Making the jump from crib to big kid bed.

5 tips to help you through ditching the crib.

toddlerWhen your toddler makes the climb, it’s time. There’s a part of you that’s instantly proud of junior’s ingenuity and problem solving skills. Your child finally figured it out (insert proud parent grin here)! Maybe it involved running, jumping and hoisting that leg over the rail, or maybe it was a little less dramatic. However it happened, the pride quickly sets into, “Ah crap, that’s really dangerous…”

“No, no. You shouldn’t do that. That’s not safe, honey.”

Yes. It happened. You know it. Deny it all you want, but now that your child made the climb, he or she probably can’t wait to do it again… when you’re not looking.

This is a game changer.

You knew today was coming, but what could prepare you? (And what do you do now?)

Don’t have a convertible crib to bed? Fear not! We have lots of great tips from moms who’ve been there, done that… and, well, bought the big kid bed.

Here are our top tips, gathered from moms going through the big sleep switch, to make the transition from the crib to the purchase of a new bed much easier:

  1. Listen.

When it’s time for a big kid bed, your toddler will probably tell you. Some are just ready when they’re ready. Not all children make the leap at the same time, and some might not make it at all.

In fact, the American Association of Pediatrics states that children should be in their cribs until they’re 3 years old, or make the climb on their own.*

Whenever and however your child expresses interest in a big kid bed, listen.

  1. Have the talk.

Set the expectations early. Kiddo knows the routine. As soon as you say, “bath time” and the sun starts  going down, the “no bed time” stall tactics begin.

The struggle is real, but this is your moment, Mama. It’s time for a talk, but a good talk this time. Kids know and understand so much more than we often realize, so let your child in on the conversation about getting a big kid bed. Several local Moms said, “Sitting down and having a talk, and giving the child some say, made the switch to big kid bed a lot easier.” The bottom line is, talk openly about bedtime routines. Ask what your child likes most about it (favorite book, bath toy, etc.) and come up with a routine that works for both of you as you make the switch.

3. Include your child in the room design process.

Cape Town, South Africa

You know your child better than anyone. If your kiddo is excited at the idea of a big kid bed, embrace it and get creative! Allow your child to be part of picking out a new bed, a new mattress and some cute bedding and accessories to go with it. This may be the first time your child can show off some personality in the room. You might end up with a princess bed or a race car pillow, but if it helps make the transition easier, why not?!

Another great design tip is to include your child in the actual placement of the bed. Keeping the bed where the crib was, and physically showing them it’s in the same space, provides comfort to the child as he or she transitions into the bed.

Finally, and most important, have fun as you pick out a new theme for the room together. It’s OK to lament that your baby is growing up, but just realize it’s time and that it’s another positive step in your child’s development. Use it as an opportunity for a fun project with your child… and take that animal mobile out of the closet and embrace those storage bins in the basement!

4. Twin or full? 

The next best question is what size bed? If it’s for a small room, twin it is! If there’s room for a full and it’s in the budget, we suggest you go for it! That way, it’s a purchase  you only have to make once before your kiddo moves out of the house.

What’s the difference in a double anyway?

A double means full-size—the size of two crib mattresses combined. It’s not quite as wide as a queen but gives your child a little more room to roll around. The best part is, you can comfortable lie in bed and read with your toddler as he or she falls asleep to help aid in the ‘stay in bed’ stage.

5. Decide a time frame and then have fun shopping!

Are you looking for a bed for the short term or a bed for the long haul?

Think about what’s more important… now until kindergarten, or now until high school graduation? This will help determine the style, size, and quality of the child’s new bed.

So, what to buy?

For a boy: 

Here’delburnes a great option for boys with a lasting style that can transition him through the ‘boys to men’ years. The quality and price can’t be beat, and it comes in multiple styles. The bookcase side-platform bed option, for instance, is lower to the ground and has underbed storage and a cute place for books. Yes, Mom, he might throw the books right off of that shelf and make a giant mess. We’re talking long-term use down the road.



For a girl:  Today’s mom either embraces the princess stage or avoids it altogether. Regardless of your daughter’s style, the “Zayley” bed is ideal to allow her to change up her look without changing her furniture. This set can be fun, colorful and playful while she’s young. Then, down the road, you can take the stencil paneling off and change out the handles to something more mature. Voilà! An instant answer to the inevitable, “I’m too old for a room with little kid furniture.”

zayley-colorsCheck out all of these color options that come with this set. Yes, all colors! You can even get creative and decoupage photos into the furniture.



Although it may seem overwhelming going from the climb, to realizing it’s time, to actually walking into a furniture and mattress store, it’s really not so bad.

Once you enter an Ashley HomeStore, you’ll find that each mattress is unique to how your child sleeps (which is why we sell the bedroom sets and mattresses separately). When it’s time, our sleep specialists are ready to walk you through the steps to finding the setting for your child’s perfect night of sleep, which is the ultimate goal in all of this!

Find a HomeStore