Ask a Pro – How to move my toddler to a big kid bed during sleep regressions?

Ask a Pro – How to move my toddler to a big kid bed during sleep regressions?


Our toddler transitioned into her new room and new bed about a month ago. We’re still working on having her stay in her bed and wake up later in the morning. Did we switch too soon?



Congrats. Hopefully, you’re feeling well. Sleep regression in toddlers is the worst!

A couple of things here. I personally do not switch kids to beds at age two. I hold on till three and a half to four years of age because kids at two are typically not responsible enough and mature enough to stay in their beds. This can lead to sleep regressions. That being said, you transitioned. It is what it is, right?

For those of you with toddlers at home and you’re thinking about transitioning, I personally don’t transition until kids are coming out of their crib and it’s unsafe and you’ve already lowered the mattress to the floor. Many parents will switch during the 18-month sleep regressions. Or during sleep regression in toddlers. This is not the ideal time to move to a big kid bed though.

You’ve already maybe turned around the crib. If the back of the crib is higher than the front of the crib, I will often turn it around so the front is now higher. Even though kids can still climb up the sides, which are usually lower, a lot don’t. They just don’t realize they can climb out the sides. They’re thinking they can only climb out the front.

I will also lower the mattress step by step, I even take the metal thing that holds the mattress and drop the mattress to the floor. This way they have a few more inches where they’d have to climb. Until you’ve done those things and your child is still climbing out and being dangerous, only then do I consider switching.

When kids are having more issues in their crib at night and saying they want a big bed, usually that’s NOT A TIME to switch because those kids are already having sleep issues. And we never want to be switching to a bed that they can have instant access to you, their toys, to the washroom, to the stairs.

I’m going to repeat that because I think it’s really important. A lot of parents switch their kids from cribs because their kids are having sleep issues. This is not the ideal time to switch, as this will accentuate any pre-existing sleep issues.


Dr. Dina Kulik, Parent Playbook

Author, Dr. Dina Kulik

Author, Dr. Dina Kulik

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