Each age brings with it new things to learn and handle. As children grow, their needs change. One such change is when they finally outgrow their crib, which can be a bittersweet moment realizing your baby isn’t really a baby anymore. They’ve officially reached toddlerhood.
As a parent, you have a lot of decisions to make when it comes to your family and those you love. There’s a lot of information to take in, and it can be overwhelming trying to figure out the best choice for your child and what will keep them safe and healthy. It’s a lot for one mind to absorb.
In this article, we’ll cover how you know it’s time to transition to a toddler bed, what size a toddler bed is, and expert safety tips to help you make the switch.
Let’s get to it.
Table of contents
When to transition from crib to toddler bed
There’s no set age you have to make the switch from a crib to a toddler bed. They could be ready to sleep in a toddler bed as early as 18 months and as late as three years old. With such a broad age range when the switch to a toddler bed could be needed, knowing what signs indicate your child may be ready for the transition is helpful.
If they’re big enough to climb out of their crib even with the lowest mattress setting and are attempting escapes, it may be time to consider a toddler bed. Climbing over the rails presents obvious concerns for safety that would be resolved by switching to a toddler bed.
It may be a good time to consider making the switch if you’re potty training. Cribs and potty training don’t mix well since your toddler wouldn’t have easy access to the bathroom during naps or at night. The most obvious reason it would be time to transition to a new bed is they no longer fit in their crib. If their head and feet touch the ends of the rails, it’s probably time to start shopping for a toddler bed.
Keeping an eye out for these signs, especially as your child gets older, can help you make the decision to switch out the crib for a bigger bed.
What size is a toddler bed
Toddler beds commonly use the same mattress size as the crib, making it easy to transition from one to the other. Some cribs can even be converted into a toddler, twin, or daybed once the time to make the switch rolls around. While a twin bed can be used, they are different sizes. Twin beds typically measure about 80 inches long versus toddler beds that are between 50 to 60 inches long.
Typically, a toddler bed size will suffice at the time of the switch, but what dimension works best depends on your child’s size and feeling of comfort in the new bed. A small toddler bed versus a twin-size bed can make your child feel more secure. While the size of mattress you go with can depend mainly on what space works best for your baby, it’s important to ensure you’re purchasing a bed choice that will offer the security and safety your toddler will need to sleep soundly.
Toddler bed safety
In all cases, a bed that’s safest for your young child is low to the ground and has guardrails to prevent them from falling onto the floor throughout the night. These recommended features keep them safe as they learn to sleep in something other than a crib.
You can continue using the same crib mattress, but if you do pick out a new mattress, it’s important to make sure it fits well with the frame of the bed you’re using. There shouldn’t be more than an inch between the mattress and the frame. Any extra wiggle room increases the risk of safety concerns like entrapment or suffocation.
If you’re concerned about your child falling on the ground in their sleep, you can make the floor around the toddler bed a soft landing space. You can add a soft rug or extra pillows so they won’t land on a hard surface that could lead to injuries if they do fall.
When making the transition from a crib, it’s also important to ensure you do a sweep of the house for hazards to your child. Think things like dressers, ensuring they can’t be tipped over, and that all outlets are babyproofed. Without the restrictions of the crib walls to keep your child in place, knowing their environment won’t present any safety hazard will help them, and you sleep better at night.
You may be wondering if toddler beds are worth it. That decision is entirely up to you to decide. Twin beds can be an appropriate and safe choice for young toddlers, especially if they’re ready to switch around or later than the three-year mark. Most toddlers outgrow their toddler beds by the age of five, possibly sooner, depending on their rate of growth. By the time they reach 50 pounds, it’s time to switch to a twin-size bed.
Toddler beds can be more convenient and suitable for smaller toddlers and can push off having to make another purchase of a twin-size bed by a few years. A smaller size bed can also make the transition easier for children who have a difficult time adjusting to the change.