Transition from cot to bed

Transitioning your little one into a big boy or big girl room can be traumatic and upsetting for them (and you!). Their safe place is all new and different and can cause a change in routine and affect sleep patterns.

While there’s no set time in which you should achieve this milestone, it’s suggested that most children transition between 1.5 -3.5 years old. My eldest moved into a big girl bed just before her second birthday and decided from then on, she no longer needed her daytime nap. Because of this, with my second, we decided to wait a little longer to make the transition and we’ve just made the move at nearly 2.5 years old.

With both children, we took their dummy away at the same time as changing from cot to bed. We found that there was more distraction and it helped the children forget about their dummy a little quicker. We also thought that we’d rather only upset their routine once and try to minimise the impact.

To ease the transition for both the children, we used transformed the cot into a cotbed before buying a bigger bed for them. That way there is still a little bit of their old bed and bedding that they can feel attached to. After a few days, we swapped the cot bedding for a duvet a pillow and will get a single bed in a few months time.

As well as changing the bed, we decided to redo Benjamin’s whole room; completely make the transition to a big boy room. We hoped that this would help him to feel more comfortable with his new routine.

Here’s what we did

A fresh coat of paint was the first thing I did (I used Hurricane) before removing the chest of draw with changing mat on and swapping it for some inbuilt wardrobe draws. We bought them from Ikea’s KOMPLEMENT range and although we had to remove a wardrobe door to ensure they would fit (and put some extra wood down the side to ‘pad it out’, it has actually worked really well and I’m pleased with the effect.

We’ve created a snuggly book corner for bedtime stories; we have taken away the old chair I used as a nursing chair and replaced it with a beanbag big enough to snuggle up on – we went for the Mini B Beanbag from Room to Grow in navy blue. It’s a great colour, super comfy and actually uses body heat to maintain the perfect temperature – no overheating here! It’s water resistant and easy clean which is perfect for a toddler’s room but it also means you can take it outdoors if you wish. We have also used 3 spice racks from Ikea that I’ve painted and used as handy book storage. This book nook has worked really well. Benjamin loves to sit there at bedtime and will often sit there and look through his books during the day too. I’m hoping this love of reading will continue to flourish as he grows.

Were the chest of draws used to be, we now have a 4 cube storage unit from B&Q’s Mixxit range to display some of Benjamin’s toys (I prefer Mixxit to the newer Konnect range as it seems heavier and more sturdy). We made the mistake previously to have all the children’s toys hidden in boxes to make it look tidy, however, we found when we did this, the children didn’t actually play with the toys unless we initiated play. We do have one 3 cube Konnect unit  in the room that uses boxes but I wish we went for the Mixxit. We’ve tried to tie it in to the vehicle theme by using traffic light colours for the storage boxes. We use the top box for nappies, wipes and some other bits and pieces while the other two have cars and train sets in.

To tie in the rest of the transport theme, we got a new duvet set from Ollie & Leila. The diggers and construction theme are perfect for his room without looking too young and babyish meaning it will last a while too! I love the hand-appliqued design it’s really well made and stands out from other duvet sets – it will look much better when we get Benjamin his single bed but for now, it’s keeping him snug and warm.

Being nearly two and a half, Benjamin likes to be very independent at the moment and wants to choose his clothes himself. Because I don’t want him to pull all the clothes out of his draws and wardrobe, we’ve been using this super sweet hanging rail from Kiddies Kingdom to put his clothes for the day on. This way, he feels like he’s in control and I don’t have a mound of clothes to re-hang or fold! It’s so lovely and well-made that we’ve actually bought another one for Isabella’s dressing up clothes. There’s plenty of space for lots of outfits as well as shoes or other accessories. There’s lots of other designs you can choose from over at Kiddies Kingdom.

Although almost there, we still need to replace the carpet and buy a single bed to fully complete the transformation but this will happen in a few months’ time. So far Benjamin has loved his new room. He goes  to bed really well at night – he’s a little trickier to get down for a nap but does go down when he’s tired enough.

All in all, I think the transition has been relatively smooth. Benjamin has had no complaints about his new room or bed, in fact he really loves being a big boy – he occasionally asks for his dummy still when he’s super tired or upset (but we’re only two weeks in). The only down side is that he’s waking up earlier than usual. We’re slowly getting him used to staying in his room but feel we may be a few weeks of really settling yet.

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