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Can someone explain toddler beds to me? My son is 2.5 years
old, and I plan to keep him in the crib as long as possible.
Those toddler beds are so cute and take up less space, so I
imagine that when he's ready to leave the crib, I'll get one of
those. What I don't understand is how those rails really help
them stay in. My son, as with many kids, sleeps ALL OVER the
crib, in crazy directions, and moving a lot. The toddler bed
rails only reach about 1/3 the length of the mattress, if that.
Realistically, I think they would only provide a barrier for his
head and shoulders, and that is if he were to sleep in a
traditional sleeping position. Do these work for wiggly kids?
A friend loaned us a toddler bed and our daughter has been in it
since a week after her second birthday, when, to our shock, she
climbed out of her crib. The downsided of toddler beds are that
they're an extra expense, they don't last that long (depending
on your child's age and size), and they're not really
necessary--you can get a big kid bed and put those net rails on
the side and/or put pillows or an old mattress on the floor. On
the other hand, they are cute and take up little space. So if you
can get one on BPN for cheap....
The rails have been fine. Our daughter has rolled out one time in
six months (very early on), but part of the point of the toddler
bed is that it's such a short drop it's no big deal.A few tears
and she was right back to bed And she somehow figured out very
quickly in her sleep that she shouldn't do it again. If you're
worried, put pillows on the floor.
She loves her bed, though.
If your toddler still enjoys his crib and is already 2 1/2, I'd
suggest waiting to make the switch and just go straight into a
regular sized bed. Toddler bed mattresses are the same size as
crib mattresses, so they outgrow them very quickly. Our son
went from crib to regular sized twin at age three, with a full-
length railing I purchased at OneStepAhead.com. He's an ''all
over the place'' sleeper, like your son and still uses the
railing two years later - and needs it. (The other side is up
against a wall so no spills off of that side.)
-Skipped the Toddler Bed Sales Pitch
You asked about toddler beds, with their short 1/3 length
railings and their ability to keep kids in bed.
My kids both slept in toddler beds as a transition from the
crib. They both fell out of the toddler beds a couple of times.
Toddler beds are low to the ground, and the experience of
falling out shocked them more than hurt them, and taught them
how to sleep within the boundaries of the bed. This was a good
thing, because they now have twin beds that they never fall out
They could have slept in toddler beds until about age 6, size-
wise, but since we moved to a larger home, we had room for twin
beds so we moved up. This also helps with visiting guests, who
can sleep in a twin bed but not a toddler bed. (My kids think
it's a huge treat to sleep on the pullout couch - my guests,
not so much!)
When we first moved the kids to twin beds, we used 'bunky
boards' rather than box springs to keep the twin bed lower to
climb into & less high to fall out of. Now they have box
springs and are doing fine.
But I'd still have toddler beds for both of them if we still
lived in the smaller house.
Hope this helps.
We had a toddler bed for one day, my also wiggly son fell right
out of it immediately, but we decided it wasn't for us for
There's a 50 pound weight limit and it's very small, so my
husband and I would never be able to lie down with him
It didn't grow with him (although I've seen some at Ikea that
have sides that fold down to make it longer) so we'd just have to
chuck it for a bigger one at some point, anyway.
We got rid of it and went for a full size bed, instead.
No. We put our son in one after he was 3. Luckily it is really
low to the ground, so we just lay a big fluffy comforter on the
floor next to him, and tuck the blankets around him really
tightly. Sometimes he still falls out. I think he's getting
better at not doing it though. Eventually he will learn to sense
where the edge of the bed is, just like we do.
On the plus side, I think it really matured his sleep habits to
be in a big-boy bed rather than a crib. Now he knows he's
responsible for waking up at 6 not 4:30, and if he gets up
earlier than that, he can manage his own time by playing or
reading until it's a reasonable hour. He was not able to do that
in the crib - which was really frustrating to us.
On the toddler bed inquiry, we found a nice, inexpensive toddler
bed at Ikea, the Vikare extendable bed which we found a pretty
good rail for (at Ikea as well). The bed can fold up at the top
and bottom, with a separate little mattress, so that the bed can
''grow'' as the child grows. It's great because when it's folded it
has cushion at the head and foot of the bed which is perfect for
wiggly kids. The rail we found for it is about 3/4 length for the
folded up version of the bed. It's been great. Our son still
moves about a lot in bed and we haven't had any problems at all.
It's worth checking out!
I can't comment on toddler beds, but I can comment on wiggly
kids. My daughter was all over the place in her crib, which
she stayed in until 2 1/4 years. She transitioned into a big
bed (a queen) while we were staying at our summer house because
the pack and play didn't seem to give her enough room to do the
gymanstics that she was used to at night. Upon returning home,
we put her in a twin (a pretty high one at that) and were VERY
nervous as she'd only been in a 'big bed' for a few weeks at
that point and still very wiggly. She fell off the bed (on to
pillow that I'd put on the floor) once, but never again. She
is now pretty calm in bed. Kids just seem to know that in a
crib you can move around without problem, but change their
sleep pattern in a normal bed.
