Here are some tips from an experienced mother on how you can succeed in transitioning your toddler from a cot to a bed.

This post has been written in collaboration with Sleepmaker

This year, Phoebe will be out of a cot and into a bed and I’m not sure how I feel about it because, being my last baby, this will mean this is the last time the cot will be used.

Having transitioned two toddlers into king single beds, I have a few tips for transitioning your toddler to a big bed. As I do with most child-related challenges, I go with the flow and follow my kid’s lead.

There are a myriad of tips on how to make the transition easier, but these are the tips that worked for us.

tips for transitioning your toddler to a big bed

1. Remove one side of the cot so your toddler can learn to sleep in a bed. Have a few nights or weeks to get used to sleeping with an open side.

2. Set up your child’s new room. For our previous girls, the cot stayed in one room and has remained in the nursery for all three of my daughters. Setting up a new room for Esther and Maggie meant a new room to explore and play in. Decorate it with colours and motifs they are attracted to. For fabulous girl room inspiration, check out Petite Vintage Interiors on Instagram.

There were some nights when the girls headed to the nursery for bedtime, but with coaxing, they remembered their new bedroom and were eager to sleep in their new bed. Make sure all their toys and comforters are with them in their new bed.

comforter toys for bed transition

Maggie’s favourite toys that she likes to sleep with.

3. Choose a comfortable mattress for your child’s new bed. This is not the time to skimp on a mattress. To get an idea of what type of mattress to buy for your child, head to Sleepmaker where they have a Mattress Selector that can help you choose the right mattress for your child.

4. Choose the size of your kids’ bed wisely. We opted to buy king single beds, but this will mean all our kids will have king single beds as I don’t want to have to decipher through the linen cupboard on which sheets are single or king single. Often king single sheets, quilt covers and quilts are hard to find or sell out quite quickly. Double bed linen will fit a king single bed. I’ve often found a double bed quilt is the right length on a king single bed.

toddler bed transition

Maggie in her King Single Bed – mind the mess!

5. Add some new, fun items in their room that is just for them to play with. AdairsTarget,  Little Me Little YouBaby Donkie and Lark have some fabulous kids bedroom décor items that can add fun to your child’s room.

toddler bed transition bed linen

Choose fun bed linen and cushions to jazz up their room.

6. If you’re worried your child will fall out of bed, insert a pool noodle under the fitted sheet as a barrier to stop your little one from falling out. Alternatively, you can use a barrier that isn’t used for very long, but if there are younger siblings, you will get your money’s worth out of it.

7. Keep the bed away from any blind chords. We have placed our girl’s beds near the window, but not on the end where the blind chords are. Keep the chords well out of reach from the kids by installing Dreambaby® cord wind-ups.

8. Install a night light or some sort of light that the kids can read to understand when it’s the right time to get out of bed. The clock often gets ignored, but the night light offers reassurance to them as they sleep at night.

night lights for bedroom
From right to left: Little Blue Pear Light $19.95 from Lark Store, *Dog Night Light (on sale) $4.95  from Adairs, *Starry Night Bright Light $24.95 from Typo

9. Restrain all bookshelves and chests of drawers, especially if they are next to the bed. Your little one may use their bed as a platform to climb their furniture, so ensure these bigger furniture items are attached to the wall to avoid any nasty accidents.

10. Be patient. Some kids will take to their new bed like a duck to water, while others will take time to get used to their new sleep surroundings. If you’re worried about them kicking off their covers and getting cold in the night, I usually still put them in a sleepsuit that has legs that can be bought from Best and Less.

What helped transition your little one to a toddler bed? Can you share any tips to help other mums?

*Affiliate links — should you choose to purchase an item, I will receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.

This post has been written in accordance with my disclosure policy.


Originally published on The Plumbette. Photo by Tatiana Syrikova from Pexels.

About the Author: Rebecca Senyard

Rebecca Senyard is a plumber by day and stylist by night, but these days she changes more nappies than washers. She is a happily married mum to three young daughters whom she styles on a regular basis. Rebecca is not only an award-winning plumber, she also writes an award-winning blog called The Plumbette, where she shares her life experiences as a plumber and mother. Rebecca also blogs at Styled by Bec, believing a girl can be both practical and stylish.

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