Your little one is getting older and the time has come to make the transition to a toddler bed.
Maybe they’re ready to transition from the family bed (or there’s not enough space in the family bed for your growing family). Maybe they’ve been in a crib, but they’re too big and it’s no longer safe as they just climb right on out and risk hurting themselves.
Whatever the reason to look for the best toddler beds, making the transition can be hard for parents and the child. There are some things you can do to help everyone feel more comfortable with the move, though!
There isn’t a prescribed “perfect time” to transition your child to a toddler bed. Every child is different on when they will be developmentally ready for a toddler bed. Some children may take to a toddler bed easily while for others, it may take time to get them comfortable enough to sleep in their new bed. A comfortable bed and a positive, loving attitude towards the transition will make it easier for everyone.
What is a Toddler Bed?
A toddler bed can be seen as in between a crib and a twin-sized bed. Most convertible cribs are able to convert to toddler beds but some parents may choose to purchase a toddler bed, especially if they have a new little one on the way that needs the crib.
Many toddler beds are low to the grow so that it is safer if a child accidentally falls out of bed while they are sleeping. The low profile also allows children to easily get in and out of their beds independently without getting hurt. Most toddler beds also have side guard rails that help prevent a child from rolling out of the bed while they are sleeping. The side guard rails also provide a level of comfort, helping the child to feel secure like they did in their crib. Toddler beds also often use a standard crib-sized mattress
Toddler beds are a great way to help your child transition from a crib or family bed to a “big kid bed.” The size of a toddler bed is the same as a crib, allowing your child to feel more comfortable and confident in their new bed versus feeling as though they are being swallowed up by a larger bed. The low profile allows your child to feel independent since they are able to get in and out of the bed by themselves, and it keeps those children who were climbing out of their cribs safer by preventing them from having to climb over the guard rails of their crib.
When is a Good Time to Transition to a Toddle Bed?
There is no “perfect time” to transition to a toddler bed. Many families make the transition after a child is 18-months-old or when a new sibling is on the way and they need the crib for the baby. It is suggested that if you do need the crib for a new baby, that you start the transition to a toddler bed for your older child three weeks to one month before the baby’s expected arrival date so they have plenty of time to transition before a new addition takes some of mom and dad’s attention away. Of course, if you plan to co-sleep or keep the baby in your room in a side-sleeper or bassinet, you can wait until your toddler has transitioned to having the new sibling home before you make any big changes.
Some families find themselves somewhat forced to make the transition to a toddler bed because their little one has started climbing out of their crib, making it a dangerous fall hazard. If this is the case you will want to start the transition as soon as possible as your child could get severely injured from a fall climbing out of their crib.
Parents will know when the best time to transition their child based on their emotional and physical development. Many parents will agree that unless you have to transition your child to a toddler bed that you should wait as long as possible to keep your child contained in their crib overnight. There is no need to rush moving your child into a toddler bed unless you need the crib for a new sibling, it’s becoming a fall hazard, or your family bed has become too crowded or unsafe.
Why a Toddler Bed versus a Twin or Full/Queen Size Bed?
Some parents find themselves wondering why they should transition to a toddler bed and not go straight to a twin-sized bed or queen-sized bed. For many children, a twin-sized bed or queen bed is simply too big. Your child may not feel safe or secure with a bed so large and with so much space on either side of them.
Additionally, twin-sized beds and queen beds do not have the added protection that toddler beds have. They do not have additional side rails to prevent your child from rolling out while they sleep (although you can purchase some). They are also higher off the ground, which means that if your child falls out, they will be more prone to injury. The higher profile also makes it more difficult and more dangerous for your child to climb in and out of the bed independently.
How to Transition Your Child from the Crib or Family Bed to a Toddler Bed
If you have decided to transition your child to a toddler bed it is important to remember that the process can take time, especially if you are doing it because of a certain timeline (like a newly arriving sibling) or because of a safety issue (like your little one attempting to climb out of the bed). If your child is not quite ready to make the transition, it can be difficult to make the change. Some children may not feel that they are safe and secure in their beds. Others may enjoy the new sense of freedom and independence and have a hard time staying in their beds overnight, or they may have trouble falling asleep.
One thing to remember is that this transition may take some time. Be prepared to spend days, maybe weeks, making the transition. Some children may object to the change so fiercely that you may consider revisiting the transition until they get a little bit older. Here are few things to keep in mind as you make the big change:
- Stay positive: Use positive parenting techniques and remind your child (and yourself!) that this is a big change, but one that can be dealt with together. Let your child know that making the move to a “big kid bed” simply means they are getting older and can do big kid things.
- Do not punish- Do not punish your child for not staying in their bed. It can be frustrating to have them get out over and over again, but remember that this is a big change for them and they need the reassurance that they are safe and comfortable.
- Get fun, new bedding- Get some new bedding with their favorite characters or colors to make this transition fun and exciting.
Best Toddler Beds for When Your Baby Gets Bigger
This low-profile toddler bed is the perfect first “big kid bed” for your little one. It is designed to be low to the floor and has added safety guard rails to keep them safe in their beds even if they roll around. It has a weight capacity of 50 lbs and has been tested for lead and other toxic elements to meet or exceed government and ASTM standards. It comes in a variety of colors including pink, teal, blue, brown, white, green, and more so you can get the color your child loves and one that matches their personal style and bedroom decor, which may make them more motivated to sleep independently in their rooms. All Dream on Me products are free of phthalates, latex, lead, and BPA.
