Our Secret to an Easier Crib to Toddler Bed Transition

Alright, here it is. You’ve all been asking me to put together a post on how we transitioned G from his crib to a toddler bed.

I will say, I was nervous to do this because, like everything else in parenting, I’ve heard so many stories of how this could go wrong and it could ruin his sleep. I probably wouldn’t have chosen to do it so soon if it weren’t for the potty training.  In reading the book, “Oh Crap! Potty Training, she says time and again “if you can handle it, it is way better to potty train for both day and night at the same time.” And I’m a rip the band-aid off kind of girl, so we decided to go for it.

But in order to potty train for the night, the child has to be able to get out of their bed and go to the potty, thus the sudden need for us to switch to the toddler bed.

Choosing to potty train for the night was kind of a last minute decision, so we did the whole crib to bed transition and nighttime potty training all in one big swoop. It was kind of like “ok, this is the new norm. We have a big kid bed and we use the potty.” He didn’t seem overwhelmed by all the changes.

Crib to Toddler Bed Transition:

Night One: At the end of day one of potty training, G watched us take his crib apart and convert it to a toddler bed.  He was so excited about it and immediately climbed into bed and wanted to go to sleep. He was pretty worn out from a full day of potty training.

But of course, he needed to test out his new freedom. After 5 minutes he climbed out of his bed, went potty, and then ran back into bed. I almost cried tears of joy.

Then, not 5 minutes after that he went to the door, opened it and came walking down the hall. Crap.

I picked him up, walked him back to bed and told him he had to stay there until morning.

He waited another 5 minutes, then crawled out of bed again. This time, we saw him on our monitor and I spoke into the monitor microphone saying “Get back in bed now.” Hearing my voice in his room must’ve put the fear of God in him because he ran back to bed and didn’t get out again.

I knew though that we needed night two to go better, so I immediately ordered the Hatch Baby Time-To-Rise clock that a few of you recommended.

The next morning he woke up earlier than normal and wasn’t about to stay in his room. So we were up for the day.

Night Two: The Hatch Baby Rest Night Light Time-to-Rise Clock came in we were ready for bedtime.

What makes this clock different (and in my opinion better) than all the other time-to-rise clocks out there is that you control the settings from an app on your phone! I’ve heard many say they tried some of the other preset, wake clocks, and they don’t work because what happens when you’re child wakes up at 6 and the clock doesn’t change for another hour? How are they supposed to learn in the beginning?

How we introduced the clock:

  1. As we got ready for bed I showed him the new “clock”, more like a nightlight, and said “look at this. See how the light is orange, that means it’s time to sleep. In the morning it will be green and then you can get up.” Let the record show, my 22-month-old doesn’t know his colors yet. But he can tell there is a difference between the orange and the green light.
  2. The next morning he woke up before 7, usually when he was in a crib I’d let him chill and play in there for a bit, but for today I immediately opened up the Hatch Rest app on my phone and changed the clock to green. I then went in there and made a really big deal about it saying “Wow, look! The light is green! That means we can get up now!” He seems a little confused but was happy to see me come in there and get him.

I repeated this during nap time too.

Night Three:

By this night we added a lock to the outside of the door. He was locked in his crib before, and I’d rather him be locked in his room than roaming freely throughout the house.

I did the same thing as night two, the next morning changing it to green minutes after he got up and making a big deal about the light being green. This time when I came to get him he pointed to the light and clapped.

Night Four:

We put him to bed the same way with the clock. The next morning I heard him stirring around 6 am, and then, I watched him on the monitor look up at the clock light, and lay back down!! He went back to sleep for two hours! Glory hallelujah. 

Night Five:

Nap and bedtime all went the same with the clock. He’s definitely more aware of it and points to it saying his version of “light” and “night night” when he sees that it’s orange. He now knows that means it’s time for bed.

The next morning woke up and the light was still orange and he got out of bed to pee and then layed in bed and played until it turned green. Almost 30 minutes.

This was when I could tell he really understood what it meant and when I went in there he was pointing to the light and saying what I assume was supposed to mean “green”. Toddler words are funny.

About the Time-to-Rise Clock:

  1. One feature of the clock is that you can tap the top to change the colors. If your child is anything like mine, do not let them see you do that. He tries to tap it all the time and we had to move it way out of reach. He tries to get me to tap it change the colors but I learned from my mistake and don’t do that anymore.
  2. There are so many different color settings you can choose from and you can change the brightness if you want it to act as a brighter nightlight. I like that it can illuminate the room enough so G can see to get out of bed and use the potty.
  3. There are also many sound options if your little one is used to sleeping with a sound machine.
  4. It can be programmed to turn on automatically, can be adjusted remotely via phone. Control remotely via easy-to-use Hatch Baby Rest app.
  5. Again, what sets this product apart, and what I think makes it easier to train the child is the ability to control the colors from your phone so in those first few crucial nights, you can give them a quick win.

I am not in any way sponsored by Hatch Baby (though if you’re reading this, please come sponsor me! 😉 . I just genuinely think this is an awesome product and has made what could have been a difficult transition go very smoothly.


This is what worked for us and I hope it helps you in your crib to toddler bed transition!

I’ll have the nighttime potty training post up for you next week.

Please share any tips and tricks you have in the comments below!



  1. Thank you for writing this, it’s so nice to read something about the bed transition that doesn’t say don’t do it when you’re doing this, this, this or this. I’ve been wondering if potty training and bed transition will be too much for my toddler but I don’t think we give them enough credit for what they can take on. You’ve given me confidence to take on both with my 3 year old – thanks!

    1. I’m so glad to hear that! I agree I don’t think we give the kids enough credit. You know your child best! You got this mama.

  2. Oh snap! Where have you been all my life!?!lmao! I was so worried and have much anxiety about the potty training and the transition from crib to toddler bed but after reading your post I feel at ease now.

  3. Currently in this same situation with needing to potty train and convert to a crib (as well as dropping the pacie!).

    Which potty did you leave in the room? I’m worried to leave a potty in his room but he doesn’t always wake up with a FULL diaper.

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