There's no set age for when a child should move from their cot to the bed, and based on the accounts of many families I know, there is a wide variation on the age of when children have been ready for the move. It seems that kids move into a bed anytime from aged 18 months to 3 years of age with some outside of this range based on personal circumstance. For some children, they move into a bed to free up the cot for a new sibling, and for other kids, they've simply outgrown the space that the cot affords. Where possible, you should aim to wait for signs that your child is ready so that they don't feel pushed out of their cot, which may have become something of a comfort for them.
Photo: Cveleglg, Wikipedia
Here are a few of the signs that your child might be ready for a move to the big bed:
1) Escaping from his cot When your child starts to escape or climb out of their cot, it definitely may be time to think about converting their cot into a bed (if that is possible) or buying a junior sized single bed. From solely a safety perspective, if your child is able to climb over their cot rails, there is a possibility that they could injure themselves or fall from a height. In the US a reported, 10,000 children a year, injure themselves from climbing out of their cot.
2) Asking for a big bed When your child starts asking for a 'big bed' this is them telling you what they are ready for and also a great impetus to make the move based on a suggestion that they have made themselves.
3) Needing to get up to use the toilet at night If your child is toilet trained before you move them into a big bed, then you might be in for disturbed sleep having to keep going in to their room to take them out of their cot for night time toilet trips. Once night time toilet training has been mastered, it may also serve as a good time to make the move to a big bed.
How did you know that your child was ready for their big bed?