Our daughter was perfectly happy in the crib until age 3; it's
not necessary to switch to a toddler bed until they start
crawling/jumping out. You're right-the rails on the beds don't
really prevent active sleepers from falling out. We have a
large ''body pillow'' on the floor next to her bed just in case-
she's fallen out a couple of times but was none the worse for
wear. We just try to have her start out sleeping as close to the
wall side as possible and tuck in the blankets so that her
wiggling is restricted a bit (but she's still comfortable).
Surprisingly, she's perfectly happy to stay in her bed and has
never gotten out of the bed without asking us first. However, I
understand that the transition is usually challenging and so as
long as your son is comfortable in his crib and not escaping,
you might not want to fix what ain't broken yet.
we moved our son to a toddler bed like the one you describe at
2 1/2 and it worked pretty well. The space savings is
definitely worth it! He slept all over the place too, and did
indeed fall out a few times but never got hurt and ususally
didn't even wake up--they are so low to the floor. If you are
concerned you can place rugs or even pillows on the floor, but
I bet after a while he will adjust just fine and you won't need
the extra cushioning.
You can get a long bed guardrail that will go close to the
length of a twin or full size mattress at most child equipment
stores or on-line. We too have a child that moved all over the
crib when sleeping, sometimes rotating 180 degrees in the night
so her head was on the opposite end of the crib in the morning.
We ended up purchasing a full size bed for her so that she can
sleep either the length or width of the bed with enough space.
Because it's a full, we felt the guardrail wasn't needed but I
know many people who have put them on a full size mattress.
Most people I know who have used toddler beds have not used
them for long, since eventually the child needs to be in a
bigger bed anyway. If you're worried about distance from the
floor, you can always use the mattress and boxspring without a
bedframe so the potential falling distance is smaller. In two
years, our daughter has rolled out of her full size bed only
mom of a moving sleeper
Hm. Well, toddler beds certainly aren't as secure as a crib, but
they're only about a foot off of the ground so your wiggly child
wont really fall out of the bed, it's more like oozing out of the
bed. Both my kids sleep in toddler beds and the serene one stays
put, but the wiggly one has to be scooped back into bed from the
floor about once or twice a month. She sleeps right through it
and it has not yet been a problem for us.
Would you give me advice on transitioning from crib to bed? Lily is 2 1/2 now.
We are considering getting an inexpensive fun toddler bed (with fun characters
or fun design) for Lily. We wonder the kid's bed might be too high for her even
though we can install rail. When she sleeps, she moves a lot. She can end up
at the bottom of the bed. Besides, when she wakes up in the middle of the
night, she might be a little disoriented and get off the bed on the wrong side
which does not have the rail guard. If we get her a toddler bed, how long will
she be able to sleep in it?
Any experience or wisdom to share.
Appreciate it very much.
Hi, I was just looking at my 3.5 year old daughter last night
and thought she was getting too long for her toddler mattress.
She isn't especially tall for her age. Just my experience.
thinking about the twin bed
Why we just did this 3 weeks ago with our 26 month old! I
always thought the concept of a toddler bed was a waste of money
(we didn't have them when we were kids). Instead, for our
daughter, we bought rails for both sides of the bed we were
going to put my daughter in (since the bed was not flush against
the wall), to minimize her falling out. So far, so good. The
first night I laid in bed with her rubbing her back for about a
half hour while she scratched the mesh net the entire time (then
I gave up and put her back in her crib). The next night, my
husand laid in bed w/her for about 45 mins. doing the same.
That's all it took! After that she went to sleep alone in her
(as we keep calling it) ''big girl'' bed. Also, my sis-in-law has
been having a real tough time trying to get her 4 year old out
of his toddler bed and into a regular bed. So I say don't waste
the money on a toddler bed!
With a regular twin bed it is easier for you to lie down with your child and read
stories and cuddle. This makes the big bed even more attractive than the crib. You
can get fun characters on the sheets, comforter, pillows, etc. (BTW, when our
daughter moved to a twin bed at 2 1/2, we forgot to get the rail so we just put
chairs with their backs against the bed to prevent her from falling out. It turns out
she never even needed them as she somehow knew where the edge was, just as
grownups do. You can also put cushions or pillows around the bed until you are
sure she won't fall off.)
For what it's worth, we moved our 2 year old into a regular twin
mattress on the floor. He kind of fell out on his first night
in it - but it was no big deal. The transition was easy and he
loves it. Good luck!
We moved our now almost 3-year-old into a twin bed in January.
