They Grow Up So Fast! How To Upgrade Your Little One From A Cot To A Bed

For many parents, it seems that one day you’re holding your new bundle of joy in your arms, and then just a few days later they are ready to upgrade to a big girl or boy bed. It all happens just too soon. It can be a big adjustment for both you and your little one, so it is important to take things slowly and involve your child in the process as much as possible. Here are a few tips on how to make the process smooth and less stressful for both of you.

Is It Time?

How do you know when your little one is old enough to make the cot to bed move? Well, it really does depend on each individual little one. However, a sure sign that they are getting a little too grown for a cot is if they can climb out of it, or they are toilet trained. It’s a good idea to move your child to a bed as they become more confident in their toilet training, as they may want to get up in the night and use the toilet, rather than sleeping in a wet nappy. You may also want to make the move with your child if you are expecting a new baby and they are ready to go to a bigger bed, as this will free up the cot for your new arrival. If this is the case, you will want to make the move quite a few months before the new baby arrives, to not associate the move with the baby, and to avoid any resentment from your older child. It is important to note that guidelines suggest a child should remain in a cot until they are over two years of age due to the risk of suffocation.

Children’s Bed Vs Single Bed

Many parents weigh up the pros and cons of purchasing a toddlers bed or a single bed. It is an easier adjustment for your child to move into toddlers bed; this allows you to continue to use the same cot mattress and bedding as many toddler beds are the same size as cots. However, some parents (depending on the age of the child) opt to go straight for a single bed. This means you can invest in something that is going to last a lot longer and is of a higher quality from a  company like Sterling Sleep or similar. A higher quality mattress will offer optimum support for your growing child as they sleep, and last them up to a minimum of eight years – so you may be saving money in the long run.  If you do decide to go for a single bed, to avoid any injuries or bumps in the night caused by rolling off the bed, you will want to start with just a mattress on the floor. This will give your child time to adjust and get used to not having sides. Be sure to place the mattress away from any walls to avoid the risk of suffocation. You may also want to buy some bed rails –  these need to be fitted flush with the bed, leaving absolutely no trace of a gap between the rail and mattress, again to avoid suffocation.


You will need to transfer blankets and soft toys from the cot into the new bed to help your child to feel comfortable. On their first few nights, make sure you set aside some time to have “quiet time” reading a story and settling down for sleep with your little one. When it comes to turning out the light make sure you are persistent. If they get up out of bed – potentially just because they can – be sure to accompany them back to the room to say goodnight and tuck them in again. It’s a good idea to use firm phrases like “it is time to sleep” and “I will see you in the morning” to let them know this is bedtime, and they need to stay in bed. You will need to be patient, but over time your little one will come to love their new bed.

There you have it. A few things to consider when your child is making the transition from cot to bed. It’s a good idea to make this an event for them – go and buy the bed together, let them be present in the setting up process, and be proud and excited for them to sleep in it for the first time. This should help the transition to be a lot smoother for both you and your child.

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