Baby to toddler transitions

Major transitions your child will make to becoming a "big kid."

One common transition in a child's life is doing away with a pacifier. Photo credit: Pixabay.
One common transition in a child's life is doing away with a pacifier. Photo credit: Pixabay.

As your baby grows they will experience transitions, which are very normal and part of life. Parents often worry about how their young children will be impacted. Michigan State University Extension says that one of the first transitions a child may experience is weaning from a bottle to a cup.

Typically, bottle weaning is recommended at age one. During the day the parent can give the child a sippy-cup with water and let them have access to it. This will encourage the child to try it, although, they may play with it too. Gradually phase out the bottle by introducing the sippy-cup at times the bottle was offered. Parents need to make sure bottles are put away out of the child’s sight. It is very tempting to resort back to the bottle when children reject the sippy-cup.

One thing MSU Extension encourages parents to do prior to weaning is to introduce a snuggly bear or doll to the child. They are to be included in the child’s daily routine to promote attachment. It is easier to develop attachment to one snuggly object as opposed to several. Eventually, the snuggly object will provide comfort to the child when transitions take place.

Another transition very common in a child’s life is the pacifier. It is recommended to do away with pacifiers between the ages of 14 to 16 months. According to, parents can bag all pacifiers explaining they will be donated to little babies that need them. Of course, most likely they will truly end up in the trash. The parent can opt for a going away pacifier party. Another clever way is cutting the tip off the pacifier enough so the child will not get the complete sucking effect. They can still hold on to it, but will not have the sucking effect due to the snipped tip.

Finally, one of the later transitions a child will experience is transitioning from crib to a toddler bed. A good time to make this transition is when the child is big enough to climb out of their crib or there is a new sibling on the way. Parents can make a big deal of what a privilege it is to have a big bed, dressing it up special and stressing what a big kid they are. This is also a good time to bring in a soft bear or doll to keep them company. Setting the toddler bed in the same room and taking naps in it prior to the switch will help them get used to it. Don’t forget to set up rail guards for safety. If there is concern the child may get up and wander, parents can put up a safety-gate or install childproof door handles. If the child is able to get out of the room, parents can keep guiding the child back until the child gives up.

Having a set routine will be helpful. Finally, not all children are the same. What may work for one, may not work for the other. Just the same, some children may take longer to adjust than others.

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