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Time for a big bed!

wont go to bed

Once your toddler is maybe two or three years old, you’ll probably start thinking about moving them into a ‘big kids’ bed’ at night time – or you may need her cot for a new baby brother or sister, you may need to do it sooner. Making the transition to a larger bed can be a difficult for young children who feel safe and secure in their familiar cot – so how can you make sure this milestone doesn’t turn into a disaster?

Make it gradual

A gradulal change will help teach your child to settle on their own at bedtime on their comfortable children's mattress and go back to sleep by themself during the night. This technique will minimise crying and is less likely to disturb baby brothers or sisters and the lucky parent whose turn it is to stay in bed!


After your child's usual bath and bedtime story routine, get them into bed with whatever toys they sleep with, and stroke their arm or shoulder as they settle.


Stop stroking and gently pat them to sleep. After a couple of minutes of steady patting start to pat intermittently, with gradually increasing intervals between contact.


Place a hand very lightly on their chest and rest it there for a couple of minutes. Then remove your hand and quietly “shhhhhhh” them as they drift off.


This is where you start to quietly move your chair further away from their bed – quietly move it two feet away and sit for a couple of minutes; then move it to the middle of the room for a couple of minutes; and then move to beside the door. Once you’re in this spot, sit for 10 minutes to make sure baby is sleeping deeply. If you think they are, move your chair outside the door and give it another couple of minutes if you feel it’s necessary.

Keep up the good work

You’ll need to sit with your toddler and repeat this procedure, every time they wake in the night until they have gone back to sleep again. You can amend this technique to suit you better – for example, you might want to sit by the bed on your chair or leaning against the wall until you’re sure they are asleep. Depending on how well your child is coping, repeat each single step for three nights only and keep any interaction with them to a minimum.

This sleep method normally takes around three or four weeks to complete. It’s likely to be challenging and frustrating for the first few nights, but eventually your toddler will learn to settle themselves and you shouldn’t be hearing the pitter patter of tiny feet late at night!

Kathy - Baby & Children's Mattresses Online

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2nd September 2013, 18:05
Page updated 2nd Sep 2013, 18:05
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