Most likely your kid has a beautiful bedroom furnished with toddlers furniture you personally handpicked. But that’s not the end of furniture purchases for your little guy or girl. There’s also all the paraphernalia for travel; toddler car seats and a toddler travel bed are two prime examples of big purchases that will never even be used at home.
Are they important? Well, not if you don’t take your toddler anywhere whatsoever. If you do, though, they spring into central stage, perhaps becoming even more important than your toddlers furniture in their bedroom.
A toddler car seat is a major purchase, and as such you want to do your homework carefully before you buy. Our review of the best toddler car seats details two of the highest quality convertible type toddler car seats; they’re not dirt cheap, but you’ll know you are getting your money’s worth in safety, comfort, and good looks.
If budget is a real issue for you, look for sales and cheap deals from outlets, but be sure you double-check the safety ratings of whatever seat you buy before you finalize the purchase. Buying used is usually a bad idea for a car seat, unless you are buying from someone you know very, very well and who can give you a thorough history of the (fairly new) car seat. Car seats expire quickly, and one collision is enough to make them non-road-worthy.
If you do a lot of road tripping, another purchase that may be almost essential is a toddler travel bed. And here again, you’ve got lots of options. You could get:
• A toddler sleeping bag: your simplest option, and though it is a little bare-bones and un-cushioned, if you’ve followed SIDS recommendations your little one shouldn’t be used to sleeping on clouds.
• An inflatable toddler bed--- this is an air cushion that you blow up when you want and inflate when you’re ready to move on; they come in special models that help your toddler not roll off.
• A toddler fold out bed is not really portable, but if you station one at Grandma’s (or wherever else you visit frequently) you’ll be able to give your toddler a comfy place to sleep whenever he visits.
• Another travel toddler bed is the nap mat; as its name suggests, a little toddler-sized mat particularly useful for naps.
• A travel cot is also another good option for a toddler travel bed; these are easy to pack up and come toddler sized.
• For a little toddler, a quick-set-up-crib may be a lifesaver; this type of portable toddler bed isn’t appropriate for older children, however.
So lots of different options; something perfect for family with their own different and unique needs. What works for one toddler doesn’t necessarily work for another; for instance, if you’ve got a little one who likes to sleep quietly on his or her back, a cute nap mat will be an all-purpose bed, but if your child thrashes in his sleep you may want to look at crib options or at least a toddler sleeping bag.