Transitioning to a Big Boy Bed

As Oisín was getting older and my bump was getting bigger. Oisín sleeping in his cot was becoming an increasing struggle and causing increased pain in my pelvis.

We researched and asked the opinions of other parents and professionals. The general consensus was don’t move him until he is at least three or attempting to climb out. We knew it could come with challenges as he only turned two. However, we made the decision to trial the move as I am often at home alone for bedtime so lifting him in and out became impossible! We also felt doing it sooner rather than later. We felt in a few months time there will be a big change to his little world with the impending arrival. We wanted him to be well settled in his bed by the time the new baby arrives. 

The transition to a bed is a significant change for a child. We decided to make a bit of a hype about the change and include him in the process. We reiterated how he was a big boy and how exciting it was to get his own bed. My husband assembled the bed and Oisín “helped” with some hammering. We left the mattress on the floor for a while near the TV and he made himself comfy while watching some cartoons.

We chose a low toddler bed that can extend as he grows. We positioned the bed against the wall and attached a bed red rail to the other side. We kept the same bedding from the cot so there was some familiarity.

We are very lucky Oisín is now a great sleeper.  We sleep trained Oisín with help from Erica at Babogue Sleep. Oisín will normally sleep for 12-13 hours at night atand 1-2 hours at nap time. Taking on this transition we feared he may have a sleep regression or would be wandering around the house at night. Babogue Sleep recommend staying in a cot till at least aged three. 

We made no changes to Oisín’s bedtime routine. This consists of a bath with some playtime, a massage with lotion or occasionally essential oils such as lavender, a story and a couple of songs, we say goodnight and love you to each other and he self soothes with his dodo and Thumper (They’re another challenge!). The only difference with the transition itself was him climbing into the bed. We encourage him to pick any soft toys he wants to bring into bed and he also chooses his own story book. We kept the cot in the room so he has a choice. He goes for the bed every time. 

To our surprise Oisín has only had one occasion where he got out of the bed four or five times. This was at a nap time, we just took him by the hand and guided him back to his bed giving little attention. We set clear boundaries and he hasn’t got out since. He might whine or shout out but this would be common until he settles.

Of course we have tantrums and tears about going to bed but in general the transition from cot to bed has gone smoothly. He has slept all night in his own bed for the last month (two exceptions of him being sick). Occasionally, he might wake for his dodo but will soothe back to sleep in his own bed. We allow him into our bed after 6am, anything before that is still night-time. His speech and comprehension has developed greatly in the past couple of months so this aided the transition. Lets hope it stays this way as we will be back to sleepless nights with a newborn in a few weeks! 

This blog is my own experience, I am not a professional in this area nor qualified to give recommendations or guidance. I am aware not all transitions are as straight forward, I’m just a mama sharing her ways in the hopes it helps another!



Love Bróna

Snap Happy Mammy ❤


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