The transition from crib to larger bed:a guide for parents

As a new parent you have to make a lot of choices. one of the first decisions is about the crib. most parents choose a crib or co-sleeper for their newborn. that cozy bed has seen many nightly cuddles and sweet dreams, but at some point the day comes when your little one grows too big. the transition to a larger bed is a milestone in your baby's growth and may require some adjustment, both for the baby and for you as a parent.

Generally, a crib or co-sleeper is used until a baby learns to roll. when that is depends on your baby. some babies are already rolling at 4 months, others are almost 6 months when they learn this new skill. it is therefore advisable to change beds at the latest at 6 months - but in many cases even earlier! this can pose a challenge, because a smaller bed offers a nice and secure environment where your baby feels safe.

Choosing a new bed

The first step in this transition is choosing the new bed. it is important to take safety, comfort and durability into account. most parents opt for a crib at this stage. this bed is standard 60 cm wide and 1.20 meters long. your child can sleep in a crib until he or she is about 3 or 4 years old. so you use the bed for a number of years. it is also possible to rent or borrow a crib from friends or family. this is a lot cheaper and more sustainable.

Another option is a grow-through bed of 70 x 140cm. this seems like a practical choice because you can use this bed for a long time, but there are also disadvantages. young children have a great need for a feeling of security and it is very difficult to create that in a large bed. your baby lies far away from the edges and is, as it were, drowning in such a large bed. a smaller bed usually feels safer and nicer for your baby..

Guide the transition step by step

How can you guide your baby step by step to get used to this transition? view a handy step-by-step plan here::

Step 1. timing is everything

Timing plays an important role in the transition from cradle to crib. try not to switch to a larger bed too early, but also not too late. a common indication is when your baby starts to move more in bed. as soon as your baby can really roll over on his own, it's time for a bigger bed.

Step 2. create familiarity

The transition can be exciting for your baby. the crib provided a cozy and confined space, which reminds your baby of the womb. a larger bed can feel like a huge open space at first. to increase trust, it is wise to bring recognizable items from the crib to the new bed. for example, choose the same fabric bedding, because your baby already knows what this feels like. 

Step 3. provide boundaries

Babies do not yet know exactly where their body begins and ends. When they are in a larger bed, this can cause them to feel anxious. Therefore, pay attention to boundaries. You can provide your baby with boundaries by tucking it in tightly, making it short or placing a small cuddle cloth above your baby's head. This helps your baby to feel where his body ends and gives a safe and reassuring feeling.

Tip! a crib or co-sleeper is often placed in the parents' bedroom, while the crib is in the baby's room. this makes the transition very big! i personally liked to first move the crib or co-sleeper to the baby room, so that your child gets used to the space from the familiar bed. only when the space has become familiar would i change the bed. this way your baby can gradually get used to the changes.

Introducing the nunki sheet

At this stage we are award winning NUNKI sheet really good tip. This special sheet is designed to mimic the secure feeling of the womb in bed. The elastic fabric provides gentle pressure on your child's upper body, which can contribute to a feeling of security. There is a good chance that your baby will find more relaxation in the new bed. It also becomes even more difficult to tuck your baby in tightly in a large bed. There is a good chance that your child will quickly kick the bedding off. The NUNKI sheet goes around the mattress and cannot come loose. This way your baby will retain that nice and secure feeling throughout their sleep.

If you were already using the nunki sheet in the crib or co-sleeper, it is also advisable to use the sheet in the crib as well! your baby is already familiar with the nice soft fabric and the bedtime ritual, where your baby is tucked in tightly by simply closing a zipper. by following the same ritual, not much will change for your child if he suddenly has to sleep in a larger bed..

Conclusion: a new sleep phase begins

The transition from cradle to larger bed marks a new phase in your baby's development and parenthood. with patience, careful preparation, and attention to your little one's comfort, you can make this transition smooth. every child is unique, so listen to your baby's signals and adjust the transition at his or her pace. good luck!



Frederieke Meihuizen

Owner Fedde&Kees®

Ik ben Frederieke, getrouwd met Ewoud en mama van 4 kindjes. Na op veel plekken gewoond te hebben, ben ik gesetteld in Nieuwkoop. Ik werkte in de commercie tot mijn vierde kindje geboren werd. Fedde was een huilbaby en vanuit deze wanhoop heb ik de producten van Fedde&Kees bedacht. Ik gooide mijn leven om en begon met ondernemen. Sinds 2018 help ik andere ouders naar een betere slaap!