Magazine article Working Mother

Ready for a Big Bed?

Magazine article Working Mother

Ready for a Big Bed?

Article excerpt

What working mom doesn't ache at the thought of missing her little one's "firsts"? Well, here's one you can help orchestrate: your baby's move to a bigkid bed. Just be sure both of you are ready to say so long to the crib.

Children often make the bed switch between 18 months and 3 years, says Jodi Mindell, PhD, associate director of the Sleep Center at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. What often signals the timing: Your baby is simply outgrowing his crib. Or you're motivated by another baby on the way. Then there's the little adventurer who can't wait to climb out of his crib-and plop onto his head.

"Some parents have their toddlers make the change by age two without any problems," says Dr. Mindell. But many little ones have difficulties, she adds, like continually getting out of bed when they shouldn't or frequently crying out for Mommy. "That's why I strongly suggest switching beds closer to age three, when a child can cognitively understand the boundaries of staying in bed."

Still, Dr. Mindell, adds, "some children are ready younger." Yours may be a calm sleeper overall, precocious in his understanding of stay-in-bed rules or simply tall for his age. And if your child's already potty trained and needs to get in and out of bed, it's probably time to transition out of his crib. Since many toddlers don't handle change well, talk about it first and involve your child in shopping for his new bed and sheets-whether you opt for a toddler bed with built-in rails or a twin bed with an attached guardrail at first for safety. …

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