When is the best time to move your child out of their cot?
Once you have noticed that your child is trying to climb out of their cot and you think they might be able to make it is the time to move your child out of their cot. For most children this happens when the child is aged between 2 and 3 and a half years of age, but could be as early as 18 months old.
There are several options you can consider when moving your child out of their cot and the right option for you and your family will depend on a number of things, as well as getting a good night's sleep a top priority is child safety.
Some families choose to move the mattress from the cot or a single bed mattress to a clean and safe environment on the floor, this can be a good transition as the child will get used to not sleeping in the cot environment but don't have the risk of falling from a higher bed. It is good idea not to place the mattress up against a wall and ensure that the mattress is clear of toys and items that the child could roll onto, as this could cause suffocation.
Another option is a toddler bed, these are a good choice as they are a safe intermediate step due to their lower level which reduces the risk of injury due to falling out of a bed. They are also cost effective as you can use existing cot mattress and bedding on the toddler bed.
The final choice is an adult size bed, however these provide a much higher risk of injury from falls or becoming trapped between the bed and the wall. It is therefore very important to make sure that there are no spaces, rails or bars that your child could become trapped by. You can also put soft flooring materials around the bed that could help to break a fall and ensure that the area around the bed is kept free of clutter and objects that could hurt the child if they fell out of bed.
Another important consideration is to ensure that the entire home is safe as your child will have greater access to all living areas when they can get in and out of bed on their own.
Baby sleeping bags are not a great idea once children have moved out of their cots as they restrict movement and therefore create a higher risk of falling and being injured. MiniJumbuk has a range of cot sized and regular sized quilts, pillows and underlays that have been designed especially for babies and young children.
For more information on safe sleeping for babies and young children visit the SIDs website - www.sidsandkids.org.