Re: How/when to switch 18 month old to bed
I really agree with the baby gate at the door. We did this with both my daughers when they transistioned into a twin bed. Toddler beds don't last very long, so I wouldn't go to a big expense there. Anyway, from night #1 in the bed, we used the gate at the door. This also taught them that once they were in bed, they were to stay there and not wander out among the house. My girls are now 6 and 4 and they never have come out of their rooms after bedtime. (Well, now, of course they do in the morning when they wake up, but they know once it's bedtime, there isn't any fooling around and getting out of bed) We stopped using the gate long ago, but I will definitely use them again when our son (only 8 months old now) is ready for a bed.
Another thing, don't remember if it was posted in another reply, but try a couple naps in the new room to help transistion. I did that with my oldest daughter who wasn't quite 2 when I had my second. After a nap or two in there (with a lot of talking it up), she was really ready for nighttime...even before I was!