Suggestions for transitions from crib to bed


New Member
We are trying to get Sammy out of the crib now. We have tried lowering the side of the crib and he freaks out. Does anyone have any suggestions on how to make this easier. We have thought about just changing the crib to the bed...Somehow it does that. Or getting a totally different bed. Any ideas will help!


Dara, I'm not sure this is an issue I'd make a major big deal about. I truly believe Sammy will move to a bed when he feels ready.

My own son was very reluctant to move from a crib to a bed because change is very hard for him (makes him anxious). So we ended up putting a bed in his room along with the crib. We told him it was there for whenever he was ready for it. We also suggested that he might want to try the bed out for naptime, which he did on occasion. I think both the crib and the bed were in his room for several months. He eventually decided he was done with the crib and moved over to the bed. At that point, we took the crib out of his room.


New Member
We put a bed in the room with the crib too. We did make the bed more inticing though by buying sheets with spiderman all over them. Our youngest difficult child is a huge spiderman fan. If yours has something he loves, try new sheets with that character. Good luck!
I agree, get a bed to put in the room along with the crib. It would be along the same lines as when you are potty training a child, and you just leave the potty out (without saying a word) for the child to see, and use when the mood strikes.

Considering he is little, you could go with a toddler bed (under $100.00 usually). Sometimes you can get them shaped into a race car or something else boyish like that. The toddler beds take a crib mattress, If I remember correctly.

Good luck!


Well-Known Member
You can find toddler bed sets at walmart for about 60 bucks. They have the bed frame, a little table and chairs I think in characters.

You can also get race car beds and such from Little Tykes. If he is a Thomas Fan I have seen those places too. Check out in your area for free toddler beds because kids dont use them for long and people want to get rid of them.

As to how to get him to use the bed, well by now he can crawl out of the crib so if he wants the fun bed, he can get to it. I would make the bed a fun object and let him play on it and around it to get used to it and make a point of it being a big boy thing. Maybe point out all the goodies that go along with being a big boy.


Roll With It
I recommend starting the bed thing when your little guy won't stayin his crib or is too heavy to lift out (or safely stay in the crib).

Get a cheap toddler bed. If you are strapped try for your area. You just have to post that you want a toddler bed and someone generally will respond. Have both bed and crib in same room for a while. Make sure the toddler bed looks as cool as possible. Or put a twin bed in the room, making it look cool. If you have a twin bed, try spending naps there first (you may have to lie down with him for a while).

He may be more comfortable with a mattress on the floor. My kids all were when they moved out of the crib. When thank you moved to a twin size, we kept the crib mattress on the floor next to it for almost a year. We had the room, and it made him more comfortable. He only wanted the crib mattress removed when he got an indoor basketball hoop for his room.

If your son is texture sensitive, the character sheets may drive him AWAY from the new bed. Theses sheets are notoriously rough and frequently pill. Older character sheets don't seem to do this, so we have had some luck wiht thrift shop character sheets. We did sheets from Lands End closeout and another place (gam ordered) that had super soft, super long lasting sheets. But both thank you and difficult child have real texture issues. I have to keep "cool" sheets (regular sheet material), "warm" sheets (flannel), and "in-between" sheets (t-shirt knit) to keep thank you feeling OK. I get real meltdowns if we have the wrong sheets on the bed.

With our kids it is often easier just to follow their lead. I think had thank you been my first he would have definitely been a difficult child for me. But his issues are controlled by following his cues and only pushing on the really big issues. So he is just fine wiht us.

But change is still such a big deal that he had a major meltdown and went into not being able to breathe 2 nights ago when we cleaned out an area to make room for a new chair. The old chair (much torn up) is sitting on our porch to give thank you some security before we haul it off this weekend.

Good Luck!



Active Member
We put a mattress on the floor beside the open cot side, so if he accidentally rolled out he would have a soft landing. Sometimes that's all they're scared of.

I like the 'bed in the room too' idea. We didn't have room for that, but we did have a cot that turned into a bed, so he had the same mattress until he outgrew it at about 8. We had to leave one side off the cot fairly early, as he was climbing out of the cot rather dangerously. By leaving the side off, there was less distance to fall. The only problem - they can get up any time and go looking for you. Or not go looking but get up to mischief instead.

I would make the transition as he's ready. if he climbs out, then he has to either stop climbing out or let you drop the side. if he's scared of accidentally falling, then cushion it. Whatever his concern, find it out and try to resolve it for him.



Active Member
count me in with those who put a lil bed in the same room with the crib. lots of "big boy " praise went with it when they chose the big bed.


We got a racecar bed. It wasn't a toddler bed, twin size. It wasn't the plastic Little Tykes. It was wooden, though that wouldn't matter. If you do not put in the box spring, the sides of the "car" will create a small barrior so he doesn't fall out.


