When your little one outgrows her crib, it is time to look into buying some toddler furniture. Many parents decide it's time when their little one is standing and begins to move around more freely, while some wait until the child is closer to two years old. This is really a personal decision. When it comes time to buy toddler furniture, no matter what age your child is, you have to keep a few things in mind as you shop.
- You may be considering getting secondhand furniture. This is fine, but you must give it a good inspection before buying it, or pulling it out of the attic. Old furniture may have lead paint, which can be deadly to children. Some older furniture may also have splinters or broken boards. Neither of these will do. If it cannot be easily repaired, throw it out.
- If you use second hand furniture, you should also make sure the integrity of the piece has not been compromised. When checking a used bed frame, make sure it will support your weight. If not, it is not safe for the child. Shake it, move it, and stand it on end to be sure everything is strong and sturdy.
- If you decide to go with new furniture, you still have to be concerned with safety. Before you leave home to go shopping, look on the Internet for toddler furniture recalls. All items that have been recalled should be pulled from the store shelves, but this doesn't always happen in a timely fashion. You don't want to buy something that is faulty in any way.
- When choosing a new bed, do the same safety checks you would with a used bed. Make sure the frame is strong, and there is nothing that may scratch or poke your child. If you need to use a rail to stop your toddler from rolling out of her new bed, make sure one can be added easily.
- For dressers and bookcases, you want to not only make sure that they are sturdy and safe, you want something that will not tip over easily. Many toddlers try to climb these items, and if they fall over, the child can be seriously injured. If you do buy something that can tip over, secure it to the wall to avoid accidents.
- Use care when choosing a toy box for your toddler's room. Look for models that have safety hinges. These prevent the lid from falling closed once they are opened. Also make sure the model does not have any sharp corners. If you buy one with sharp corners, you should buy plastic guards to place over the corners to protect your child.
- If you have to buy a new highchair, look for one that is adjustable. At this point, your child may be moving past her highchair years, but some parents still like to use them. Look for models that are easy to clean, as well as ones that can be adjusted for your growing child. Make sure it is sturdy, won't tip over, and that all latches and knobs are secure.