A toddler transition bed is an intermediate step between a crib and a regular bed, and provides your child with the intimate coziness of something that fits him, and has safety rails to keep him off the floor while still allowing him to get up and climb out of bed by himself. It’s time for a toddler transition bed when your little guy is ready to graduate from his crib but is too small for a twin bed.
If you’re trying to decide whether to buy a bed for your child or just go with a standard twin with rails (or a standard mattress on the floor) here are some things to think about:
• Low to the ground means your child can get in and out of his bed easily
• Safety rails can help a child used to being contained in crib feel comfortable enough to relax and sleep
• The small size makes for coziness for a little person who would be dwarved by a regular bed
• The standard crib mattress size means you don’t need to buy a new mattress; just move his mattress from the crib, and use the crib sheets until you’re ready to buy special beddings
• Cute, toddler-friendly designs abound, and you can let your child sleep in a train, a racecar, a dollhouse or a castle
• You can only use a such a bed until your child outgrows the crib length or gets bigger than fifty pounds, so you’ll be making another bed (and bedding) purchase soon
• Side rails and low weight limit mean you can’t cuddle up beside your child for bedtime stories
• If your child didn’t like sleeping in his crib he probably won’t like the bed for toddlers any better; the small size and rails make some little people feel too claustrophobic to settle down
Toddler transition beds are ideal for families where the toddler loved sleeping on his crib but needs to move on to allow for more independence or because a new baby is on the way; and where the budget is high enough that buying another twin bed two or three years down the line will not be a strain.
If you decide to go with a transition bed, let your little one help you choose which one. Make a selection of the beds that fit your budget and your decorating scheme, and ask him which he’d like to sleep in. If you’re going to go to the expense of a special bed just for these toddler years, you may as well make it one your toddler will love.
If the budget allows, special bed sheet sets that match and express your little one’s personality are a nice extra touch.
Standard toddler transition beds take crib sized mattresses, and are usually 27 by 52 inches, give or take an inch.
The Consumer Products Saftey Commission (CPCS) recommends that you don’t put your child in a bed for toddlers till he or she is at least fifteen months old. Before that, the security of a crib is better.
The CPCS also recommends that you move your child out before he or she reaches 50 pounds, and most transition beds are designed with that weight limit in mind. There’s also a length restriction; if your child is getting so tall there isn’t much room to move around on that little crib mattress, it’s time to go shopping for a regular bed.
Every child grows at his or her own rate, and so the length of time a child can use a bed for tots will vary from child to child. Some parents choose to use their toddler bed just till their child is three or four; others wait till five or six before making the big change.