A question facing many parents (especially first timers) is ‘at what age do we change from a cot to a bed?’.
With worries like ‘but he/she wriggles so much all night and will end up falling out of bed’ and ‘I can’t be arsed to convert the cot/buy a bed!’ may make you want to leave the task for a little longer. But the fact is, that you can’t keep them in there for too long. Something needs to be done!
We decided to make the change over the Christmas holidays, an executive decision undertaken by the Mrs. It’s not that I didn’t want to do it, it’s more of a ‘reserved awareness of the consequences’ thing!
This was the second time of asking, (since we did the same with our eldest) I was sure that this experience would be a similar or even better than the first time. The first conversion was fairly smooth, except for the fact that I built the main bed base upside down…Oops!
So if you are thinking of changing from a cot to a bed, my advice would be this:
1) There is no real age to do it. I’d suggest that you do it when the little one is ready, but I’d say around 2 years old is a good guide.
2) Do it during a time that sleep deprivation is going to have the least impact on yourselves. Some parents might read this tip crying with laughter. Or just crying. We’ve all been there!
3) Place the bed with one side against a wall. For the first few weeks, place something on the floor to help cushion the inevitable falling out of bed. We had a spare cot mattress. You could use a Roll Mat, a Gym Mat, a self inflating mattress or even a few spare cushions.
4) When choosing a baby monitor, buy a night vision video monitor. They aren’t as expensive as you might think, work really well and give amazing peace of mind/entertainment (when the telly is dull!).
5) Tuck in the Duvet on all sides to try and help keep your sprog comfortably in place overnight.
6) Set up a new routine for bedtime, very similar to the previous one but maybe now is a good time to start bedtime stories.
7) Consider a night light if the light level is very poor, just to help out during precarious situations. And make sure that the whole of the accessible area is baby safe!
8) Stick to your guns and stay with it, because your little one has just done some big time growing up!
So yes, this change has been disruptive and we have both lost sleep. Yes it’s been an extra stress trying to get sleep while the wife goes back to work. Yes the mornings seem to be getting earlier. Yes she’s scared the shit out of me, walking into our bedroom in the middle of the night… But she’s growing up, and we couldn’t be more proud!