Move to 'big bed

My 33-month-old son has had a "big boy bed" in his room for the past two months. We read stories in it, but he still won't sleep in the bed. Fortunately, he has never tried to climb out of his crib. Our second baby is due in two months and we don't want to force him out of the crib, causing resentment. (We will borrow a crib for the baby if we need to.) What should we do?

Question:

It's best if you can borrow another crib. You should leave your child in his crib for a while longer. It is not uncommon for children to want to stay in the crib until they are between three and four. If he is not climbing out, then this is certainly not the time to move him. He'll be jealous enough of his new sibling without seeing the baby sleep in his crib!

A few months after the baby has arrived would be a good time to make the change to a bed. Of course, if he asks earlier, then go right ahead and follow his lead. You can point out that cribs are for babies. You might want to get a railing that connects to the bed if that helps him feel safer. You can reward him with a special privilege for being a big boy, like extra time before bed, or a special day out with mom or dad alone, so that he can see the advantage of growing up and moving into a "big boy" bed. And be sure to tell him how happy you are to have a big boy and how very special he is.

I know this seems like a difficult problem, but it usually works itself out rather smoothly when a child is internally ready to make the switch.

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