Moving from cot to big bed – sleep warning for parents!

Toddlers can give parents more sleepless nights than babies (sorry for the bad news!)

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If you’re a new parent and looking forward to getting a better night’s sleep in a few months’ time, think again. According to a new survey, 1 in 7 parents revealed that their worst nights came when their children were between the ages of 2 and 3. 

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The move out of a cot is clearly a big sleep disrupter. 1 in 6 said they lost most sleep when they moved their toddler from a cot to a big bed. The survey by Worlds Apart found these parents said they were woken up an average of 3 times a night – compared to the average of 4 times for a newborn baby. 

“Many parents expect the broken night’s sleep to stop after the first 6 months, but this survey has proved that it goes on for much longer than that, in fact well into the toddler and preschool years,” said Mandy Gurney, sleep advisor to the NHS. “The move from cot to first big bed often causes difficulties.”

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Our popular forum thread about settling your toddler at bedtime

* Expert advice when your child doesn’t want to go to bed

Moving your toddler from a cot to a big bed

Mandy’s tips to helping your toddler sleep well

1 Choose a toddler bed that’s appropriate to your child’s age and that is smaller and much lower to ground than a ‘adult’ single bed

2 A toddler bed will not only feel cosy, but will have protective sides, helping to prevent your little one from falling out

3 Create a cosy and child-friendly bedroom environment

4 Have a quiet and brief winding-down routine, with a story or two. Then let your toddler snuggle down to sleep, kiss goodnight and leave them to drift off to sleep independently

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