Sleep is vital for a toddler’s growth and development. Your kid needs an average of 11-14 hours of sleep every day. Sleeping regularly can help your child feel energized and vitalized for the whole day.
A lot of things can affect your child’s sleep. One thing parents can look out for is what their toddler sleeps on. A great resting place can help raise the quality of your kid’s rest.
A lot of things in life change, and that includes your toddler’s bed. During their first year, a crib is the best place to put your child in to rest. But as they grow in height and weight, a crib might get a little too cramped for them to sleep in.
Fortunately, your child does not have to worry about sleeping in a tiny crib forever. Parents can invest in a toddler bed!
A toddle bed is a small bed that is built perfectly for, well, toddlers. It is bigger than your average crib but smaller than a twin-sized bed. Toddler beds can come in a wide range of designs and colors.
Is a toddler bed the perfect choice for your growing toddler? And is the change going to be worth it?
Difference Between a Crib and a Toddler Bed
Before we discuss why you should or shouldn’t invest in a toddler bed, let’s first compare it to a standard crib. While the two sound like very different furniture, there are not a lot of differences between them.
One of the major contrast between a crib and a toddler bed is that a toddler bed does not have high guardrails. Instead, toddlers can easily climb in and out of their beds. And while some beds do have railings, these are shorter and smaller when compared to a standard crib.
There is other noteworthy information when shopping for a new toddler bed. You might want to consider the following when picking out a new bed for your child.
Are Toddler Beds and Cribs The Same Size?
The mattress size of both a crib and a toddler bed is the same. Both mattresses measure 28″ in width and 52″ in length.
But while the mattress sizes are the same, the bedframes can vary greatly. Most cribs have the same boxy design that can keep babies inside their space. Meanwhile, toddler beds can be designed in a variety of ways. You can even order custom beds that are fit for a racecar driver or a little princess.
Which of the Two is More Comfortable?
While both cribs and toddler beds have the same mattress size, the mattress’s quality greatly differs. Safety-wise, your toddler can still use the same mattress that they used as a baby.
However, baby mattresses are a lot more firm. This kind of mattress is recommended to avoid SIDS and suffocation.
For your toddler, a softer mattress is recommended to make them feel more comfortable. A softer mattress is needed to support their lighter body weight.
Are Toddler Beds as Safe as Cribs?
One of the main concerns about transitioning is whether a toddler bed is safe for your child. Movement while sleeping is normal for a lot of toddlers and young children. And parents are scared of their little ones falling off the bed.
Fortunately, most toddler beds are built with safety in mind. The first thing a lot of parents will notice is that toddler beds are significantly shorter in height. Toddler beds are far closer to the ground so that the impact of any fall wouldn’t be hard on your child.
Some toddler beds can also have guardrails that line half of the length of the bed. These rails are shorter when compared to a crib. But they do a good job in keeping your tot from rolling too far on their side.
Toddler beds are fairly safe furniture for your toddler. But as parents, you can still make the place a little bit safer (and cozier.) Adding a soft rug or cushion near the bed can make falling feel like a ride on the clouds. You can also place the bed near a wall to eliminate falling from one side.
What About a Convertible Crib?
Convertible cribs are a modern innovation that parents can use. A convertible crib allows parents to turn their kid’s crib into a toddler bed once the time comes. This eliminates buying two separate pieces of furniture.
Convertible cribs can last a long time with your child. And because they still have the guardrails, you can sleep soundly knowing your child is safe. However, note that convertible cribs are more expensive than buying a traditional crib or toddler bed.
Alternative: A Twin Bed
Some parents choose to give their toddler a twin bed, completely skipping the toddler bed. For some, a twin bed is the better option.
Skipping the toddler bed can be a huge money saver. Since your kid will inevitably grow out of a toddler bed, why make the purchase? So if you are short on your budget, you can use a twin bed for your infant.
Twin beds are bigger and more durable than toddler beds. Since twin beds are taller than toddler beds, parents can install temporary guardrails. And because twin beds are bigger, parents can easily fit beside their toddlers when their kids can’t sleep.
The choice is always up to the parents. Parents are free to choose whether or not their toddler sleeps in a traditional toddler bed, a convertible, or a twin bed.
What’s important is that parents make the transition feel natural to their kids. A lot of toddlers may not feel comfortable leaving their cribs right away. A lot of care is necessary when making the big move.
How Will I Transition My Toddler into a Bed?
There is no fixed answer to when your child can start sleeping in a toddler bed. The transition age is normally between 18 months to 3 years. But it can also be earlier or later.
Some signs can tell you when your toddler is prepared to transition to a bigger bed. You’ll notice that they can climb out of the crib on their own or they are running out of stretching space. A potty-trained toddler may also want to leave the crib to go to the bathroom easier.
If you’ve noticed one or more of these things, you might want to invest in that new toddler bed. But it might not be easy to persuade your little tot to sleep on it. But hope is not gone.
It’s a good idea to patiently wait for your kid to feel eager about the move. You can convince them by letting them get involved with the new bed. Let them join in the setup process or pick out what bedding they want to use.
Keeping up with a night routine can also make the transition easier. It can make the transitioning process feel natural to your toddler. Whatever routine you did with the crib, repeat doing it but with the toddler bed.
You can also make their bed feel more inviting by decorating it with a lot of their favorite stuffed toys and pillows. Associating good and exciting emotions with their new bed can make them feel more welcoming to the change.
Finally, give your toddler all the time they need. A change like that can be a big deal for someone so little. Give them time to adjust and adapt to their new bed.
What Can I Do With the Old Crib?
For families who want two or more kids, then re-using the crib is an option. It can help save a lot of money and time. Parents can easily repair or repaint any imperfection.
On the other hand, families with an only child can give their crib to another family member in need. Alternatively, they can also sell or donate the crib. A more creative option is to repurpose the crib and build a new furniture piece out of it.
It’s your choice on what you want to do with the crib. Just know that it can still serve its purpose for a long time. Some cribs can even be as good as brand new for many years.
Transitioning from a crib to a toddler bed is a huge change in a toddler’s life. A “big kid’s bed” is far different from a crib, from the design to the comfort.
There are plenty of toddler beds that parents can choose from. Parents can also choose a convertible crib to save time searching for a new bed. Alternatively, parents can altogether skip the toddler bed and move up to the twin bed.
Whatever the choice may be, parents need to remember to keep their toddlers safe while sleeping. Installing guardrails and adding cushioning are some steps to keep your child safe while sleeping.
The transition can add some stress to your toddler, so be patient with the process. Some kids need a little bit of persuasion before giving up their old crib. But with some love and open communication, your toddler will accept their new bed in no time.