Learn when your child’s ready to move out of his crib to his big kid bed.

There are some indications a child is ready to move out of his crib, and most of them are self-explanatory.

“If a child is asking to be moved from her crib or if she’s climbing out, she may be ready to move,” says Lisa Ryan, MD, PhD, a Washington University Clinical Associate at Woods Mill Pediatrics of Washington University. “Another situation that commonly happens is another baby is on the way, and the new baby will need the crib.”

To ease your child’s transition, Dr. Ryan encourages you to make your child’s bed special.

“Have him pick out special sheets, pillows and blankets,” Dr. Ryan says. “I think it can be helpful if a child can help decorate his bed.”

Like the bed itself, make the transition something special, Dr. Ryan recommends.  

“Tell your child, ‘This is the big girl bed, and now you’re a big girl,’” Dr. Ryan says. “Point out that the bed is just like mom and dad’s. Tell her this is something big kids do. That tends to go over well with toddlers.”

Most importantly, Dr. Ryan says, do not rush it. “Transitioning from a crib to a bed is not an early milestone to meet,” Dr. Ryan says.

“Your child will let you know when he’s ready. If he’s still in his crib at age two or three, that’s fine.”

Need help finding a pediatrician? Call St. Louis Children’s Hospital at 800.678.5437.