top of page

Moving From A Cot To A Bed And How You Can Ease The Transition For Your Little One

Single Bed

When to move from a cot to a bed?

I am often asked when is a good time to move little ones into a big bed. In short, there is no wrong or right time but if they are happy in their cots and not able to climb out then many little ones transition around 3 years old.  

When you do decide to move them, I have a few suggestions to help with the change… 

  • Get them to help choose their new bedding.

  • Maybe introduce a pillow if they have not been using one. 

  • Use a waterproof & breathable bottom sheet for when night-time nappies are stopped. 

  • Consider using a bed guard. These are great if little ones are going into a full-size single bed. They easily fix under the mattress, so are portable if travelling and help little ones from falling out of the bed.

  • Think about installing a stair gate across their door, as it means they cannot wander out of their room in the night and hurt themselves. 

  • Often little ones want a night light now in their room. 

  • If they have a cot bed, have them sleep without the sides for a while to prepare them for a big bed. 

  • Toddler beds are great and very reasonable, Ikea have some great choices. These are closer to the floor, so less far to fall or climb out and a great in-between stage, before that big bed. 

  • Talk to them about the excitement of moving into a big bed but also acknowledge that they may find it a little scary. 

  • It’s quite common for there to be a few unsettled bedtimes, with them getting out their new bed. Take them back each time, giving gentle reassurance but try not to create sleep habits that your regret later e.g having to sit in with them or lay in the bed with them until asleep – unless of course you’re happy to do this. 

  • There are many books suitable for little ones, telling the tales of moving into a big bed. This helps to give them reassurance during this stage.

Baby Guru Recommended!

The Sleep Council have written a blog about choosing a mattress for your little one and Room to Grow have some great tips on their blog on turning a nursery into a toddler room.

Hope you find this helpful! If you have any questions about your little one’s sleep, please get in touch by emailing

Sam aka The Baby Guru

Follow on social media for weekly tips and advice on all things sleep, routine and feeding.


bottom of page