We all know that raising toddlers can be a complicated affair. It's never easy for us parents to ensure we are doing things right for our children.

This includes making the decision to move your child from their crib to their bed. Doing so can be a significant milestone for both parties, but often it is a bittersweet moment, especially for the toddler.

There is no recommended age for a child to shift to a toddler bed. A clinical study on the effects of sleep space according to caregivers in Western countries has revealed that about 34 percent remains in their crib up until their 30th month although, this figure steadily decreases with age.

Even if they are 2 or much older, and still sleeping in a crib, this is absolutely fine. According to Ariel Williamson of Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and also one of the researchers of the study, he concludes that continued use of the crib sustained better sleep quality and quantity for the child.

Williamson stressed the importance of healthy sleep and believed that it should start as early as during childhood. Just like a sleep-deprived adult would become moody as a consequence, a kid who did not sleep well will likely throw tantrums more, making him difficult to handle.

While there are many articles about when to transition from crib to a bigger bed, I think its also important to highlight the case for delaying the transition:

No need to rush things

It is essential to consider your child’s readiness for the change more than anything. Based on Piaget’s theory of cognitive development, kids between 2 to 7 years old are egocentric and lack logical reasoning. As a parent, you must realize that your child might not have reached a certain amount of understanding yet to think that his big kid bed will maintain its boundaries even without the side panels which his crib has.

Upgrading because there’s a new baby on the way

Making room for a new baby is not a good reason for your kid to vacate his crib, especially if he is still very much attached to it along with his other baby stuff. He may even think that you are stealing his bed away from him. It can get worse when he sees his parents showering more attention to the new sibling.

The Child Development Institute says that children from ages two to three see situations according to their own needs. As such, you cannot just turf him out of his crib. Instead, what you can do is to ease your young child into his new sleeping arrangement by beginning the move several months ahead of the baby’s arrival.

Less resistance to bedtime

Children often view sleep as ”the enemy”. They are often seemingly full of endless energy. This makes it frustrating for parents to put their child to sleep at night. Their resistance will also happen if the kid is having a hard time adjusting to his new sleep environment on a regular bed.

Sleeping in a crib helps decrease a toddler’s defiance towards it. After all, he is accustomed to this practice since day one. That’s why it is better to change the bed setup only when your kid says so.

Fall asleep faster

Because there is less resistance from the child come bedtime, you won’t find it challenging to put him to sleep when he is retiring to his personal space. But when he sees his “strange” bed instead, you cannot expect him to drift off to dreamland effortlessly.

Fewer night awakenings

Being awakened by your child’s nocturnal calls is something that you would want to avoid as he grows up. This habit is disruptive to your bedtime.

Night waking can be quite frequent among toddlers, which gets worse when you force him to sleep on a typical bed against his will. Studies have shown that this behavior indicates a fragmented sleep on the young child. The crib curbs this incidence as it has become his extended security blanket of sorts.

Longer sleep duration

You do what you can to help your child sleep better. And if that means letting him have his crib for as long as he wants, so be it.

Given the confines of his crib, your toddler who may have built his sleeping patterns will continue to have more sleep than forcing him to adjust to a new bed. The crib also prevents him from being an early riser.

Comfort in small spaces

According to Lisa Meltzer who is a pediatric psychologist, children feel safe and comfortable in small spaces. While adults may look at cribs as cages, kids see them differently. This viewpoint is also evident in child behavior of hiding in tight corners or playing under the table.

Reduced risk of falling

With a crib, your toddler won’t be falling out of bed anytime soon. There have been instances when a kid would fall and break a bone after having been transitioned to a bed in an untimely manner. Especially if they’ve gotten used to some sleeping habits such as squishing their face against the crib bars.

Helps curb a spoiled brat

Based on popular opinion, allowing a child to sleep on a crib longer provides them with a sense of independence. This setup will lessen his clingy tendencies and give them the freedom to form sleep habits that work best for them.

Maximize your crib usage

Ditching the crib too soon could also mean throwing away an investment. Most pediatricians would recommend buying a convertible crib in the first place so the toddler can still get the benefits of having the security of his crib while gradually transitioning to a standard bed by lowering it to the ground and having a collapsible slat panel which practically becomes a toddler bed without buying a separate one.

Keeps your sanity and peace of mind

It can be a scary scenario to see your kid at the foot of your bed in the middle of the night staring at you because he couldn’t sleep since his migration from the crib. You’d realize this wouldn’t happen if he were sleeping in his cot.

Author's Bio: 

Success Coach, Business Development Consultant, Strategist,Blogger, Traveller, Motivational Writer & Speaker