The browser you are using is too old for our website. Please visit from Chrome and you will be able to browse normally.


      Making the move from cot to bed

      Baby staring bunny teddy

      Making the move from cot to bed

      Moving your child into their first bed. 

      It is normally recommended to keep toddlers in their cot for as long as possible and don’t normally suggest making this transition until around 2.5 to 3 years of age.  Developmentally then, your child has the mental reasoning necessary to understand words like “stay in your bed all night.

      Before making the big move, it is worth discussing your plans with your toddler and giving him or her a sense of ownership over their sleeping arrangements.  It can sometimes be helpful to give them lots of small choices around their sleep-such as what colour pyjamas do you want to wear-purple or pink?  Which two books shall we read tonight?  This may also coincide with your plans to toilet train your youngster and you don’t want to overload them with lots of changes all in the one go.  It might make sense to transition to the big bed first, and then tackle the training-but you will know your own toddler best.

      Try to avoid switching your toddler into the big bed at the same time that a new baby may be coming into the household

      Try to avoid switching your toddler into the big bed at the same time that a new baby may be coming into the household, as you don’t want to add to any sense of displacement.


      Intoducing a reward chart can be really helpful.

      Using positive re-enforcement and praising the behaviour that you would like to see more of can make this transition seamless.

      You will need to amend your existing bedtime routine and make sure that you are firm about the boundaries.  Try not to fall into the trap of “one more story”; as these stalling techniques can often spiral out of control. It may be helpful to use a timer for the bedtime routine. Also, avoid agreeing to stay lying down with your child or holding hands at bedtime, unless you plan to co-sleep or room share.

      In the event your toddler gets out of bed, quietly and calmly return them to bed without too much fuss.  Try not to re-enforce this behaviour by talking or interacting too much with them. Avoid carrying them back to bed, they should walk and climb into the bed themselves.  However, ensure that your toddler feels safe and secure in this new environment.

      Finally, if your toddler is struggling to adjust to the bed, you may have made the change too soon.  Don’t panic, just put them back in their cot and wait a little longer.

      Your baby's future health begins here

      Your baby's future health begins here

      At Aptaclub, we believe that experience helps to build resilience; that
      each new encounter, whether in pregnancy or after birth, can shape your
      baby’s future development. With our scientific expertise and one-to-one
      round the clock support, we can help you and your baby embrace tomorrow.

      Join Aptaclub

      Related articles

      Questions about feeding and nutrition?

      Our nutritionists and feeding advisors are always on hand to talk about feeding your baby. So if you have a question, just get in touch.

      Your privacy is important to us and therefore we would like to explain how we use cookies on this website. With your consent, we will use cookies to measure and analyse how our website is used (analytical cookies), to tailor it to your interests (personalisation cookies), and to show you relevant advertising and information (targeting cookies) we think you will like. For more information please read the cookie statement.

      Privacy Settings

      You can choose your preferences anytime for cookies and tracking. For more information please read our cookie policy.

      • Strictly necessary

        They are necessary for the website to function and cannot be switched off. They are usually only set in response to actions made by you which amount to a request for services (setting your privacy preferences, logging in, filling in forms, etc.). You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not then work.

      • Analytical cookies

        They allow us to count visits and traffic sources, to measure and improve the performance of our site. They show us which pages are the most and least popular and how visitors move around the site. If you do not allow these cookies we will not know when you have visited our site, and will not be able to monitor its performance.

      • Personalisation cookies

        They enable website’s enhanced functionality and personalization. They may be set by us or by third parties whose services we have added to our pages. If you do not allow these cookies, some or all of these services may not function properly.

      • Targeting cookies

        They may be set through our site by our advertising partners, to build a profile of your interests and to show you relevant adverts on other sites. They do not store directly personal information, but are based on uniquely identifying your browser and internet device. If you do not allow these cookies, you will experience less targeted advertising.