Parents are the ideal source for knowing if their toddler can handle the transition from a newborn crib to a toddler bed, but we have a couple of things you should know before you decide if it is time to switch or not.
Many toddler beds take the same floor space as a crib, so there may be no difference there, but toddler bed rails are much decreased than cradle rails and are generally there to simply help stop a toddler from rolling out of bed. Check out our Classically Cool Toddler Bed or Little Modern Toddler Bed.Toddler rails are also sometimes only in the upper area of the bed. Can your toddler handle the toddler rails, or might the rails be problematic? If the older-child-sized bed rails might possibly be of concern, stall on the transition to a toddler-sized bed, or have both crib and toddler bed out for a bit, and use the bigger bed no more than for reading or napping until your toddler is prepared to transfer on. Of course, sometimes parents prefer for a bed built for a toddler simply because their child is large enough to climb over the crib rails anyway, and lower beds and fewer rails are a good detail at this time, according to their logic. You don't want your kid to sleep anywhere because they don't like their bed.
Many toddler beds use the very same-sized mattress as a baby crib. If your toddler can use the highly identical mattress used in the cradle or the baby crib for their new toddler bed, that will make an easier transition for your child.
Toddler bed furniture is built for toddlers, and that includes a toddler's short legs. Therefore, a toddler bed will be built closer to the ground than most baby cribs. That knowledge should provide a moment of comfort. At the same time, toddlers will sometimes jump in and out of their beds (and onto their beds sometimes too). Make certain your toddler bed is put together well and strong enough to handle those kinds of moves. Even if your toddler is ready to transition to a toddler bed, it won't be a good experience if you find your toddler's bed collapsed on the floor and your child laying there in tears, wondering why their bed "made them fall down".
Does your toddler show an interest in beds other than their own crib? If so, this might be a clue that you are at least close to your child being able to transition from crib to toddler bed. If not, keep an eye out for when your child does seem emotionally ready. If your toddler seems to have some concern for moving into another bed, sometimes it is good to wait. Sometimes though, it works to ask your toddler to just "give it a try", and then tell them they can go back to their crib then if they really want to. When you try the later, make sure you use his or her favorite baby crib bedding, bed sheets, pillows, bed toys, and so forth with their new bed so it will not be completely new to them. Putting the big boy or big girl bed where the baby bed can help too. Be prepared to get the crib back out for just a while longer if needed, although your toddler will probably be happy to move on once they realize their new bed really isn't that scary after all.Do you want to move your toddler to a toddler bed just to free up your baby crib for a newborn baby? If that is why you are considering moving your child from crib to toddler bed, that is not the best reason to move your child. If you have a baby coming and need the crib but do not whole-heartedly feel your toddler is ready to move on, consider other options such as using a bassinet, borrowing a crib for your newborn until your toddler is ready, or looking for a good buy on a used crib so your toddler can stay in his bed until he or she is ready to move on. Getting used to a new baby brother or sister is enough work for a toddler without adding the burden of moving to a new toddler bed before ready to do so.