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Tips to make a smooth transition from cot to a toddler or single bed

January 12, 2017

Tips to make a smooth transition from cot to a toddler or single bed

We know that anything to possibly disrupt your child's sleeping patterns is a very delicate area! But there comes a time, often around 2 - 3.5 years, when your child will make the transition from their cot (or from your bed) to a toddler or single bed. We have a few tips to help make the move easy for everyone.

There’s various reasons why you may feel ready to start the process. You may have a new baby who needs a place to sleep or your child is starting to climb and outgrow the cot. A toddler or single bed can also make toilet training smoother by allowing quicker access to the toilet or potty. Or if you are like me, you hardly ended up using the cot in the end and you are finally moving your toddler from your bed into their own bed and are ready for some decent sleep finally!


  • Prevent falls out of the new bed by choosing a specially designed toddler bed or using guard rails.
  • Choose a toddler bed or kids’ single bed which is built closer to the ground to help prevent serious injuries.
  • If you are concerned about falls out of the bed, you may want to try just using a mattress on the ground to begin with.
  • Do not have any gaps around the bed and any rails that your child could get stuck in.
  • Don’t forget to keep the bed away from curtains with rods which can be pulled down, securing furniture to the walls to prevent falling, and restricting access to appliances such as heaters which can cause burns etc.

Celebrate & Ownership

  • Help your child get excited about moving to a bigger bed – it’s a real milestone worth celebrating.
  • If you can involve them in the decision about what colour or theme the bed is it is ideal so they feel greater ownership
  • Talk to your child about their exciting new bed which will be coming soon
  • Involve your child in setting up their new bed


Slowing Down & Routine

  • A routine, whether an existing one or a new one can help smooth the transition as it can comfort your child in an unsettling time. 
  • We love the idea of a gratitude tree or a gratitude jar. Every night you write down something you and your little person are thankful for.
  • We know completing the full bedtime routine doesn’t always happen! Not for us anyway! But even if you skip the odd bath, small things like closing the curtains together can be done easily every night and can signify it’s time to hit the hay. 


Provide a comforting and soothing space

  • Aim for a soothing atmosphere in your child’s room with calm colours - not too chaotic (we know not always possible!).
  • A couple of drops of lavender essential oil in the bath may help to calm and soothe.
  • A familiar blanket from the cot may help.
  • Make bedtime positive – say something soothing and uplifting to end the night. Bedtime can be daunting and scary.
  • A dim night light can help those who are a little scared or unsure in the full darkness.

Whilst perhaps a daunting transition for your little one (especially if you are moving them out of your bed into their own bed), this is a very exciting time for you and your child. We won’t go into the joy of the 5.30am visits to the parents room in this article. But we do hope you can make a smooth transition and everyone can get some zzzzz’s.