The Delta Children’s Canton toddler bed is any easy switch from a crib. It fits any full-size crib mattress and is low to the ground so your child can climb in easily and is safe even if they happen to roll out of the bed while they sleep. It has additional guard rails on the side and is JPMA certified to meet or exceed all safety standards set by the CPSC and ASTM. The Delta Children’s Canton toddler bed has also been tested for lead and other toxic elements to meet or exceed government and ASTM safety standards. It comes in grey, white, or dark brown to meet your personal style.
This toddler bed is a great option for your child’s first “big kid bed.” The Delta Children’s My Size Toddler Bed is recommended for children starting at 15 months and up to 50 pounds. The two attached guardrails keep your child safe from rolling out while they sleep, and you can use their same crib mattress from their crib inside of it. It has been JPMA certified to meet or exceed all safety standards set by the CPSC and ASTM and comes in grey, white, or chocolate brown.
The Dream on Me Emma 3-in-1 Convertible Toddler Bed is one of the most unique toddler beds on the market because of it’s ability to be converted into a separate piece of furniture as your child grows older. The low-profile toddler bed is close to the ground with added safety railings to ensure your child’s safety while they sleep. It is also easily accessible for them to climb in and out of, giving them a sense of independence. As your child grows, the toddler bed can be converted into two child-sized chairs and a table (conversion kids sold separately) giving them additional play space and reusing the bed for additional purposes even after they grow out of it. The Emma 3-in-1 Convertible Toddler Bed meets or exceeds all applicable ASTM and CPSC standards and is free of phthalates, latex, lead, and BPA. It comes in several different colors like white, pink, emerald, mint, and royal blue to meet your child’s personal style which may motivate them to sleep independently.
The Dream on Me Austin Toddler Day Bed is a specially designed bed that may provide a bit of extra comfort to a child who is having a hard transition to a toddler bed. The day bed design has a higher guard rail on one side that can be pushed up against a wall, giving a child an additional level of comfort and security. It is also designed to mimic convertible cribs that are turned into toddler beds, so if your child has been evicted from their crib due to a new sibling, this toddler day bed design will feel more familiar than other toddler beds. The Dream on Me Austin Day Bed is made from New Zealand pine wood and has a weight capacity of 50 lbs. It has been tested for lead and other toxic elements to meet or exceed government and ASTM safety standards.
One of the best ways to help your child transition to a new bed is to get one that has their favorite characters on it. This Delta Children’s 3D Disney/Pixar Cars 3 bed is great for your little one who just loves Lightning McQueen. It is designed for children 15 months and older and can hold up to 50 lbs. The two attached guardrails and low profile bed make it safer for your child to sleep independently, and easier for them to climb in and out of the bed. It uses a standard crib mattress and is made with a sturdy steel frame and high-quality plastic construction that is BPA free. It is also JPMA certified to meet or exceed all safety standards set by the CPSC and ASTM.
For your little girls and guys that love Minnie Mouse, this Delta Children’s Interactive Wood Toddler Bed is cute and fun. It is designed for children 15 months and older, and the low profile and additional side guard rails make it safer for your child as they sleep independently. The footboard also has a dry erase board with a bedtime checklist, the days of the week, and an interactive clock. If your child loves Minnie Mouse and is having trouble feeling comfortable with their new “big kid bed,” this Delta Children’s Interactive Wood Toddler Bed might help to motivate them to sleep independently.
What little boy or girl wouldn’t love to sleep in the Batmobile? Designed from durabale, BPA-free plastic, this fun and cool DC Comics Batman Batmobile Toddler Bed is so awesome that dad might be jealous he doesn’t have his own. The built-in guardrails and low profile bed keep your little one safe and secure while they sleep. It has been JPMA certified to meet or exceed all safety standards set by the CPSC and ASTM, and is fun for your little one which may help them transition to a toddler bed more easily.
This fun and interactive DONCO Twin Art Play Junior Low Loft not only offers a toddler-sized bed but a fun structure to use to get in and out of their bed. It is constructed from solid wood and offers both a climbing wall and a slide to get up and down from their beds. The added guardrails to give a level of protection from rolling off; however, the bed is higher off the ground than other toddler beds, so it should be used with caution. Under the bed can be used for storage or a play area, and the accompanying chalkboard is a great place to color and draw.
The Big Oshi Contemporary Design Toddler Bed is a great option for those families who want their toddler bed to last a little bit longer. It has a weight capacity of 60 lbs versus the more traditional 50 lbs. It is made out of a sturdy pine wood frame and has two additional side rails for safety. It is low to the ground for easy access in and out of the bed, and added safety.
Making the transition from a cozy crib or a family bed to a toddler bed is a big step for a little one. The key to making it a successful transition is to create a comfortable, safe, and loving environment where your child feels safe and secure enough to sleep independently. Don’t stress if your child does not take the change easily- it’s a huge transition for them and for you. Take your time with it and allow your child to make the move to their “big kid bed” as they are ready.
Photo: New Africa/Shutterstock
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