So your child has outgrown his crib and is now ready to move on to his own bed. Or perhaps a new baby is on the way and you need the crib so you want to move your toddler to his own bed. A toddler bed is a transitional bed used by a child 1½ year old to around 6 years old who may be too small for a full size single bed but can no longer sleep in the crib.
A toddler bed is low on the ground so the child can go in and out of bed by himself. It uses the same mattress size as a crib. There are usually rails about 2 inches above the mattress or you should at least be able to attach detachable rails on the side. Some cribs even convert to a toddler bed. In some cases, parents move their child directly from a crib to a twin size bed.
If you do decide to buy one, here are a few things to consider to help you choose a toddler bed:
- Determine your budget. Toddler beds start at around $50 and average at about $150 to $200. Since toddler beds are only used for a limited time, it may not be practical for you to spend too much money on it. However, if you have more than one child, then you’ll probably use the bed longer and may decide on a pricier model.
- Check the safety features. When shopping around for any piece of furniture for the child, safety is paramount. Make sure there are no sharp corners, no protrusions, the bed is sturdy and the joints are screwed tightly. It shouldn’t wobble. Toddler beds can support a child up to 50 pounds. You may check out consumerreports.org for any recalls.
- Assess the available space you have. It’s recommended to place the toddler bed in the same space as where the crib was placed to make the sure the room still feels familiar to the child. If space and storage are limited, you may decide to get a toddler bed that has built in storage space underneath it. You may also opt for toddler beds in fun and unusual designs if it can fit in your room, such as beds shaped like vehicles or those with canopies.
- Consider the design. Children’s furniture come in a variety of wood finishes, materials, popular character designs and themes. If you can afford it, you may choose a toddler bed that has a fun design. For boys, there are beds made to look like cars or trains. For little girls, there are princess themes, canopies or even castle bed designs. The bed should be attractive to the child so he will want to sleep in it and make the move from the crib easier.
Moving a child to his own toddler bed is a milestone for both parent and child. It may cause some stress and separation anxiety, so it’s best to let your child decide when he is ready. There are ways to make the transition easier. You may check out parenting websites such as parents.com to get tips on how to make this important transition easier.