Transitioning from Cot to Bed

Moving a baby from its cot to bed signifies an exciting milestone for every child.

However, it is a process that can be difficult for many parents. There is no set age as to when a child should move from cot to bed. It all depends on when they are ready and whether they will be safe while asleep they will be. However, most children show signs of readiness from two years old while others wait till they are almost four years old. 

The decision of moving a toddler from its cot to a bed may be brought about by a number of factors which include:

  • If they have outgrown the cot
  • If the parents are expecting another baby hence room has to be created before it arrives.
  • If they are trying to climb out of the cot, hence they could easily topple over making it a health hazard.
  • If they are toilet training and need to use it with much ease.

Choosing the Right Bed

When buying a bed for a toddler, parents have to consider the weight and age of the child. The best kind of bed should be one that is low to the ground to reduce the risk of the child falling out.

You can use a portable bed rail to stop your child falling out of bed. Make sure it is installed properly and that there is no gap between the mattress and the rail.

Childproofing the Bedroom and House

Since the child is now on its own bed, they can easily move around the bedroom and entire house during the night. This will call for putting in place safety measures to avoid accidents.

Here are some tips to make your house safe:

  • Lay soft flooring materials around the bed in case they fall out.
  • The sleeping area for all young children should be free of clutter from soft toys. 
  • Install safety locks on any windows so that your child can’t climb through.
  • Ensure that cords from curtains and blinds are out of reach.
  • Ensure that medicines, cleaning fluids, pesticides and anything that they could swallow is out of reach.
  • Keep electrical appliances out of reach and install safety plugs in electrical outlets.

Tips for an Easier Transition

Here are some tips to help your child adjust to its new bed:

  • Place the bed in the same position as the cot
  • Cover the child with the same blanket that they used in the cot
  • If your child is old enough, involve them in choosing the new bed and planning the move
  • Introduce a bedtime routine with some quiet time before bed
  • Commend them for moving into a new bed.


Please note that development differs from one child to another. Content intended for educational purposes only, and not a substitute for medical advice from your doctor.

Be careful when using any products mentioned on this website. We hold no regulations for such products or their providers.

Last reviewed March 2019

Sources: motherhood101, pregnancybirthbaby, raisingchildren, motherandbaby

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