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Top 5 Big Kid Bed Transition Essentials

Toddler sleeping in a big bed

Are you a mom of a toddler who is making the transition to the big kid bed and is looking for all of the big-kid-bed essentials?

There are so many options out there, making it hard to choose the products that are best for your little one’s sleepy head. In the endless abyss of Amazon, I have some tried and true toddler essentials that we cannot live without.

Plus, I am always able to depend on my favorite baby brand, KeaBabies, to come through with excellent merch.

I’ll be the first to admit.

I did not research anything for my oldest daughter when she transitioned to the toddler bed. She was in the middle of some serious crib-climbing, which resulted in an unanticipated crib eviction way before I was ready to do so.

I had to order things FAST in order to make the room a safe space for a free-roaming tiny human, so I opted for the first gate, crib converter, and toddler pillow that popped up on Amazon.

I added them to my cart with a month’s worth of coffee pods and prayed that I would get through this major sleep regression while newly pregnant.

When my youngest daughter made the transition to the big kid bed, we were prepared and able to take things more slowly. It’s important to keep in mind that I waited until she was 3 years old to make the switch.

We had to transition her big sister at 2 because it was unsafe to keep her in the crib. However, I pulled out ALL of the tricks to make sure Olivia stayed in the crib until her 3rd birthday.

At this age, she had more impulse control and a better understanding of our sleep rules and consequences. Here are my Top 5 Big Kid Bed Transition Essentials:

  1. I ditched the toddler bed and skipped right to a twin bed, which had a trundle underneath. This was so important because I knew I may have some rough nights ahead and sleeping on a mattress next to her bed is way more comfortable than the floor. Plus, her sister can comfortably bunk with her when we guests are using her bedroom.

  1. I had a toddler clock ready to go. She was so excited to use one like her big sister and understood that the “green light” meant she was allowed to get out of bed.

  2. We installed a tall baby gate at the door before making the transition, so she was used to it being there. Having the gate allowed us to keep her door open while keeping her contained in a safe space. We made sure to anchor all furniture and take out anything that may be tempting to play with in the middle of the night.

  1. I purchased a toddler pillow from my favorite baby brand, KeaBabies. I let her be involved in the process and she picked out her favorite pattern- they have over 20 patterns! She loves that the My Little Dreamy Pillow is the perfect size for her tiny noggin, plushy, and super soft. I love that it’s made of organic cotton, has an ergonomic design, and is machine washable and dryable. Plus, she loves to bring it with her for daycare days and it has already been on a few road trips with us. Take advantage of 15% off all of their merchandise using my discount code: YOURZENBABY at

  2. We made a special place for her sound machine and clock to have a home, which was easily accessible. She loves to take ownership of the routine and turn both of these on at night.

After you’ve set up the room and ordered all of your products, expect that the transition may be a little rocky at first. Remember your child has been confined to a small space for their entire lives and now has lots of freedom to roam!

They are also developmentally at an age where boundary-pushing is totally normal, which means bedtime battles may ramp up.

My best advice is to stick to your bedtime routine, so they know what to expect and sleep is cued. Remain fair but firm in your sleep rules, which should be clearly stated and followed through.

Finally, give them lots of praise when they successfully stay in their beds all night long. This is a huge milestone and you should be so proud of them!

If you are still struggling with making a smooth transition to the big kid bed (little one up all night long, in your room at all hours of the night, refusing to fall asleep, skipping naps….you know the drill), then feel free to book a discovery call with me to learn more about how I can help coach your family through this big transition!

Click the button below to book a call with me and rest well, mama!

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