Transitioning From a Cot to a Big Bed by Nicole Basham

Nicole Basham takes us on her journey of transition with her son Luca and how they tackled the in's and out's of transitioning into a big boy bed! 


If you’ve been following on my socials for a little while you may have heard me talk about our difficulty with my 2 year old sleeping in his big boy bed and if not I’ll quickly fill you in.

Luca, our energetic boy who turned two in June 2020 has always been a great sleeper from day one. We do have a regular routine we go by most nights as our older daughter has school etc but he was also a great sleeper even when we were out and about he’d sleep in the car/pram etc even whilst we travelled around Europe twice, we didn’t have a problem with him sleeping.

Until the day we moved him to his big boy bed, actually he was very good for about 2 weeks and we were so impressed with his transition from cot to the bed, but unfortunately it didn’t last. After about 2 weeks he just wouldn’t stay in his bed or room anymore, kept wandering out of his room and thought it was funny. We kept walking him back to his bed, over and over each night till we ran out of steam and ended up either sitting with him till he’d fall asleep, sometimes even laying with him in his cot till he’d fall asleep.

This was all new to us because we never had this problem with our daughter. We transferred her to a bed by her 2nd birthday and she stayed in her bed from day one. That just proves how different each child is.

Some nights were easier then others like when hubby was home and we could put one each in bed but the nights that hubby was on afternoon/night shifts it was difficult to spread my time between the two especially with Luca continually coming back out. His bed time was getting later and later each night which then had a roll on effect for the next day and so on, and so on.

After weeks of fighting through it I finally popped a post up on my socials asking for advice, I have to admit I’m not one to ask for help (still learning to do this as a mother, I know I should do it more often but hey first step is to admit it, right?). I had so much great feedback from my post, I wish I had done it earlier. When you reach out to mums for help they actually help and if they don’t have any suggestions I found that there was sooooo many of you going through the same or similar stage.

I want to share two suggestions that we found helpful to get us to where we are today.

Firstly I was put in contact with Stephanie Bull founder of The Baby Sleep Teacher, which I am so thankful for as she helped guide us to where we are now, which is a lot happier then what we all were 3 months ago. Steph is a mother herself to two gorgeous girls, she runs a family daycare in Perth and has experience in early childhood, primary school teaching and to top it off is a qualified baby sleep consultant.

I reached out to Steph for some advice on Luca’s sleeping troubles and Steph was so helpful, after telling her what had been happening she helped go through some steps to get us to where we are today.


Firstly I learnt that Luca being only 2 years old was very young to move him to a big bed, but this we had no choice on as he had worked out how to climb out of his cot but couldn’t get back in on his own and I was too scared that he would hurt himself obviously. So we had to work around that but my advice to anyone else is to leave your child/children in their cot for as long and safe as possible.

In saying that Liana was around the age of 2 as well and had no problems, so... all kids are different.

Steph often checked in with me at night to see how I had gone that night and it made a huge difference mentally knowing that if I had had a bad night with him I could confine in her and she would reassure me that I was doing a great job and to keep it up and not give up.

The game changer for us was the baby gate that Steph had suggested! Because Luca’s room has double doors I didn’t think I could get a gate to fit but Steph advised otherwise. The next day we bought a gate. The gate changed everything because he could still see out of his room but had a boundary.

Most nights he is really good, we do the whole bedtime routine eg. bath, brush teeth, read book, dim lights, sing a couple of songs, kiss him goodnight and walk out closing the gate behind. He usually will call out to say mum/dad come back but by the time the kettle has boiled he is quiet and snuggled up back in bed.
I’ll be honest and say that not every night is that easy but I can usually tell why, like he may have had a late day sleep/nap or it’s later then normal going to bed because we’ve been out and he is now overtired.

Apart from that him going to bed has improved hugely, and it’s a big thank you to The Baby Sleep Teacher with all her little tips and guidance through this stage and constantly checking in. I would highly recommend to reach out to Steph if you are having sleep issues with your little one, there is nothing worse then a mumma deprived of sleep, we all know that from one mum to another!


Another step I have added to his bedtime routine is his Sweet Dreams roll on essential oils. He loves rolling this on the bottom of his feet just before he lays down, he even asks for it now if I forget. Stacey from Lavish Aromas made up a toddler friendly version of her sweet dreams roll on essential oil. It smells so beautiful and not too strong of a scent especially to put on just before bed, ingredients are Orange, Lavender, Ylang Ylang and Fractionated Coconut Oil. Just make sure if you are ordering for a child to let Stacey know so she can custom make it to suit the age of your child.

I hope this has put a bit of hope out there for you especially if you are struggling with your little ones sleep habits, I’m in no means any expert but I’m just sharing my experience with you in the hope it can help just one tired mumma out there. If you are after a professional than Steph The Baby Sleep Teacher is your lady.

Thanks again for reading and if you have any questions or comments please do not hesitate to reach out.

Love and light x

Nicole Basham @mrs.nicolebasham 

PS. Pic of me above wearing my Comfort Mama dress in Elle-Rose Pink, in S/M.


You can follow Nicole's journey on her webpage here