When Do Kids Stop Falling Out of Bed? (Quick Answer!)

By KidSpaceStuff •  Updated: 01/16/24 •  9 min read

Remember that heart-stopping moment when you hear a bump in the night and rush into your child’s room to find them confused on the floor? Welcome to the club of parents dealing with kids falling out of bed. When will kids stop falling out of bed? 

This article explores child growth and sleep patterns at night. We will research nightly tumbles, age-appropriate methods to keep them safe, and the enigmatic timeframe for when our children could eventually stay put through the night. Turn on your nightlight to explore children’s changing sleep habits.

Now, When Do Kids Stop Falling Out of Bed?

Boy sleeping on bed

There is no set age, although as kids grow older, the frequency should decrease. 

The age at which children stop falling out of bed can vary, but generally, children tend to stop rolling out of bed by ages 3 or 4. This is also around when transitioning from a cot to a toddler bed is typically suggested, between ages 2 and 3. Bed rails are recommended for children between 2 and 5 years old, which can prevent falls during this period.

However, children over four months old are already prone to falling out of bed due to increased movement. Hence, safety precautions are necessary. Bed guards should be secure, bed height should not exceed 120 cm, and gaps between railings should be no wider than 6 cm.

The Science Behind Kids Falling Out of Bed

Let’s break down the science behind kids falling out of bed in a simple and easy-to-understand way.

Motor Skills Development

As children grow, they learn to move, roll over, sit up, crawl, and walk. This process is called motor skills development. Kids, especially toddlers, often continue to move a lot during sleep. They may not yet fully understand spatial boundaries or the concept of “falling,” so they can roll or move right off the edge of the bed.

Deep Sleep

Children spend more time in deep sleep than adults, which means they are less aware of their surroundings and less likely to wake up or adjust their position when they’re close to the edge of the bed.

Transitioning From a Crib to a Bed

When a child transitions from a crib, which has protective barriers, to a regular bed, there can be an adjustment period. During this time, they might not have the spatial awareness to realize they could fall out of bed, leading to nighttime tumbles.

Proprioception

This is our sense of self-movement and body position. It’s how we can close our eyes and still touch our noses. Children are still developing this sense. So when they’re asleep, they might not realize they’re near the edge of the bed.

Dreams and Nightmares

Kids often move in response to dreams or nightmares, which can lead to accidental falls out of bed.

Navigating the world of parenthood, we often encounter milestones that catch us by surprise. One such event is the first time your little one takes a tumble from their bed. While this can be alarming, it’s common in childhood development. To help you understand this phenomenon better, let’s go through the age-related timeline of children falling out of bed. Remember, these are general markers, and each child may progress independently. Let’s dive in!

Infancy (0-1 Year)

Infants generally have limited mobility, but by around 4-6 months, they start to roll. Therefore, it’s crucial to never leave an infant unattended on a bed, couch, or other elevated surfaces, as they could roll off.

Toddlerhood (1-3 Years) 

As toddlers gain mobility, they may roll or move around a lot during sleep. Transitioning from a crib to a bed typically happens around this stage. This is often when children are most likely to fall out of bed. Using bed rails or moving your child to a toddler bed (which is lower to the ground) can help prevent falls.

Preschool (3-5 Years) 

By 3 or 4, most kids have developed enough spatial awareness to stop themselves from rolling out of bed. However, every child is different; some may still fall out of bed occasionally at this age. It’s recommended to keep using bed rails or a similar safety measure until the child stops falling out of bed.

Elementary Age (6+ Years) 

By this stage, falling out of bed should be rare. Children have typically developed sufficient spatial awareness and motor control to avoid accidentally rolling off the bed while asleep.