New Member
Thank you guys so much. We will look into getting a toddler bed. His crib actually turns into one...if we could ever figure that one out! He has never climbed out of the crib or attempted to. He doesnt even like the side of the crib to be down. We will search for an inexpensive fun and enticing looking toddler bed...Maybe he can even help pick one out.


Active Member
What about putting the crib side down, but blocking it with a cargo net or similar? He can more safely climb out (it might encourage him to get him self out of bed) or you could show him where he could undo it and slip out the end, maybe.

It's finding that middle ground where he still feels safe sleeping there, but also feels he's where he always has been.

Sounds like he has a big problem with change, as well as needing to feel secure.

If he takes to the toddler bed OK, it might be the best option.

How quickly/easily does the cot turn into a bed? Could you show him this while he's NOT expecting to immediately go back to bed, so he can have a bit of a play in HIS cot/bed (currently a bed) so he can get a bit more used to it? If he knows you'll t urn it back again when he asks you to, he might feel more comfortable with coming to you later and saying, "Can I try my cot as a bed again for a little while?"
Getting slowly used to it during waking hours could be a cheaper option, to buying a new bed.
Alternatively, you might be able to borrow a toddler bed.



New Member
Sammy never has even attempted to climb out of his crib. If we put the side down, he starts screaming "put up Put up!" He goes crazy if we leave it down. I was showing him pictures online of beds and we have been talking about it. He says yes but that doesnt really mean anything. We talked about having his own pillow and his own blanket in his own bed in his room and he seemed in to it but his lack of comprehension skills makes it hard to know if he really knows what we are saying. The point is, he doesnt transition well with anything. In fact, if we are walking or driving and turn around he goes crazy. Things have to be the same always. iT is a safety and comfort thing. I think it is going to be tough no matter what we do!
Then take it as sloooow and steady as you need to. Just be open to different options (you got some great ideas) and see how it goes! Eventually he will want to do it because it is HIS idea, in his mind anyways.



Roll With It
Can I ask why you want him out of the crib? Is it because he is 3? Or too heavy to lift out? Pressure from family or friends?

I am asking because he seems to have no interest in getting out of his crib. If this is the case, if he has never tried to climb or jump out, then I would let it be.

If the issue is his being too heavy to get into and out of with-o hurting mom or dad, then maybe a set of stairs so he can climb up and in. You then roll them away and when you get him up, roll the stairs back. You could either build some wooden stairs or get an inexpensive stepstool. We have step stools that have padded tops for sitting on. We use them at the table (and so did my mom - with my bro and I and with each of the grandkids). just DON'T leave them by the bed during nap or at night. Tennis balls on the feet can make them slide better over wood or linoleum floors. If you make stairs, be sure to use locking casters and if possible to put a handrail on them.

Part of me is a little jealous, my daughter was doing somersaults out of her crib at 9 months. We kept her clothes in laundry baskets under the crib and pulled them partway out at bedtime. She thought the whole thing was fun. I was just looking for a way to keep her from hurting herself, monkey that she is.




Active Member
I was thinking that this kid's anxiety and need of the familiar sounded so much like Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) - then I checked your sig. It figures!

All I can suggest you do, is try to introduce the toddler bed (or even mattress on the floor) as a second alternative, maybe for play or daytime naps. Give him choice, always - never force the issue. Always make it clear that he can go back to what he feels safe with, you just want him to try the alternative for a minute. Offer a reward for lying on the other bed for a minute. I had to do this with difficult child 1, to even get him to sit on a potty, with clothes on.

I stuck a mini-box of M&Ms to the wall and told him he could have them if he sat on the potty. His clothed rear end barely brushed the plastic and he held his hand out. I let him have them, but I told him that next time he had to sit for a full minute to claim the reward. And so on. It actually took months before he would sit on the potty with bare behind.

Try a similar thing with the bed (maybe with YOUR bed? Lie down on your bed at nap-time and read a book together?) and also offer an inducement for tolerating it, then let him go back to his cot if he insists.

He needs to know he is safe. He needs to know you won't take away the things that make him feel secure. he needs to make the transition, but he needs to know the alternatives and right now he's too terrified to even try.

Yes, it's the Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD). That's why you need to introduce to him, the concept of giving something a try, just for a minute. It's like we insist that difficult child 3 try a new food, just a taste. If it's got a texture or flavour we know he won't like we don't insist. Example - tonight easy child 2/difficult child 2 offered difficult child 3 a tangelo. He immediately refused. Then she told him it's like an orange that you can also break into segments like a mandarin. He changed his mind and agreed to have some.

Don't force him, you will make him worse. Just use positive reinforcement (aka bribes, in our house). I bought a bulk box of mini-M&Ms to help me through.