transitioning from cot to bed

Expert / 6 November, 2018 / My Baba

Tips on Transitioning Your Child from Cot to Big Bed

Just when you think you have your little one’s sleep routine sorted along comes another challenge – time to move them to a big bed. This could be due to a need to vacate the cot for the next arrival, down to a mini action hero trying to climb over the bars, or because developmentally you feel the time is right.

With the move to a big bed comes an additional set of worries to address, firstly how do I keep my child safe? If you’re concerned your little one might wake and wander around the house at night dig out that stair gate and fit it across the door. Then if they do wake and leave their bed they will be contained in familiar surroundings.

For little ones that are likely to wriggle a lot, wander around, or jump up ready for adventure first thing in the morning, an all in one romper might be a consideration. These offer little wrigglers a comfortable layer all over their body to keep them warm through the night.

Falling out of bed

Going into a big bed also means that gap between the cot and the floor seems quite a big one! Many a parent has put pillows and spare cushions to soften the blow if newly installed little ones fall out of bed. For an easier solution to this consider a bed guard or bedding set where the duvet zips on to the bottom sheet. Then you’ll have no more worries about bumps in the night!

The Lullaby Trust’s advice

A move to a big bed also means a rethink of bedding; The Lullaby Trust, safer sleep charity, advises that babies under one year old shouldn’t sleep with a duvet or pillow. Most children will see the move to a big bed as the opportunity to have a duvet and pillow for the first time. As with Baby Sleep Bags there is also guidance for young children sleeping under duvets. On a cot bed a 4 tog duvet is the recommended maximum tog as the smaller surface area of a cot bed duvet retains more heat while the larger surface area of a single bed means an 8 tog can be used. At over a year old a pillow can be used but use your judgement as to whether you think your little one is ready, if you’re concerned they will get their head trapped under it then leave the bed clear or else look for a bedding set with an integrated pillow case to take that worry away.


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Successfully making the move to a big bed is a milestone worth celebrating, lots of praise and encouragement will help little ones get used to the adjustment and hopefully help everyone get a good night’s sleep.

Credit: The Gro Company


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