her pick out her own bedding and take a little more ownership, she would have been more likely to stay in her new bed.

toddler smiling

3. Ease Into It

Literally the day the bed came in the mail, I had her sleeping in it that night. 

It definitely would have been a better idea to let her ease into it and get more comfortable with her new bed before plopping her in it overnight.

4. Create A Bedtime Routine

I never really needed to have bedtime routine in the past since my oldest basically just pooped out as soon as I laid her down. 

Now, things are a little different! It’s a consistent fight to get her to bed in her crib, so the big girl bed is a whole ‘nother thing. I’m a thinking a consistent bedtime schedule will help signal that it’s time to go to wind down for the night.

My plan is to give her a lavender bath, rub her down with lavender lotion, read a story and then put her to bed. I’ll let you guys know how it turns out!

toddler bed

5. Place The New Bed Where The Crib Used To Be

Honestly, I’ve been reading a lot about this technique and I could see how it would help! I think kids are really attached to routine and find security in it. So, if she was sleeping in the same place all the time. regardless of the bed. she’d be more comfortable.

Hopefully you can learn from my mistakes, and I will too! Let’s get these kids sleeping in their own toddler beds! Let me know in the comments what your experience has been getting your child to stay put at night.

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26 Comments
  1. I had a similar issue with my daughter. We set her toddler bed up and hd her sleeping in her room before we had the tv in its final place. Well we ended up moving the TV to another location in her room, so we tried to move her to the other end of the bed to make it easier for her to watch TV. She was not having it. She had gotten used to sleeping on that end and was not changing, AT ALL. In hindsight, we should have had her laying in the direction for the final place of the tv instead of the temporary direction.

  2. These are great tips. We are getting ready to move our daughter to a completely different room and bed and I know it will be an adjustment.

  3. These tips are so good. I would of never thought that 5 would make an impact but I definitely see why it’s important. Thank you for sharing.

  4. Oh yes it can be confusing for kids at first to sleep in a different bed so these tips are really helpful. Hope she’s enjoying it now!

  5. Ease into it really stuck out to me, that’s exactly what my thought was/is with son who’s also 3 (almost 4) but his dad had an other idea and it didn’t work out lol

  6. My daughter just turned two and we are talking about getting her a toddler bed soon – this post is so timely for me, and I definitely appreciate these tips!! Thank you for sharing. Your girls are adorable! <3

  7. It was fairly easy to make the toddler bed transition for my oldest, as we planned it all out and took into consideration many of the things you listed. I hope your oldest is able to fully make the transition soon.

  8. My son turns three in two months and I am planning on transitioning him to a big boy’s bed too. I am very glad I read your article, it is super helpful to learn from another mom’s experience. thank you!

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