Cot to cotbed…when’s the right time?


cotbed post

Little Mr has been sleeping through the night consistently for over a month now. I am obviously delighted as we have worked so so hard to get to this point. It’s been a bit of a battle getting him to sleep through but we seem to have cracked it and it is so beneficial for all of us. For the record, he slept through from 10 weeks old with the occasional blip up until I went back to work following maternity leave when Little Mr was 10 months old. Since then, it’s been a bumpy few months but we are so pleased with where we’re at now.

Little Mr usually wakes up in the week anytime between 6:45am – 8am. When we’re at work, I hate waking him up so early. He always looks so peaceful and cosy but it’s not often he wakes up without a smile. If he wakes up before us, he’ll usually entertain himself by reading a book or two that we leave in his cot. He’ll often make up the story whilst looking at the pictures and cuddling his toys. He has always slept in a Grobag (The Gro Company sleeping bag)  He’s always been warm in them and they stay put despite the amount of wriggling that he does during the night.

I’m in completely unchartered territory here and I have no idea when the right time is to take the side off his cot to turn it into a cotbed. Surely it’d be easier for us to leave the sides on his cot until he’s at school, right?


Obviously my primary concern, if we take the side of his cot off we run the risk that he will be unsettled at night? I really don’t want to trade my full nights sleep any time soon (is that selfish?)

He’ll be able to get up and roam around his room, empty his chest of drawers, play with his toys, trash the wardrobe! I’m really hoping he wouldn’t but he’s an inquisitive little monkey so it’s inevitable really.


next steps

If I’m honest, I don’t really know when the best time will be to take the side off. A few of my friends with little ones the same age, have made the move to take the side off or move them to a toddler bed and they’ve been okay. They’re sleeping in a cotbed with a quilt and pillow. Should I wait a while? I’m not sure this side of Christmas is the right time to do it.

I’m going to buy a toddler bed guard in preparation so that when I feel like the time is right to take the side off, I’m ready.

I’d love some advice if you’ve gone through this dilemma. Do I just need to face it and accept that he’s growing up? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

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  • Reply Zoe Corkhill (Mama Geek) 25/10/2014 at 12:39 am

    We have moved Lydia into a “bed” by removing the side from her cot and doing a bit of sawing, sanding & screwing to convert it into a makeshift cotbed. She was around 19 months old when we did it, but we probably would have waited longer if it hadn’t have been for the safety concerns.

    She was removing her sleeping bag and climbing out of the cot regularly, so the safest option was to move her into the bed… She was so excited to get a teeny tiny pillow and duvet and have her own bed like her big sister!

    As for roaming and trashing the room – I have to admit the first nap time she was up and about and playing, but the novelty of the freedom ran out after a few days and she went back to settling quickly and quietly for her nap. At bedtime we have the added advantage of Georgie sleeping just a metre away, who gets up to tuck her sister back in to bed, and tells her off if she gets out. But even then, after a few nights Lydia just got into the swing of things and now we have a routine of bedtime stories all snuggled up on Georgie’s bed, then as soon as our 2nd story “the end” is uttered, she climbs down, crosses over to her bed, climbs in and waits to be tucked in.

    We had a similar experience with Georgie; a few days of adjustment then just accepting it and lying down to sleep. Of course you always have the occasional bad day with it but it was no more frequent then when either of them were in cots. We had to move Georgie very early as I wasn’t allowed to lift her at all while I was pregnant, and couldn’t put her in & out of her cot anymore.

    Do it when you feel right about it – or if it becomes necessary. It’s not as scary as it seems, I promise!

  • Reply MostlyYummy 25/10/2014 at 8:01 am

    I’d say there’s no rush if he’s happy where he is. It’s so much safer for him to be in his cot when he is still so little. I think the general rule of thumb is to leave them in their cots until they start to attempt to climb out of it by themselves (and he will at some point!) then it is safer for him to be in a bed. I wouldn’t do it because you think he’s old enough now, actually I’d say he’s still very young! My children were all over two – in fact my youngest baby was three and a half because she was completely happy in her cot so there was no rush to move her :-)

  • Reply Super Busy Mum 25/10/2014 at 8:08 am

    I knew the right time was when Annabelle was constantly trying to climb over her cot rails {nerves where wrecked!} so I just went…”Lets do it!”. Now yes she gets out and has a little rummage 9 times out of ten. But she always goes back to her bed and sleeps just as soundly as she did with the cot rails on. Sometimes you just need to bite the bullet and do it, as you’ll never know if it was the right thing to do or not until you try it. x

  • Reply Emma lander 25/10/2014 at 10:29 am

    From bitter experience my love (5am today) leave the sides on until you find him climbing out. We found boo monkey clinging to the other side of the rails and they had to come off for safety reasons. If she hadn’t climbed out, they’d still be on ;)

  • Reply Sarah with love 25/10/2014 at 10:38 am

    With my Nephew we didn’t take it off until he started trying to climb over the side. When he went to a bed it took weeks to get him to settle as he had freedom again. If you can I’d be selfish & keep it on as long as can. It’s not doing him any harm is it?

  • Reply Lauren (@laurenbigeejit) 25/10/2014 at 8:48 pm

    Clearly I can’t speak from experience here but I am tempted to say that if you aren’t ready for it yet, then don’t do it yet. Even if he stays put you’ll only lose sleep worrying if he’s going to be ok. Give it another few months and the time might present itself naturally xxx

  • Reply Rebecca bodkin (clearlybex) 26/10/2014 at 9:11 pm

    I took the sides off Leah’s when she showed interest in hiding in our bed and snuggling in the duvet. Ready for our venture I had a bed rail to hand and a gro to bed sleep set from the gro company. The move was so smooth, leah knows when its bed time and if she doesnt wamt to sleep she plays with her dolls house and flakes out on the floor. I recommend taking the plunge, one night and if its a no go put the sides back on the cot x

  • Reply Lucy 27/10/2014 at 3:26 pm

    Oh my, this worries me, My 3 year old son was 2 when we took the sides off and was fine for the first month but every night since then I have to stay with him while he falls asleep or he continuously gets out of bed, we tried the super nanny way and it never seemed to get better. Now my daughter is 2 I am scared to take the sides off in case she does the same but saying that her behaviour in general is much less challenging than his, wishing I did it ages ago but maybe I will just leave it on until she asks as when I asked her not long ago she didn’t want the side off. A bed guard is definitely the way forward as I think it may deter them from getting out every few minutes.

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