Is it time to convert to a cotbed?

(16 Posts)
Circumlocutious Thu 31-Dec-20 20:10:10

Recently turned 2 year old DD caught in the act just before bedtime..

DH reckons we can put some cushions or padding down but I always thought you put them in a bed as soon as they start to climb? Do I need to see if it’s a one-off?

OP’s posts: |
FATEdestiny Thu 31-Dec-20 20:29:11

Cot climbing does not mean ditching the cot.

As a sleep consultant it infuriates me every time I see this mentioned. Moving to a bed before toddler is emotionally and behaviourally ready creates many more problems than it solves.

Climbing out of the cot is a behavioural issue. So can be dealt with in a similar way to all of the other ways toddlers can do things that are dangerous and you have to teach them not to.

You don't decide to ditch the car seat if toddler starts refusing to have a seatbelt on. You don't stop walking anywhere if toddler runs off the pavement.

I would deal with cot climbing in a similar way to these. It might mean a bit of repetitive consistency that'll take some time and effort from you, but entirely teachable that you expect toddler to lie down in the cot, and only lie down.

In the mean-time, some cushions on the floor for just in case. But kids are robust. Another alternate in the mean time is to teach safe climbing (in a similar way to teaching safe stair climbing and desending).

smeerf Thu 31-Dec-20 22:14:20

@FATEdestiny at what age do you recommend moving to a cotbed then? DS was 20m and it worked really well, 2 seems like a reasonable age to me?

Imiss2019 Thu 31-Dec-20 22:18:30

How do you know when they are “emotionally” ready? Genuinely curious both mine were out of cots before the age of 2.

FATEdestiny Thu 31-Dec-20 22:47:01

It's to do with the feeling of security that a child gets from the enclosed cot bars. In a bed a toddler can feel "exposed" (for want of a better word) and end up feeling scared and waking/getting up more. It ends up as an avoidable and preventable issue that affects a child's sleep.

Moving to a bed is something I would never suggest as a good idea with only one exception - when a cosleeping family want a gentle, gradual way to get baby into own room, when a floor bed is the answer. In every other situation, moving to a bed will at best do nothing and more frequently hinder sleep.

at what age do you recommend moving to a cotbed then?

At least after 3rd birthday, but anything up to 5 would be fine. I'd always err on the side of staying in the cot longer. The time when change to a bed becomes necessary is more to do with starting school and the possibility of sleepovers with friends.

LittleMissLockdown Thu 31-Dec-20 22:52:11

I would move her into a cot bed simply so she's much less likely to get hurt. Leaving her to climb out is just making it more enviable that she will cause an injury to herself.

At least after 3rd birthday, but anything up to 5 would be fine. I'd always err on the side of staying in the cot longer.

Genuine question but how on earth does that work with potty training or if the child needs to go to the loo in the middle of the night?

FATEdestiny Thu 31-Dec-20 22:56:24

I wouldn't generally aim for a toddler who's dry at night to need a wee at night anything other than rarely. The idea would be that a dry child can stay dry from going to bed until getting up.

But being dry at night, you are right, would be another pointer to move to a bed.


smeerf Fri 01-Jan-21 14:24:16

My experience has been different, we potty trained DS when he just turned 2, he's not 3 yet and even though he sleeps in a pull up he gets up to use the potty in the morning which he wouldn't be able to do in a cot. Moving to a bed has meant his sleep is much better as he hated the cot, wouldn't lay down in it and screamed when he woke up in it, I guess he felt trapped? Whereas in his bed he climbs in, snuggles under the covers, listens to stories and falls asleep. If he wakes in the night, he doesn't cry, just either calls for us or snuggles back under the duvet and goes to sleep. And in the morning he stays in bed until his gro clock changes to yellow. Moving to a bed transformed bedtime/sleep for us.

RoganJosh Fri 01-Jan-21 14:26:06

We put a step like this next to the cot and carried on using it.

PrincessBuggerPants Fri 01-Jan-21 14:29:12

And if I needed any further confirmation that sleep consultants are quacks/completely off their rocker, this thread has provided it.

Ewentheawakesheep Fri 01-Jan-21 14:40:06

Time for a toddler bed. I hear the opinion being expressed about behaviour management but wonder how this can be done unless you sit in the room all night and supervise! This is what we did and toddler is no longer at risk of falling and does not seem to have caused any negative impact.

InTheLongGrass Fri 01-Jan-21 14:53:15

I would take the side off. The possibility of falling from that height, head first isnt worth the risk.
FWIW, mine hated the cot, and started sleeping better as soon as the sides were off - I wish I'd done it earlier - and he climbed out days after his second birthday.
DS2 climbed out at about 18 months, and had the sides taken off that day.

NannyR Fri 01-Jan-21 20:34:13

I disagree that it's a behavioural problem that you can deal with in the same way as holding hands on the pavement or not undoing car seat straps. In both of those examples, you are right next to the toddler and can keep them safe if they misbehave, you can grab their hand or pull over and strap them back in. You can also reinforce good behaviour and use things like distraction because you are right there next to them.
If a toddler decides to climb out of their cot, it's highly likely that the adults in the house are fast asleep and unaware of it. The first time they do it, it's unavoidable, but if you know they've done it once they are likely to do it again and could injure themselves badly.

5amcrew Sat 02-Jan-21 06:36:09

Our DS started jumping out of the cot head first at 22 months so we switched to a bed on the advice of a health visitor. He did it twice, both times with a sleeping bag on which did nothing to slow him down. He still wakes up ridiculously early but seems much happier in a bed and we feel much safer knowing he isn’t going to jump out headfirst.

OP your situation is slightly different as your DD is climbing rather than catapulting herself out. Maybe a step and some cushions might work? Or can you try converting to a cot bed to see if she is happier?

SnuggyBuggy Sat 02-Jan-21 06:38:57

Would you really want to have to keep hauling a 5 year old into a cot?

RoganJosh Sat 02-Jan-21 09:11:42


We put a step like this next to the cot and carried on using it.

Ah, I’ve remembered, ours was a cot, not a cot bed so we may have dropped the side.

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