New research shows that toddlers should actually stay in a cot until they turn at least three years old.

Little ones who remain sleeping in cots until the age of three tend to have better sleeping patterns, according to a study reported in the journal Sleep Medicine.

And importantly, parents who opt to keep their children in a crib for around 36 months will also benefit from more sleep themselves!

The research examined the sleeping patterns of care-givers in five countries (UK, Australia, the USA, Canada and New Zealand) – as well as those of their children.

It found that making the transition from cot to bed later in a child’s life can have a positive impact on their sleep – which can help avoid some of the behaviour typical of toddlers when they’re tired, shares The Mirror.

Lead study author Ariel Williamson, of the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia in Pennsylvania, told Reuters Health: “Research during the last decade has shown how important healthy sleep is across the lifespan, but especially during childhood.”

How old was your child when they moved to a big bed?

Share your comments below

  • My daughter was 2 and a half, we had to move her as we needed the cot for my son. The transition was easy. I think my son was closer to 3.


  • Funny, but I don’t remember. Probably closer to 3, but the transition was fine. No issues.


  • Around two it just became a game climbing out of his cot all night. Take the lead from the kids on this one.


  • We were minding my niece one night and she kept climbing it of the cot. We gave up counting when it got to 20. Eventually she fell onto the floor. Fortunately it was timber with no cement under it.
    We checked whether she needed a nappy change and a few other things. She had stopped having a dummy but we still had a spare so in desperation we gave it to her and she was asleep within 10 minutes. We warned her parents but she never asked for it again.


  • Knew it! I have never understood parents who put bubs in beds as young as one, it’s crazy! My kids were both about 2.5yrs but I only did it because of peer pressure from hubby and the mother in law. My boy has only just gone into a proper full sized single bed though as his cot transitioned to a toddler bed.


  • I think it might have been around 2 – 2 and a half.


  • Once a child starts climbing out at it forms a danger, you have no choice but change it


  • Around 12-18 months, they were getting themselves out so I put them into their bed. The eldest was the most difficult to keep in her bed, she kept coming into my bed. When her sister was born the cot was in her room and Intold her how important it was for her to stay in her bedroom in her bed so she could let me know when her sister woke.


  • That’s fine if they aren’t climbing out.


  • Both of my kids were in a toddler bed before 2. My first born took a while to transition & there were many hours spent walking him back to bed at first. My youngest was an easy transition but I think that’s due to them sharing a room, therefore not having to deal with the fear of being alone. My oldest was 100% out of nappies by 2.5 & fingers crossed my youngest is looking positive to reach this too. I don’t think it’s possible to fully transition out of nappies whilst being contained in a cot and unable to get up for themselves.


  • Mine moved to toddler bed at 2.5 years old. Once she started climbing out I decided it was more dangerous to leave her in the cot.


  • Ha…what a crock. My daughter would literally do back flips out of her cot before she was 2. I was worried she would fall on her head and break her neck or her back or something so it was out of the cot and into a big bed. Better a child that gets out of a big bed than one with a broken neck. She had no problems with sleeping either, so I’m not convinced they know what they are on about.


  • My boys were in beds by the time they were 2 and they have perfect sleeping patterns (most nights).


  • well try telling that sleeping pattern garbage to my kids, terrible sleepers! My son has just come out of his cot set up but is still his toddler bed, he is happy there for the few hours until he nees our cuddles again


  • We just need to find a way to stop them from climbing out :)


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