Transition Your Child Out of a Crib With a Toddler Bed

What age should you transition a child into a toddler bed?

There is no set age when a child should be transitioned from a crib to a toddler bed, but typically, parents make this decision when a toddler is around 1.5-2 years of age. If you notice your child is able to fully stand up in his crib and could potentially climb out (or maybe already has!), it’s time.

What are toddler beds?

Toddler beds are smaller than twin-sized beds, designed to be used with a crib mattress. Except they are low to the ground, have a headboard and footboard, and guard rails to prevent restless toddlers from falling out.

They come in various styles and designs, from modern and contemporary to rustic and traditional. Some employ themes and designs based on things like sports teams, safari, animals, princesses, firetrucks, or well-known characters, like Minnie Mouse. You’ll find toddler beds for boys and toddler beds for girls. Some even come with decals the child can have fun decorating the bed with.

What should you look for when buying a toddler bed?

First, check that the bed will fit nicely within the nursery, and that it is low enough for your toddler to get in and out comfortably on his or her own. Design is critical, as you want it to match the theme and colour scheme of the nursery as well as get the child excited about his new bed. Themed beds can help kids feel more independent, confident, and comfortable with the transition. But you can also choose something minimalist and solid-coloured like white, black, or brown, then dress it up with themed bedding.

Look at the material, which is usually solid MDF or pine wood for a more elegant look, or sturdier metal. Either way, ensure it is non-toxic and meets all safety standards.

Some children’s beds have weight limits, so if you think you might have to spend a few nights cuddling up with your toddler until he falls asleep, make sure the weight of both you and the child doesn’t exceed the recommended limit.

Guard rails are on most toddler beds, but double check that they sufficiently meet your needs, especially for a child who moves around often in his sleep. Some toddler beds have guard rails with slats, while others are solid. The same goes for the headboard and footboard, some of which have slats and some that are solid wood.

Look at additional options like toddler beds with storage drawers (more likely in twin beds), and conversion kits if you have a 3-in-1, 4-in-1, or 5-in-1 crib that is designed to convert easily to a toddler bed by removing one side of the rails. There are also bunk-style kids’ beds, great if you have more than one child sharing a room.