You don’t need to hear it from us … parenting is EXPENSIVE. And if you’ve got a toddler on your hands, you know this all too well. Their diapers, their clothes, their crib … your little one is outgrowing things faster than you (or your wallet) can keep track of!
If your kiddo is ready to make the transition from crib to bed, you may be wondering: how big is too big? Is it okay to skip buying a toddler bed … and go straight from crib to twin? Which, if you can, would mean you could also invest in an organic twin mattress now that your child can use for years to come.
But, can your toddler handle a twin bed?
You’re in luck, because when it comes to safer, healthier sleep for kids, Naturepedic has some helpful answers. (And this one might save your little one from an extra-long transition to their “big kid bed” … and save you some money, too!)
Big Kid Bed Readiness Signs
Before you even think about whether a toddler bed or a twin bed is right for your child, you should first make sure that they’re truly ready to leave the crib.
Readiness looks different for different children … some kiddos are escape artists, others will simply tell you that they’re ready. It might be time to transition your child from a crib to a bed if they:
- Can (and do!) climb out of their crib
- Are tall enough to escape a crib (about 3 feet tall!)
- Are between 18 months and 3 years old
- Are preparing for a baby sibling
- Tell you they want a “big kid” bed
And remember: you needn’t wait for all of these signs to make the jump from crib to bed. You know your little one best. If you suspect that they are ready, they probably are.
Toddler Bed vs Twin: Pros and Cons
The short answer for whether a toddler bed or twin bed is better is: “It depends!” Your child’s emotional development, your budget, your space … lots can factor into this decision. Let’s discuss the pros and cons of each option.
A toddler bed and mattress are the same size as a crib and baby mattress, which makes the transition feel a lot less drastic for both you and your child. The smaller size means more space to play – especially if your little one’s room is, well, little! You can also continue to use your crib mattress and bedding, which will save you from investing in a twin mattress and sheets.
Of course, buying a toddler bed and THEN buying a twin mattress later actually adds expenses in the long run. Plus, while a toddler bed transition may feel less drastic, transitioning from a toddler bed and then again to a twin bed is just adding another transition for your child to adapt to during a relatively short span of time.
If you’re looking for efficiency (both time- and expense-wise), a twin mattress is the way to go. Although it may be a bit of a bigger transition for your child at first, it’s a “one and done” change. Plus, the bigger size means that you can cuddle up with them during their bedtime stories if they need some extra support while adjusting.
4 Tips for Transitioning to a Big Kid Bed
If you think your child is ready to transition from a crib to a twin bed, congratulations! It can be bittersweet as a parent to watch your little one grow up, but it is important to celebrate this milestone – so kudos to your kiddo and to you! This is a big step, so here are four tips to help you put your best foot forward as you transition to the big kid bed.
1. Place Bed Intentionally
If you’re like us, you probably put a ton of time and effort into mindfully setting up your baby’s nursery and finding the perfect spot for their crib. Why change it up when you’ve got a good thing going? If their crib is in a good spot, putting their bed in same spot will help to ease your little one’s transition … and ease your safety concerns, too!
Allow enough room on either side of the bed for your child to climb out without getting trapped between the bed and the wall. A good sleeping spot is also away from:
- Blind cords
- Radiators and other heat sources
- Electrical cords
2. Consider a Twin Bed Safety Rail
The primary benefit of using a safety rail on your child’s bed is obvious: it prevents falls which can injure or traumatize your child during the transition from crib to bed.
But another benefit to bed rails that a lot of parents don’t realize is that they can create a cozier, den-like environment for your child. This gives them a sense of security which mimics that of a crib and promotes better sleep. (Because when you’re comfy-cozy, you sleep better. Plain and simple.)
Just remember that like everything else in your little one’s sleep environment, shop with safety in mind. A crib rail should hug the bed tightly enough that your little one can’t slip between the rail and the bed and must attach firmly to ensure their safety.
3. Cushion the Fall ... Just in Case
Despite our best laid plans, sometimes accidents do happen – it’s just a part of parenthood. Kids are awkward and clumsy (which is adorable, but also nerve-wracking for parents). Even with proper bed placement and safety rails, falls can occur when climbing in and out of bed, playing and more.
So, if the floor isn’t carpeted, consider putting a rug around the bed to cushion any potential falls. If you want to go a step further, a cushioned mat can provide even more protection from falls.
4. Safety Proof the Room
Remember all the effort that went into safety-proofing your baby’s crib? Good, because it’s time to do that to their entire room!
Your kiddo is no longer confined to their crib, which opens up a whole new world of potential safety hazards. When safety-proofing your toddler’s room, be sure to:
- Anchor tall furniture to the wall
- Cover all electrical outlets
- Adjust any wall or floor decorations that may now be accessible
- Add a safety lock to the door or doorknob
- Consider adding a door alarm so you’ll be alerted if your toddler leaves the room
- Be sure to gate any staircases near the bedroom, just in case
Naturepedic Makes the Twin Bed Transition Even Easier!
Your little one is growing faster than you can even keep track of. That’s why we made a mattress that can grow with them.
Naturepedic’s 2-in-1 Organic Kids Mattress is perfect for young children making the big transition. Start them on the waterproof side that wipes clean when potty-training accidents happen … and they will happen! Then as they grow, transition them to the softer, quilted side for a comfy-cozy feel that will have them sleeping soundly for many years to come. GOTS certified organic and MADE SAFE® certified non-toxic, the 2-in-1 is designed without glues, flame retardants or other questionable materials.