I started my son out in his bed by putting him there only at nap time and then eventually transitioned to night time in his big boy bed. It was a slow transition but I had a bit of time before our second was due.
Both times I have done it I would set the bed up in the morning, right after they get up, so they can check it out and play around, then trial for nap time then by bed time hopefully will go smooth. It still takes a while for them to get used to it, but luckily has been easy for me. Just have to keep putting them back in bed if they would get up and play because of not being confined. Just make sure no toys are in the room lol.
I've just done the same as heatherm with my 18 month old. He's a little young still but need the cot for bub 2 in the next couple of months. I have nights occasionally that take half an hour to get him to stay there but he's pretty good really. We go into bed I lie down with him and read him a story while he has his milk and then say goodnight and walk out.
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