A mother looks over her baby, who is lying in a cot, and ponders when to move baby from bassinet to cot
Comfier Parenting by Alex Irving 4 minutes

When should you move baby from bassinet to cot?

When to move baby from bassinet to cot? Australia, we’ve got you 

As a parent, life is all about transitions. And watching your newborn baby outgrow their cot and move into a big kids’ bed is one of those tearjerkers. It can feel overwhelming and like time has moved too fast, and the options seem endless.

So, when should you move your baby from a bassinet to a cot (or when to transition from cot to bed)? How do you choose the right one? And how can you make sure they stay safe?

With some expert advice from paediatrician Dr Sarah Arachchi, we’re bringing you all the info you’ll need to simplify the bassinet-to-cot transition for you and your little one.

When to move baby to cot

Knowing when to move your baby to a cot or baby bed usually comes down needing more room as baby has outgrown the bassinet (which means it’s actually safer for them to be in a cot on a firmer mattress).

We asked Dr Sarah how parents can make this transition work, and she advises starting with day transitions before moving on to night sleeps, as you can be more present for your baby during the day and feel confident that the transition works. 

“This move can happen when they’re around four months old. And as it’s likely that you’re changing their sleep location for the first time, be sure to go slow. 

“Most babies will cope well with the transition from bassinet to a cot as it gives them more space for them.”

When to move from cot to bed

So, they’re ready for the next step — a big-kid bed. Kids typically move from a cot to a bed between the ages of two and three, and there are a few reasons as to why.

🍼  Your child has outgrown their cot and needs more space.

🍼  Your child has started climbing out of the cot, which puts them at risk of falling.

🍼  Your child is toilet training and needs to get to the toilet easily throughout the night.

🍼  You have a new baby who needs the cot.

🍼  You’ve decided to move your child out of your bed and into their own.

This transition period might take some time, so feel free to take your time.

“Practise during their daytime sleeps,” says Dr Sarah. “If your child is old enough and is able to understand, talking to them and explaining that they’re ‘moving to a big-kid bed’ can make them feel special and want to participate.”

A young girl lies on her bed smiling in a beautiful stylish bedroom after making the transition for cot to bed
Koala makes toddler bed shopping easy with our new bed that features adjustable legs and removable guard rails

How to choose a toddler bed

Once you make the transition from cot to bed, the next step will be to sift through the many options that are out there, which is why choosing a toddler bed can be a bewildering process.

Start by placing the mattress of the existing cot on the floor. This will give your little one a chance to get used to sleeping lower to the ground. It may also reduce their risk of falling out of bed one day, which will let you do away with the need to ponder when to lower the cot.

Once parents and baby have adjusted and are feeling good about the next step, look for a bed that’s low to the floor or has secure rails to keep bub safe. And as their little bodies are still growing, opt for a supportive mattress that will help to keep their spine in alignment.

The best part of going from cot to bed

The best part of growing up is that with a bigger bed comes more freedom. And it’s not just our precious little babes that get their first taste of independence: mums and dads also get the bittersweet chance to redesign the nursery.

When your kids can finally plop themselves in and out of bed, furniture and decor will become a priority. Keeping them happy and safe will require adding safety locks on windows, using power-point covers, installing wall brackets for heavy furniture and keeping things like curtains and blind cords out of reach.

Make it a smooth transition

Moving your baby from bassinet to cot and then cot to bed is a big deal. To make the transition simpler and smoother for everyone, here are some tips on how to involve your little one in the process:

🍼 Take your time; there’s no rush. You might start with day naps in the new bed and slowly transition into night-time sleeps.

🍼 Make it fun! Becoming a big kid is big news, so tell your child about the plans for their new bed

🍼 Include them in the changes. Let them pick out their new bedding or ask them how they want their room to look.

Bedtime with Joey

Parents, we’re here for you. Which is why we created Joey, our baby and kids’ bedroom furniture range.

The Joey Kookaburra Cot is AFRDI approved, which means it has been tested and certified by the nation’s leading body on safer furniture. It also meets Red Nose Australia Safer Sleeping criteria. Made from sustainably sourced solid timbers, it’s beautiful, safe and long lasting. Our cot mattress has a zip-off removable top layer that’s machine washable plus a water-resistant inner protective layer was designed with nighttime accidents in mind. 

When baby is ready to move into their own bed, the Joey Kids Bed is ready to go. It has removable legs and guard rails — as your child grows the bed grows too. And, of course, at Koala we have loads of bedding and bedtime accessories to choose from.

Not sure what you need? No problem. Try any of our products for 120 nights, and if you don’t love them, get in touch. We’ll arrange for a return and refund in a way and at a time that suits you. It’s that simple.

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