What You Need to Know on How to Convert a Crib to a Toddler Bed

Published by 
Jess Miller
Last updated: 
February 22, 2023
Baby Bed Blue

Your little one is beginning to toddle around. This means they are getting into just about everything, from drawers and cabinets to the fridge and toilet. While each stage brings new challenges with it, watching our little ones grow up is a beautiful thing. Like how to convert a crib to a toddler bed.

You may have wanted to know to convert a crib to a toddler bed for quite some time. An awesome toddler bed will give your kid a little more space and independence, hopefully leading to a happier child who is less reliant on you. Thankfully, we have boiled this process down to a few straightforward moves that can be done in an afternoon.

How to Convert a Crib to a Toddler Bed

Cribs are for babies. Thankfully, most cribs these days convert into a toddler bed so you can keep using them as your child grows. A child will actually fit on a full-size crib mattress until they are 5 or 6 years old.

To practice safe sleep, you will want to convert a crib to a toddler bed before your child is able to climb out of the crib. This usually occurs between 18 months and 3 years old. Of course, you could choose to lose the bed frame altogether and opt for the Montessori style mattress on the floor.

Whatever you choose for your child, it is important that it is the decision you make for your child as their guardian. So, as we learn how to convert a crib to a toddler bed, keep in mind what works best for your family.

Step 1: Taking off the stationary side of the crib

To begin, first confirm with the manufacturer that your crib actually does convert to a toddler bed. Most cribs are made to do so these days, however, there are still some that are not. Never try to convert a crib that was not made to do so.

Next, identify the long, stationary side of the crib. Use a screwdriver or power trill to unscrew it. This should involve loosening four bolts and nuts, two on each side. Carefully lower the side of the crib to the floor.

This side will not be reattached. So, wrap it up and put it away into storage until you need to convert the bed back to a crib. It can be helpful to tape the bolts on to this piece as to not lose them for future use.

Step 2: Lowering the mattress

Next, you will want to lower the mattress to the lowest possible setting. As you learn how to convert a crib to a toddler bed, you will see how each step makes it more conducive to a larger child who will enjoy more independence. By lowering the mattress, your child will be able to crawl in and out of bed on their own.

Different cribs will lower the mattresses differently. Most cribs will have hooks that you will have to move up and down to the desired height, then place the mattress frame on top of them. Again, consult your product manual on how to do this properly and safely.

Once the mattress frame is lowered, place the mattress on top. You should now have a lowered mattress with three enclosed sides.

Step 3: Attaching guardrails

Close Up Photo Of Baby Wearing Gray Pants 2790347
Image source: pexels

Next, screw the guardrails on to the side that is currently exposed. This may use the same bolts as the high side for the crib, or they may be new bolts. Either way, make sure to consult the manufacturer's recommendations on this.

Whenever you are tightening down hardware on furniture such as toddler beds and cribs, it is important to tighten all of the bolts most of the way before really securing them tightly.

By not over-tightening the bolts, you do not put extra stress on the wood. This prevents cracks and keeps your crib and toddler bed in the best condition possible.

Step 4: Finalizing placement and your bedtime routine

So, you have successfully figured out how to convert a crib to a toddler bed. Your little one is getting excited for their big kid bed, but you want to make sure to take this excitement in stride so that they actually fall asleep in it.

Burt's Bees Baby - Fitted Crib Sheet, Solid Color, 100% Organic Cotton Crib Sheet

So, consider using the same bedding and sheets so that they do have a sense of consistency with this new change.

With this new change, though, it is a wonderful time to introduce a few more things to your little one's nighttime routine. While you will want to keep their routine consistent to help promote good sleep, there are things that can be added in.

Dreamtown Kids Toddler Pillow with Pillowcase 14x19 White.

If your child is over 2 years old, consider a new pillow for them. This can help their head stay aligned as they begin to sleep in different positions now that they are bigger. Of course, this is also a great and practical present for them the next time that need rolls around.

Remember, moving from a crib to a toddler bed can be a huge step for a little person. So, have a little extra patience those first few days as they learn to explore their new spot and enjoy their freedom.

How To Convert a Crib to a Toddler Bed: Now You Know

Adorable baby on bed
Image source: pexels

Many parents struggle with figuring out when is the best time to potty train, start solids, or move them to their own room. Figuring out when to transition beds can be just as tricky. But, do not fret as you embark on this next part of the parenting journey. You will do great and your child will be overjoyed at their new bed.

Remember to keep the bedtime routine the same in order to keep this transition smooth. Whether you read books, sing songs, take a bath, or do all of these things, the most important thing is that you are able to have some quality time with your child before bed. Hopefully, this quick and simple guide to convert their bed will help you focus on what really matters.

So, when did you transition your first child from a crib to a toddler bed? What were the struggles, or what made it worth it in the end? Let us know below in the comments all about your crib to toddler bed transition!

Featured image source: pexels

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