I was so worried about My Little Man's transition to a toddler bed. I worried he would repeatedly have to put him back in this bed or he would get out of his bed during the night and make messes. I worried about pretty much anything I could worry about. And you know what... It was all for nothing.
For the first two nights he went right to bed like he always did, and when it was time to take a nap I laid him in his bed and he went to sleep. Sometimes I think I expect to little of him. He is more than capable of understand it is time for bed and he is to sleep in his bed in his room.
Tips to a smooth transition:
- Make a plan on how to transition from crib to toddler bed with your spouse. You two must agree for this to work.
- Pick a date to start
- Don't make a big deal about the transition. We moved the side rail of the crib when he was not around. Then we showed him his Big Boy bed and I read him a story on this bed. We only said twice to him "You have a big boy bed now".
- When it is time to put for him to go to bed stick to the same routine you always had.
- If they come out of the room tell him it is bed time (once), then take them back to bed. Place them in their bed and leave (even if they are crying).
- If you child keeps coming out of his room keeping taking them back to their room, you can your spouse can switch off if you need a break.
- Keep in mind: this is just a phase and if you stick to your plan he will be sleeping in his bed soon.
UPDATE: One night he did try to come out of his bedroom but I stuck with the plan. I told him it was bed time and took him back to his room placed him on his bed. I gave him a kiss goodnight and shut the door. He did this 5 times that night. I finally gave him to dad (he was upstairs playing video games) and asked him to take a few turns. This time we put him to bed and waited by the door. When Little Man opened the door we were right there to turn him around and put him back into bed. He only tried it two more times, and realized we were a united front so he gave up and went to bed. We have not had any more issues since that night.
Disclosure: This is a story of what worked for our family. It is meant as a means to help other parents with transition their child from a crib to a toddler bed , it is also only meant for children that have been sleeping in a crib in their room for a long period of time. Each child and parent is different and will expediences difference results.