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I have a (almost) 20mo daughter who currently sleeps well in her crib. There is a futon in her room that one of us uses frequently when she wants someone close by to sleep or needs help getting to sleep. Her room is safe for her to be in for a short period without hurting herself. We have a video monitor to watch her when we're not in the room. I've started thinking it would ok to convert her crib to the toddler bed (not exactly, but similar to this one) My husband says "don't rock the boat" because she does sleep well in the crib. I like the idea of giving her a little more freedom to get out of the bed when she wakes without having to wait for one of us to come get her.

Is there any reason to put off converting to a toddler bed? What things should I consider when we do make the switch?

  • not an answer - we had to move our 14.5 month old out of his crib into a toddler bed because he was climbing out of the crib – warren Sep 2 '15 at 18:00
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We switched both of ours to toddler beds between 18 and 20 months, so that's certainly not "too young" in my opinion and experience. Switching to a toddler bed in our case was driven by necessity: both of ours could climb out of the crib by that age.

If your daughter can't climb out of the crib yet, you certainly don't need to, but that's not to say you can't. What you should expect and consider:

  • Bedtime will be harder for a little while. Especially at this age, when she's starting to learn she has some ability to say 'no'. She might run around at bedtime instead of going to sleep. Ours certainly did.
  • Make sure you really understand what letting her get out of bed on her own means. It means she'll get in your bed sometimes. It means she could go anywhere in the house that is accessible. If you gate or close her door, either she'll learn to open/climb/etc., or she'll just be crying in a slightly different place...
  • She will probably fall out of bed occasionally, even with a rail. Don't stress too much about this; it's not a very far fall, after all, but it will be upsetting to both of you the first time it happens.

It will be a lot of fun for her, of course, in addition to all of that. The additional independence is quite nice for her, and she'll enjoy climbing in and out. If you're disassembling it yourself, I recommend letting her help - hold a screwdriver or something. That will help her with the transition.

  • We switched our oldest to a twin bed around the same time. – user11394 Sep 1 '15 at 20:06
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It might no be the most "accepted" thing to do, but my kids slept with the wife and me from day one. In many ways, this is equivalent to a toddler bed since as soon as they were mobile they could get out of bed. So no time is too early. Our solution to the height issue was to scrap the bed and just have a mattress. Just make sure there is nothing she can get into that would be dangerous, and make sure she has some toys that she can get into so she doesn't go looking for trouble. Based on the experience of friends, the transition is usually problematic whenever it happens, so either you'll have to through that now, or later if you wait.

  • Not sure I see cosleeping as similar at all to changing from a crib to a toddler bed... definitely not the same problems or challenges. – Joe Aug 31 '15 at 5:47
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    Yea, they're not really similar, but I see what you're trying to see. I would actually prefer safe co-sleeping, but she treats our bed more like a playground than a place to sleep. She sleeps in our bed on occasion when she's having a tough night or if she's sick, but otherwise, she stays in her room. – TheSmallestOne Aug 31 '15 at 10:40

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