How do you know when your child is ready for a big kid bed? We’re talking about this big transition and how to choose the right safe mattress.
As parents, we all know the importance of sleep. No matter the age of your child, you realize that their entire day can be thrown off because of a rough night, lack of a nap, or generally just trying to find the happy balance of enough sleep (for every family member) with an infant.
Another emotional time can be the sometimes daunting transition to a big kid bed.
It can be a challenge, to say the least.
And to add to the worry, there’s all the toxic materials that go into the manufacturing of conventional mattresses. Considering how much time our littles spend in their beds, the flame retardants and other endocrine disruptors can be downright worrisome.
But, today we’re here to offer some tips to help with the “it’s time for your own special bed!” challenges you may be facing.
“You’re a Big Kid Now”
The transition to a big kid bed holds all different types of emotions, from excitement and wonder to a bit of anxiety and fear (for both parents AND children).
Certified Child and Family Sleep Consultant Jenni June gave us some valuable answers to the big kid bed questions many parents have.
How Do We Know if Our Child is Ready for a Big Kid Bed?
Trust your instincts. “When a child can scale the crib faster than you can sprint to the door in your running shoes after laying him down to sleep,” says June, “it’s probably time.”
Also, if your little one is ready to start nighttime potty training, that’s another sign of readiness.
Why Should Our Child Stay in a Crib?
The main reason to wait for this big step is safety.
It can be much harder to keep a young toddler safe in a large room full of toys, furniture, windows, outlets, and electrical devices than it is a crib. You’re nodding your head if you have a tot who knows how to leave the room and wander the house unsupervised.
Also, a child age two or older is generally better able to understand and comply with the rules regarding sleep time and may be more likely to get herself back to sleep if she wakes during the night.
How Do We Start Transitioning to a Big Kid Bed?
June suggests starting with a brief family meeting to talk about the new responsibilities of a big kid bed. Follow up with some role play earlier in the day to put a fun spin on the new transition, where you’re the child and your child is parent.
“Act out scenarios,” suggests June, “where you get tempted to, or try to, leave the room, but notice there’s a gate, or it’s too dark to see, or practicing how they will be silently and quickly returned to their bed should they forget their family sleep manners.”
Validate their feelings, whether positive or negative; change isn’t always easy, especially at this age.
From the first night, though, be consistent with your expectations in a calm, simple, firm way. Remember that “responsive and attentive parenting sometimes means we resist the urge to ‘rescue’ a child from temporary struggle while learning a new skill.”
Which Mattress is Best for Little Kids?
Whether transitioning to a big kid bed from co-sleeping or a crib, a new mattress is key for a comfortable big kid bed experience. If you’re looking for a bed that isn’t full of toxic adhesives, dyes, chemical flame retardants, and a slew of other nastiness, we recommend Naturepedic’s line of certified non-toxic mattresses or Happsy’s affordable organic mattresses.
As the most recognized organic mattress brand in the U.S., Naturepedic offers a line of organic mattresses specifically designed with kids in mind, featuring a comfortable medium-firm support and organic materials throughout. With GOTS certification, your mind can rest that your entire finished mattress (not just its individual component materials) is certified, completely meeting healthy non-toxic standards.
From luxuriously quilted organic cotton fabric to waterproof and dust mite-proof fabric, Naturepedic has thought of it all. The fact that these mattresses meet all federal and state flammability standards without the use of any fire retardant chemicals or flame retardant barriers is mind-easing icing on the cake.
Naturepedic even stands behind their quality workmanship with a 20-year limited warranty. There are seriously tons of reasons that Naturepedic makes the best choice.
There are several great Naturepedic options for a new big kid bed. Their allergen friendly 2-in-1 Organic Cotton Ultra/Quilted Mattress offers both a waterproof side to help with those training stages and a quilted side for a more luxurious feel later. It even comes with a built-in bedbug/dust mite barrier!
Or, try out their Quilted Deluxe Organic Cotton Mattress for a super comfortable option with the feel of a more mature mattress.
Naturepedic also offers pillows, pillowcases, pads and toppers, all made with the same exemplary quality and attention to natural materials you can expect from their mattresses.
Along with your new mattress, you may want to let your child pick out her own new bed with side rails (if you think your child will benefit from them)
Don’t forget the organic cotton bedding or organic bamboo bedding in a fun color or design.
Embrace the change, remember the aforementioned tips, and know that it may be easy – or possibly a challenge – but it will work with patience and consistency.
Before you know it, you’ll all be sleeping easily.
This article is part of a collaboration with our advertising partner, Naturepedic. All thoughts and opinions shared are strictly our own. Thank you for supporting the brands that make it possible for Green Child to share free natural parenting and healthy living content.