The Role of Bedtime Routine in Preventing Falls

A bedtime routine is a set of activities you do each night before your child sleeps. This could include brushing teeth, reading a story, or singing a lullaby. Here’s how these routines can help prevent falls:

  1. Creating Sleep Signals: Regular bedtime activities signal your child’s body that it’s time to sleep. As they wind down and fall asleep faster, there’s less time spent tossing and turning, reducing the chances of a fall.
  2. Establishing a Calm Environment: A predictable, calming routine can help lower your child’s energy levels and reduce restlessness in bed, which can prevent them from moving around too much and accidentally falling.
  3. Promoting Deep, Restful Sleep: When children have a consistent sleep schedule, their bodies get into a rhythm of expecting sleep at a particular time. This can lead to more restful, uninterrupted sleep, decreasing the likelihood of active movement or disoriented wakefulness that can result in falls.
  4. Encouraging Safe Bedtime Habits: A bedtime routine can include safety checks, like ensuring bed rails are secure or the bed area is clear of hard toys. Over time, these habits can help minimize the risk of falls.

Want to know more about bedtime routine? Check out the video down below!

Transitioning from Crib to Bed: Best Practices

Now, let’s discuss the best practices when transitioning your child from a crib to a bed straightforwardly and understandably.

  1. Timing is Everything: Start the transition when your child shows signs of readiness, such as climbing out of the crib, asking for a big-kid bed, or outgrowing their crib. This often happens between ages 2 and 3.
  2. Involve Your Child: Let your child help pick their new bed or bedding. This can make them feel excited and optimistic about the transition.
  3. Maintain the Bedtime Routine: Keeping the same bedtime routine can provide comfort and continuity, making the transition smoother.
  4. Prioritize Safety: Install safety rails on the bed to prevent falls. Also, ensure the area around the bed is safe. Remove sharp objects and ensure no hard surfaces a child could fall onto.
  5. Start with Naps: Before transitioning, consider having your child take daytime naps in the new bed. This can help them get used to the idea.
  6. Patience and Reassurance: Understand that your child may need time to adjust. It’s normal for them to have some anxiety about this change. Reassure them that it’s an exciting part of growing up, and be patient with setbacks.
  7. Celebrate the Transition: Make this a positive experience. Celebrate this as a milestone in your child’s life, which can help them feel more comfortable and excited about the transition.

Safety Tips to Prevent Falling Out of Bed

Let’s delve into some straightforward safety tips to prevent your child from falling out of bed.

Tip # 1: Use Bed Rails 

Bed rails are a protective barrier to keep your child from rolling off the bed in their sleep. Ensure they are securely attached and high enough to prevent your child from going over them.

Tip # 2: Position the Bed Safely 

Position the bed against a wall if possible. This reduces the area from which your child could fall. Also, ensure there are no sharp or hard objects nearby that they could hit if they did fall.

Tip # 3: Opt for a Low Bed 

Consider using a low-lying bed or a mattress on the floor during the transition period from crib to bed. The closer the sleeping surface is to the floor, the less potential for injury from a fall.

Tip # 4: Keep the Floor Area Clear 

Make sure the floor area around the bed is clear of toys, furniture, or other objects that could cause injury if your child falls out of bed.

Tip # 5: Install a Nightlight 

A nightlight can help children orient themselves if they wake up at night, reducing the chance of a fall while navigating in the dark.

Tip # 6: Regular Bedtime Routine 

A consistent bedtime routine can ensure your child is calm and sleepy when they go to bed, reducing restless movement that could lead to falls.

Tip # 7: Teach Bed Safety 

Teach your child the importance of staying safe in bed. Make them understand that beds are for sleeping, not jumping or playing.

Final Thoughts

To conclude, there is no set age when the frequency should start to drop, but as children get older, it is likely that the frequency will drop. 

The journey of children falling and eventually ceasing to drop out of bed is a natural part of their development. This typically begins when they roll as infants and peaks during their toddler years when they explore their mobility and transition from a crib to a bed. Around ages 3 to 4, most children develop enough spatial awareness and physical control to stop themselves from rolling out of bed.

It’s important to remember that every child is unique and might not fit perfectly within this general timeline. Suppose your child continues to fall out of bed beyond these ages frequently or displays signs of injury or distress after a fall. In that case, a consultation with a healthcare professional is advised. Let’s embrace these moments, recognizing them as part of our children’s journey toward greater independence and self-awareness. Thanks for reading!