Moving from the crib to a bigger toddler bed is a big moment for a toddler. While it can be fun and exciting, choosing the right toddler bed for her is one of the keys of a smooth transition.
You can start by picking a bed with a theme from a cartoon character they like, but always keep in mind that safety and comfort is of the utmost importance when choosing a toddler bed.
In addition, the bed also should be practical for parents, whether it’s from a budget, space-saving, or a daily hassle perspective.
After all, sleep quality plays an important part in your child’s development. Therefore, it’s highly essential to make the transition as smooth as possible, and make them feel comfortable in their own safe space.
There are a lot of things to know before buying your toddler’s first bed, so let me share with you our essential tips for choosing a toddler bed.
What is a toddler bed?
Of course, a toddler bed is technically a bed that is specifically designed for a toddler. But there are some things that separate it from a standard single bed.
While size is the most visible difference, toddler beds also come with safety features such as protective rails and rounded edges to create a safe sleeping space for your little one.
Besides that, a toddler bed may also have interesting features such as adjustable design that can be rearranged as your child grows. And a fun design to suit your little one’s hobby and favourite character, so that they may be excited and less anxious for their bedtime.
What is the advantage of a toddler bed over a standard single bed?
Toddler beds are more about functionality than cost.
Its small size means your child will quickly outgrow it after two to four years of use. And you may think it’s a lack of long-term investment value.
However, toddler beds are tailored with your little one’s needs in mind, or more specifically to that phase of their life, which can be really helpful to make their transition a smoother experience. Using a smaller toddler bed before moving to a single bed size is similar to “you learn to swim before you can dive”.
Moreover, toddler beds are usually fun in design and colour to suit your little one’s favourite hobby, film, cartoon, or hero. This makes a bedtime more exciting for them, and would also give you a lot of ideas for fun activities before bedtime.
Other benefits of toddler beds are:
- They’re safer for your little one.
- Most toddler beds provide additional storage for your child’s personal items
- More space-saving to provide more space for a playing area in your child’s room.
- The smaller size suits most toddler bedding sizes.
Toddler bed guideline
Most toddler beds size varies in a size between 144cm x 73cm to to 166cm x 79cm, and would usually fit for a mattress size of 70cm x 140cm. This mattress size is similar to most cot bed mattresses, so you don’t have to buy a new one when you just start transitioning your child. However, there’s nothing wrong choosing a slightly larger toddler bed – all depending on your or your child’s preferences.
Here are the common sizes of a toddler bed:
- 70 x 140cm – for around 4 to 5 years old
- 75 x 190cm – for up to 7 years old
- 90 x 190cm – for up to their teenage years
What separates a toddler bed to a single bed is safety. A toddler bed is designed in a way to make your child feel safe and comfortable when they sleep.
Toddlers, especially an active one, would usually roll around when they sleep. Worse, they would try to climb out of their bed like they do with their crib.
Therefore, toddler beds should be low to the ground and have safety railings and elevated sides to keep your little one secure during their sleep. Even if you buy a floor bed, protective railings are still needed to prevent your child from rolling to the floor, as it may cause them to get cold. In addition, you also have to ensure there’s no sharp edges on the bed to avoid unwanted accidents.
To sum it up, here’s the safety requirements that a toddler bed should have:
- Protective rails.
- Elevated sides with distance between the mattress’ top and the top of bed sides should be at least 50cm.
- Designed with rounded edges.
- Bajo al suelo
The size of the mattress depends on the size of the bed that you purchase. However, the NCT recommends that you need to ensure the mattress should be between medium to firm firmness level to avoid a suffocation accident in a younger toddler.
To avoid your child from falling down the floor, there should be an adequate space between the mattress and the mattress’ protective sides. With this in mind, most beds’ manufacturers recommend parents to not use a mattress with a depth of more than 15cm. However, the NCT also recommends that the mattress also should be no less than 8cm depth.
At the end of the day, our child will eventually bounce on their bed – it’s unavoidable. That’s why you’ll need a robust bed that can withstand anything that your child will throw at.
It’s recommended to choose a bed that uses strong, robust natural wood material, especially on the slatted base. While some toddler beds use engineered woods and MDF, most of them actually still use a strong wooden slatted base.
Aside from the material, it’s also important to check the painting material. A natural, non-chemical and environmentally-paint is better for your child’s health in the long term.
Unlike single beds, toddler beds are often designed with practical features that can help the parents as well.
These features can be an underbed storage that can save you some space, a fun feature such as a slide on a bunk bed, and many other things that will make your child excited.
Our favourite, however, is the adjustable design that lets parents rearrange the bed as the child grows. This does not only save a lot of space, but is also a good investment in the long term.
Additional things you should know
Safety is the most important thing that a toddler bed should offer. However, it’s also essential for parents to create a safe environment for your child to sleep on – not just something from the bed.
To ensure better safety, make sure that your toddler’s bed is not closed to any potential dangers. This can be an electric cord, mosquito poison, scissors, knive, razors, and anything that can injure your child. On top of that, the Servicio Nacional de Salud also recommends keeping the bed away from the window and ensuring that the window is locked. Plus, make sure you – and other adults – know where they keys are in case of unwanted fire and natural accident.