A guide to toddler beds
It may seem like just yesterday you were bringing your new bundle of joy home from the hospital for the very first time but in the blink of an eye, your baby is now a troublesome toddler ready to explore the world. Find out what to consider and see our gallery of wonderful toddler beds.
Your little one has now both physically and mentally outgrown their cot and are ready for the transition from cot to bed.
Here are some things to think about when taking the step with your child.
- Is my toddler ready?
- What types of bed are there?
- Get your child involved
- Things to think about
- Reward charts
There are no rules as to when you should transition your toddler from cot to bed. Every child develops at their own pace and speed and that’s absolutely fine. Don’t rush your child into making the switch, introduce the idea of a brand new bed slowly over time and make it an exciting time.
Some parents start the process when their little one is simply too big for the cot or are attempting death defying escape attempts over the side during the night. If safety is the issue, lower the cot mattress as low as you can to prevent your tot climbing up the sides as you introduce the idea of a big girl or big boy bed.
If you need to free up the cot for the arrival of a new baby, don’t leave it until the last minute to make the switch. Your toddler will feel unsettled and upset that the new baby has taken over ‘their’ crib. Introduce the idea of a bed a few months before you’re due and have the bed built and ready to be used 6-8 weeks before your due date. That gives your child plenty of time to adjust to the new arrangement and they’ll feel proud they can gift their new brother or sister with their old cot.
There are many different types of beds for your toddler now that they have grown out of their cot. The choice is really up to you.
Many cribs come with the option to transition it into a small bed for your toddler but this is a short term solution. Your little one will soon outgrow this extension soon.
Beds especially designed for toddlers are good because they provide all of the support your little one needs – side rails to stop falls, low to the ground and sturdy for tuck-ins and story time.
Many parents choose to buy a bigger bed with size barriers to save money. Your little one won’t be growing out of this bed any time soon.
Get your child excited about their new bed by getting them involved in the process. Whilst you don’t necessarily want your toddler to help you choose their new bed (you want quality, not the brightest coloured one with a slide), you do want them to have their say.
Take them to the shops and let them pick out their own bedding. Make it a special occasion with matching pyjamas, a new cuddly toy and an exciting bedtime story. How about one of our top 10 illustrated books?
When starting the journey from cot to bed, there are a few things to consider.
The safety of your child is the most important aspect. To avoid falls out of bed, make sure you use study barriers or side rails to stop them rolling out. Have a bed that’s low to the ground will stop any serious injury if a fall may occur so hold off buying those bunk beds until your little one can stay in the middle of the bed all night.
Keep the bed away from sources of heat or cold such as windows, radiators and doors to ensure an even temperature throughout the night. If your toddler can climb from the bed onto higher surfaces you might want to rethink the layout of their bedroom.
If this is the first time your toddler has been able to get up through the night and move around, place baby gates at the top and bottom of the stair cases to stop confused tumbles.
Placing the new bed in the same position as the cot will be familiar for your tot.
If you’re struggling with getting your child to sleep throughout the whole night in their new bed, try introducing a reward chart to encourage them. Here is a beautiful reward chart you can make at home together.
Where to now?
Photography: Abigail Batchelder @Flickr