When can my child sleep in a bed rather than a crib?
There are no hard and fast rules about the age at which a child is ready to sleep in a bed. Children develop at different rates and you need to consider the whole family when making the decision to move your child into a bed without rails.
One sign that your child may be ready to leave his or her cot (crib) and move into a bed is that the child is able to climb out of the cot. This is particularly salient if the child regularly tries this out, risking possible injury. If your child is too big for the cot, this is another good reason to change the sleeping arrangement – and most families make the transition from a cot to a bed when their little one is three or four years of age.
Of course when your child is in a bed without rails, there are new issues to consider – such as the possibility that they will fall out of bed. Perhaps consider a safety rail initially to reduce this possibility. Some parents like to put a mattress or pillows on the floor during the early stages of a transition to a bed as an extra precaution. It is also likely that your child may capitalize on his or her new found freedom and come and visit you in the night – this can get tiring, so overall, it’s worth not rushing the transition into bed.About Dr. Alice Gregory