Sleep Routines 1
We've learned from our experiences traveling with our son that having consistent sleep routines at home, makes a huge difference in how well our son sleeps in a new bed. Before transitioning to a toddler bed, make sure you have a good routine in place for naps and bed time, so that you can maintain that exact same routine in the new bed. The familiarity will make the change easier on your child.
Build it Up 2
In short, in the weeks leading up to the change spend some time each day getting your little one excited about his or her big girl or big boy bed. Make a big deal out of how exciting it is and how great it will be. Celebrate it like you would any milestone.
Read About It 3
I've found that story books make a big impact on little minds, especially when they can relate to the topic. Read books about sleeping in a big kid bed to your toddler. It will help them understand what it actually looks like to do so, and in some cases, why it's an important change for every child. Relevant episodes of their favorite TV shows work, too.
Drop the mattress 5
If your baby is fairly young but still able or close to able to climb out of the crib, you might try dropping the mattress all the way down to the floor. A younger child may not be ready for the freedom of a toddler bed, so some parents remove the mattress from the platform or frame of the crib altogether and place the mattress directly on the floor, but still inside the crib. However, you can only do this if there's not enough room for your baby to squeeze into the gap between the top of the mattress and the bottom bar of the crib.
Convert the Crib 6
Your crib may be a convertible one that came with a kit that allows you to remove portions of it, turning it into an open-sided toddler bed, or you may be able to order the kit online or from the manufacturer. Sleeping in the same bed, albeit slightly modified could be an easier first step for your little one than moving straight to a brand-new bed.
Mattress on the Floor 7
If you're concerned about your child falling out of the bed, consider forgoing a traditional bed in favor of a mattress set up directly on the floor. This is how proponents of the Montessori method of child learning prefer to set up beds for older infants and toddlers, claiming that it helps foster a sense of freedom and independence, in addition to the safety factor.
Let Her Pick 8
If your going to buy a completely new bed, it could be helpful to let your child help choose the bed and/or bedding. If your little one gets to pick a bed featuring his or her favorite characters or one that he or she is simply visually attracted to, it will help him feel more excited about actually sleeping in it. Of course, this should be within reason--beds are expensive!
Straight to Twin 9
My son was just a few months shy of three when we moved him out of the crib, and we knew that we would be trying for number 2 in the near future, so we went ahead and moved him from his crib straight to a twin size bed. He was mature enough and large enough to handle all the new space without much of an issue, and now we won't have to buy him another bed for at least 10-15 years.
The Family Bedroom 11
If you're a co-sleeping family and bedsharing quarters are getting a bit cramped as your toddler grows bigger, you might consider setting up a family bedroom. Simply set up a toddler bed or mattress near the head of your own bed, where your baby can easily reach for you when needed.