If your toddler is climbing out of the crib, or trying to, on a regular basis, or if the crib is simply too small, it’s time to make the transition to a big kid bed. You can purchase a bed specifically designed for a toddler or invest in a twin bed that will last your child through the teenage years.
Toddler Bed vs. Twin Bed
A toddler bed is a small bed specifically designed to be used by a young child. A toddler bed sits close to the ground, which greatly reduces the risk of injury if a child climbs out. The low height, however, can also make it easier for your little one to escape.
A frame for a toddler bed will cost much less than a frame for a standard twin bed. You may be able to find a toddler bed frame with rails included, which means you won’t have to pay extra for those important safety features. Most toddler beds are designed to fit a standard crib mattress, so you probably won’t have to worry about that expense.
If you decide to buy a twin bed, you’ll have to purchase a frame, mattress and safety rails. That can make the total price tag significantly higher than it would be for a toddler bed.
Toddler beds have relatively low weight limits, so you shouldn’t expect one to last your child very long. When your toddler outgrows it, you’ll have to upgrade to a twin bed. Your child will be able to use a twin bed through high school. Buying a twin bed now can be a better choice in the long run, despite the higher upfront cost.
Safety and Design Considerations
Look for a bed that has a sturdy frame and doesn’t have any sharp edges or protruding parts that could cause injuries. Make sure the rails are high enough to keep your toddler from falling out of the bed. Remember that a high mattress will mean less space between the top of the mattress and the top of the rails.
If you decide to buy a toddler bed, look for a frame and rails that have been certified by the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association (JPMA). Twin beds aren’t subject to JPMA standards, but any safety rails you choose should have a JPMA certification.
If you buy a toddler bed and realize that your child’s current mattress doesn’t fit, buy a new mattress. A gap between a bed frame and mattress is a safety hazard.
Think carefully about the height of a twin bed. Some beds are too high for a toddler to climb in and out of easily.
Find a toddler bed or twin bed with a design that will delight your child. That can make the idea of switching to a new bed fun, rather than frightening. Presenting the new bed as a present for a birthday or holiday can add to the excitement.