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Which bed?

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Cot bed
If you've got a cot bed, then the move is much more straightforward, you just take one side off and lower the base. It gets tricky if you've got another baby on the way, though. Do you buy another cot, or buy a bed, and make the cot bed back into a cot?

The other issue is bedding, normal duvets are too big, so you can either fork out for a cot-bed sized duvet and cover, or have a normal one drooping over one end.

Child bed
These are the same size as cot beds, so again you'll need cot-bed bedding. They're great for small rooms, though, and can be a good interim move if you're planning on bunk beds for siblings later.
Try Toddler bed, £79.99/£99.99 (depending on choice of mattress), argos.co.uk

Bed guards
Some parents feel that their child should adjust to the dimensions of their new bed and lack of bars so that they don't roll out after the first few nights. Others just can't face the constant picking up and putting back into bed. So fold-down bed guards can be a really good solution.
Try Tomy soft foldaway bed guard, £19.99, Mothercare.co.uk

On the move
Once your tot's in a big bed, it changes things when you travel, too. Travel cots are bigger than normal cots, so she might be happy to carry on sleeping in one for a while, but sooner or later she'll need her own bed on holidays. A great option is a Readybed. It's an inflatable bed with a sleeping bag attached, complete with a pump. When deflated it fits into a really small carry bag. Perfect for going camping.
Try Fisher Price My First Readybed, £29.99, argos.co.uk

When not to make the move

When you've just moved house
Too many upheavals at once can make your toddler feel anxious, and could lead to disrupted nights. Let her adjust to her new home while enjoying the familiarity of her old cot. Once she's settled in, you can introduce her gently to the idea of her new 'big bed'.

If you've just had a new baby
Her whole life will change once she has a sibling, so your toddler will need familiar things around her, and a new bed could be one change too far. Also, turfing her out at the same time as the new baby arrives can make her feel she's being replaced, or that the baby is taking her things. If you have time to move her into her big bed well in advance of the baby's birth ? at least six weeks ? she'll probably be much less possessive of her old cot.

If the gap between your children is small
Don't rush your older child into a bed before she's ready for it. It may seem like an extravagance to have two cots, but you don't have to spend a fortune. Try Ikea Sniglar cot, £29.00 ikea.com, which is a great basic cot or you could choose to have a cot bed, which you can then change into a bed when she's grown a bit older.

Continued below...


She's starting a new nursery or other childcare
Again, if other parts of her life are changing, it will help to make your toddler feel safe if the place where she goes to sleep remains the same. Wait until she's fully settled in to a new routine before making the change.

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