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Sleep Time

Moving from Crib to Bed

Your child wanted a “big-girl bed,” but now she wakes up nightly and asks to come into your bed. For you, moving your daughter from a crib to a new bed means she is growing up. For your daughter, this might mean new fears and a time of adjustment.

What You Can Do

• Be sensitive to your child’s fears but don’t encourage them.

• Be consistent with the rules. Talk to your child about what a big change this bed is and remind her that the rule is she must stay in her bed.

• Stay calm and quiet. If she gets out of bed during the night and comes to you, take her hand and walk her back to her bed. Try not to talk too much. Tuck her back into bed, but don’t linger or do anything to reward her. You can say, “You are safe, I’ll see you in the morning.”

Tools to Help Your Child Learn to Soothe Herself

• Help her pick out a special cuddle toy or “blanky” just for bed time. “You have Teddy to keep you company; he loves you.” You can say, “Teddy will be there to cuddle if you wake up during the night.”

• You may want to consider bedrails for awhile. They can help your child feel protected from falling and more enclosed, similar to how the crib felt.

• A night light can provide security and reduce fear of what cannot be seen in a completely dark room. If your child does waken during the night, being able to see familiar things in the room will be calming.

• Be sure to give your child lots of praise for staying in bed the next day. Tell her how proud you are of her for being so grown up.

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