When Should You Move To A Toddler Bed?Although this is a big milestone for your toddler, this is not a decision to take lightly. Even if you have a toddler that sleeps well in his crib, you can often expect some bedtime battles and more frequent wake ups when you first move to a toddler bed. So you may want to stay in a crib as long as possible.
Once your toddler is climbing out of his crib, it is usually time to move to a toddler bed though. You simply don't want to take the chance that your toddler is going to get hurt climbing out of their crib.
Even if your toddler isn't climbing our of his crib, if he is already 36 inches tall, then you should likely move him to a toddler bed anyway. Although many toddlers can climb out when they are even shorter, by the time they are 36 inches tall, they can likely climb out if they want to and it is just a matter of time before they do.
The transition from a crib to a bed may also come sooner than you would like if you have a new baby on the way who is going to need to use the crib. Try to make the switch well in advance of the new baby's arrival though, so your toddler doesn't feel like he lost his bed because of the baby.
Staying in a CribIf you notice your toddler trying to climb out, you may make it a few more months in a crib if you can lower the mattress a little more. You should also remove the crib bumper pads and anything else that your toddler may be using to help climb out of the crib.
Crib TentsKeep in mind that there is an alternative to moving to a bed if your toddler is climbing out of his crib, and that involves using a crib tent. The American Academy of Pediatrics does warn against there use though, saying that 'these products may be dangerous because, in an emergency, the attachments can be time-consuming to take off. In addition, many children feel uncomfortably confined when their movements are restricted in this way.
Convertible CribsStarting with a convertible crib that can turn into a toddler bed may help to make the whole transition a lot easier. Since you are basically just removing the front panel of the crib to make it a toddler bed or daybed, your toddler shouldn't notice much of a change.