Transitioning Out of the Crib Series: WHEN Exactly Do We Transition?
So many families from both Chandler, Arizona and St. Paul, Minnesota, ask us “when should we start this transition?” Honestly, this answer may not be the one you want to hear: Wait as long as possible!
We don’t recommend moving from a crib until around three years old because our little ones are not mentally ready. Our toddlers need to be ready to understand a new set of rules for safety as we are giving them a new world of freedom. They can easily get in and out of bed, have access to explore their entire bedroom space and are able to practice their fine motor skills whenever they want to. When this cognitive understanding is not completely there, it can be a tough transition.
Around 2 ½ to 3 years old impulse control develops in our little ones and cognitive ability forms, so they understand what “staying on their bed all night” actually means. Imagine you have a 2-year-old and a 3-year-old. You set out a bowl of candy on the table and tell your children “Do not touch the candy. When I return, I will give you a piece.” At this point, you leave the room. Most 2-year-olds would not be able to wait. Their impulse control has not developed, and they would help themselves to the candy before you return. A 3-year-old however would have the necessary impulse control development to wait until you return before eating the candy.
We know that this is a big transition so waiting until your child is ready and in doing so, really is setting your little one up for the most success possible, and it will make this transition as smooth as possible. For families who have made this transition too early, we here at A to Z Sleep Solutions either suggest putting them back into the crib or turning the whole room into a big safe crib as you can read in TRANSITIONING OUT OF A CRIB in our next Part 3/3: How Do We Transition, coming out next week.