I definitely am glad we skipped the toddler bed. The toddler
bed is not bigger than a crib, and our daughter is very tall and
was simply too big for a toddler bed. It would have been one
more thing to buy (and eventually get rid of), and I hear that
finding bedding for toddler beds is difficult. We have a twin
bed against the wall with an average-size bed rail and it has
been great. She has to climb to get into it, but if that is a
concern you can put the mattress on the floor until your child
is taller. I would say get a twin bed and place it against a
wall, get an extra-long bed rail (I've seen them online), and if
you need to, put something soft on the floor at the end of the
You might want to consider just a twin sized mattress on the
floor. That's what we did for my son. I was also concerned about
the chances of his falling out of a big bed. I didn't want to get
a toddler bed because I figured that he would grow out of it so
quickly. With a twin mattress, you can always buy the bed frame
for it later.
I want to move my son from the crib to a bed and I am wondering
if the extendable beds which have 3 sizes (start as a toddler
bed, go to a medium size and extend to a regular twin size) are
really of good quality. It would be convenient for us, because
my son's bedroom is very small and we could use it there in the
smallest size; by the time we need the twin size we will have
hopefully moved to a bigger house. However, I've seen many
people selling these beds in the marketplace newsletter and I am
wondering if it is because they are not sturdy or good quality
enough for a more grown-up child. If that's the case, I'd rather
buy a twin size now and have the bedroom a bit more full, than
to have to end up buying 2 beds down the line. Any advice from
people who have bought this extendable beds would be very much
appreciated(I believe they are sold at Ikea, I am not sure if
they are sold at any other place, and i, that's the case, if
they are of better quality than the Ikea brand).
I bought the Ikea model to which you seem to be referring, and
I think it is just great. For six months we had it in its
smallest configuration (starting when my daughter was 2 years 2
months), until just a few weeks ago (she'll be three next
month). It was just the right cozy size for her when she made
the transfer into her own ''big girl bed'' (she was moving from
my own queen size bed, not a crib, so we wanted her to feel the
bed was just for her -- ''big girl''-sized!) I was worried at
first about her falling out -- but the bed is relatively low to
the ground, so it's not a far drop. I propped some pillows next
to the bed for the first few weeks, and after one little
tumble -- no harm done -- onto those pillows, she never fell
out again. We put lots of pillows on top of the bed, and a
canopy with fun, whimsical sheer panels draped on the wall
above it (all available extremely reasonably at Ikea as well)
and she was just thrilled when she saw it. (They have motifs
that are just as fun for boys as for girls, by the way). She
showed it off to everyone who came to the house! Now that we've
lengthened the bed to its intermediate configuration, I can lie
down in it fully extended with her (I am 5'4''), Daddy is more
comfortable cozying up with her when it's his turn to put her
to bed, and she feels cool because ''she's getting so big Mommy
had to make her bed grow.'' It's very handy, feels perfectly
comfortable, and the quality seems quite decent -- solid wood
head and footboard, and slats to support the mattress. I'd
definitely recommend the product!
We too have this bed, and it was wonderful for my daughter for
a year or so.
My only caution-- we purchased the Ikea mattress that went with
it, and it outgassed for several months in the other room while
we tried to get it safe enough for her to sleep on it.
Mattresses have the most foul chemicals--and I assume that Ikea
is worse than usual due to the price point. This mattress
continuted to stink for about 3 months, at which point we threw
it away, unused, and purchased an all cotton futon, which
worked well with that bed as you could still fold up the tail
and head and expand as needed.
Any stores in the area that have a good selection of toddler
beds? I've seen the prior posts which deal more w/ kid furniture
and not toddler beds.
We looked around at the larger furniture stores: Macy's,
Ethan Allen, etc. and found the quality on the cheap side
(pine and veneers) and the price quite high ($1000.00 and
up). There is a store on Shattuck at Blake (?) called
Berkeley Kids' Room, but they too are expensive for what
you get. We eventually went where the quality matched the
price, IKEA. They had a very solid pine toddler bed that
expands to a twin size for approx. $150.00. They have other
choices as well.
check out IKEA--they have several.
An excellent place to find toddler beds is at Berkeley Kids Room
at 2474 Shattuck Ave downtown. Be sure to check out their
upstairs - great designs and terrific service.
Where does one buy inexpensive yet tasteful bedding for toddler
beds? Used is fine.
One place for toddler bedding is Carousel Designs, Ltd. on the
web: www.carouseldesigns.com/. It's a good place for toddler
pillows and cases, and top sheets for toddler beds. Their
quilts and comforters are pricey, tho, and I did not buy one
because I'm lucky enough to have a seamstress for a best friend
and godmother to my daughter.
For blankets that will fit well on a toddler bed, we use
standard throw blankets. My father just got our daughter a down
throw for Christmas that I love. Down throws aren't even very
For used, just go to a used baby/children's shop such as Once
Upon a Child (one in Newark that I know of).
Oh yeah, 2 other good resources for childrens bedroom stuff and
bedding are Sears' Room for Kids catalog and Lillian Vernon's
Lilly's Kids catalog (www.lillianvernon.com).
this page was last updated: Sep 26, 2009
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