Timeout with Nanny Robina: Readiness to Move From Crib to Bed

By Nanny Robina on September 28, 2010

Question:

My son is two years old. We are starting with potty training right now. We are also hoping to put him in his big boy bed soon. I hope to have these two things accomplished in the next six months because we are taking a cruise and this would make life so much easier. So, how do I get my son to stay in his bed when we convert it? Sometimes it takes 90 minutes for him to fall asleep.

Answer:

If the main reason you’re trying to get your son out of his crib is for convenience on the cruise, don’t put yourself through the stress. Most cruise lines accommodate young families and will provide a small crib for your stateroom, but reserve it ahead of time.
There are signs that a child is ready to move into his crib:
  • he’s outgrowing it
  • it’s becoming unsafe because he keeps trying to escape and might fall and hurt himself

It sounds like you have one of those popular cribs that converts to a bed. These obviously make
financial sense, but sometimes I prefer the option of a separate bed. That way it can be set up beside the crib and a toddler can observe and explore the bed, first at nap time to get the excitement out of his system, and then at night time.

Once you start putting him in the bed at night time, go about you routine as usual – bath, book bed. Leave the room and go sit in your room, do not linger. It will fast become a peek-a-boo game!  If he decides to come out and see what his newfound freedom will get him, let him know it will get him marched straight back to his bed. Use a firm voice and say “bed time. You must stay in your bed.” If you use a gentle tone you will be sending him the wrong message.

WARNING: Do not apply a deadline to potty training. I’m afraid it’s not something you can control. It’s all about when your son is ready and if his bladder has matured enough, not about timing with the cruise!

If you push your son before he is ready, it could lead to all sorts of problems. I know children who have ended up in hospital due to poor potty training. Boys do tend to train a bit later than girls and although it’s not unusual for a boy to train at two, you must accept that he may not be ready.




By Nanny Robina| September 28, 2010

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