Your child's first bed

There is no set age at which you should move your tamariki (children) from a cot to a bed, but many are ready between 18 months and 2 years of age.

When to move your child

Some reasons for moving your tamariki from a cot to a bed may be:

  • they are too big for their cot
  • they keep climbing over the sides of their cot and could fall
  • you have a pēpi (baby) who needs the cot.

Keep your tamariki safe in bed

Moving from a cot to a bed means that your tamariki can get out of bed more easily. They may also fall out of bed while sleeping because there is not a side rail to stop them falling when they roll over.

Position the bed so that it is in a corner of the bedroom. This will mean there are 2 sides of the bed where your child cannot roll out. You can also buy guard rails that attach to the sides of the bed to prevent them falling out.

Move other bedroom furniture away from your child's bed, such as tables, lamps and bookcases.

Top bunks of bunk beds are not suitable for tamariki under 9 years of age.

Help your tamariki to settle

To help your tamariki settle in to their new bed, keep their regular bedtime routine in place, for example bath, story, cuddle. Move any favourite blankets and toys with your tamariki.

If they keep getting out of bed:

  • take them back to bed straight away
  • tell them that you want them to stay in bed
  • leave the room. 


About sleep and settling tamariki to sleep.

Raising Children Network Australia

What to do if your tamariki will not settle in their bed.