How To Choose The Best Toddler Bed For Your Growing Child

 Young girl standing near her toddler bed

Babies grow up so quickly! In the blink of an eye, your tiny newborn will be crawling and then walking. And before you know it, it will be time to say goodbye to the crib and transition your child into a toddler bed.

To help you choose the perfect toddler bed for your growing child, our Newton Baby experts are here for you. We’ll look at the pros and cons of using a toddler bed and discuss when your child is ready to move out of their crib.

We’ll also share the important features to look for when you’re shopping for a toddler bed. This way, you can be confident in your decision, and your toddler can sleep safe and sound in their new bed.

What’s A Toddler Bed?

 Young girl happy with her new toddler bed

A toddler bed is a smaller, more compact bed designed for young children. It is typically around the same size as a standard crib and even uses a crib-size mattress.

Toddler beds usually have low rails along most of the sides to keep your child from rolling out. The bed may sit directly on the floor or have low legs. Their low profile allows toddlers to safely get in and out of the bed on their own.

While many parents decide to move their child from a crib to a toddler bed, that is not your only option. You can also skip the toddler-sized bed altogether and move your child straight to a twin bed.

There are pros and cons to each option. For instance, providing your child with a smaller bed can help them feel secure so they sleep better. These lower beds also help prevent injury in case your child falls.

But a toddler bed won't fit your child forever. You'll eventually need to purchase a larger bed for them. Since your child can stay in a twin bed until they are fully grown, skipping the toddler bed can save you money.

However, a large bed can feel intimidating for a small child. Because of this and the safety benefits, many parents choose to invest in a toddler bed when their little one outgrows the crib.

When To Make The Big Move 

Kid crawling out of crib

The first time your child crawls out of their crib, you might be tempted to move them to a toddler bed, but moving your child too soon might cause some problems.

For example, when your child is really young, they may not understand the need to stay in bed at night. It’s dangerous if they get up and start wandering around while everyone else is asleep.

That’s why it’s important to move your child out of their crib only when they’re developmentally ready. For many kids, this happens between the ages of 18 months and three years. But there’s not a “right” age — some kids are ready earlier and others later.

To help you make the right decision for your little one, here are a few signs that it’s time for your child to make the move:

  • Sleeping through the night
  • Climbing out of their crib when it’s at the lowest setting
  • Reaching about three feet tall
  • Expressing interest in a big kid bed

You may also decide to move your toddler if you’re pregnant and need the crib for a new baby.

If this is the case, you’ll want to transition your child a few months before the baby arrives. That way, your toddler has time to get used to their new bed before a sibling starts sleeping in their old one.

Features To Look For In A Toddler Bed

No matter when your child begins sleeping in their toddler bed, you want to make sure they’re safe. Since there are so many different types of beds on the market, it can be overwhelming to sort through them all.

To help you pick the perfect bed for your little one, here are six important factors to consider.

1) Safety Features

Your child’s safety is of utmost importance. So, before you buy a toddler bed, make sure it has safety features such as rails on multiple sides of the bed and a low profile. With these features in place, your child is less likely to roll out of bed in the middle of the night.

You’ll also want to make sure your child’s mattress fits well in the frame of the toddler bed. It should be snug, eliminating any gaps where your child could get trapped.

In addition, check that the mattress is supported. You want a bed with slats, cross wires, or something similar to hold up the mattress.

Also, the mattress shouldn’t rest only on the edges of the bed. If your child rocks or rolls around too much, the mattress could fall without proper support.

2) Design

Toddler beds come in all sorts of shapes and colors.

You can find beds made of metal and beds made of wood. There are beds shaped like trucks or pretty pink castles. Some are classic and others are modern.

With so many options, here are a few questions to ask yourself when trying to choose the right design for your toddler:

  • What bed would they enjoy sleeping in?
  • How much space do you have? Is there room for a larger bed, or do you need a compact one?
  • What kind of theme do you want in your child’s bedroom? Does this bed match your vision for the space?
  • How long do you think your child will use this bed?
  • Will another child use this bed someday?

These questions can help you eliminate some of the choices. And once you have it narrowed down a bit, consider asking your child for their input.

To do this, you could show your little one pictures of your top three contenders. Then, give them the final vote! This process gives your child ownership of the bed so they’re more likely to want to sleep in it.

3) Comfort

 Baby standing near newton crib mattresses

If your child isn’t comfortable in their bed, they’re less likely to stay in it all night.

One of the best ways to make your child’s bed more comfortable is to upgrade their mattress. And one of the best upgrades you can opt for is comfort and breathability like you’ll find in the Newton Baby crib mattress with a Wovenaire® Core.

This special mattress is made of the same ingredients as a yogurt cup, a unique combination that’s perfect for your toddler.

Not only is this mattress cozy, but it’s also safe. With its GREENGUARD Gold Certification, you don’t have to worry about your young child breathing in Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) while they sleep.

4) Durability

 Young girl jumping on a bed

Kids don’t know all of the rules yet. They may occasionally jump on their bed or sit on the rails. And when they do, you don’t want the bed to fall apart on them.

A well-built toddler bed can last for years. You can pass it down from one child to the next and have confidence that it’ll hold up. So, when you’re shopping for a toddler bed, make sure to look for one that’s sturdy.

To do this, pay special attention to how the joints are connected. Do they look like they can withstand your active toddler? If they look flimsy, go ahead and pass on that bed.

While you may spend a little more to get a well-built toddler bed, it’s worth the extra expense.

5) Functionality

If you picked a convertible crib for your baby, you may already have a toddler bed on hand. You just need to follow the directions to change the crib into it.

You can also get a toddler bed that you can convert into a twin-sized bed when your child is older. Beds that serve multiple purposes can help extend the life of the furniture.

6) Price Point

Price points for toddler beds can vary widely. You can pick one up for under $100, or you can pay several hundred for one that’s made from solid wood. No matter what your budget is, you can likely find one that meets your requirements.

When you’re pricing beds, keep in mind that you’ll also need a mattress. If you don’t need your crib again, you can move the mattress straight to the toddler bed. Otherwise, you’ll need to pick up another one.

The Newton Baby Waterproof Crib Mattress makes clean-up simple if your potty-training toddler has an accident. And since it’s completely washable, you don’t have to worry about it starting to stink and having to replace it. It’s a great investment for you and your child!

Choose The Toddler Bed That’s Right For Your Child

 Young boy sleeping in a toddler bed with a stuffed animal

To find the best toddler bed for your child, consider the features we’ve discussed. Once you find one that has the safety features, design, and durability that you’re looking for, go ahead and make the leap!

For the coziest and safest sleep, choose a Newton Baby Crib Mattress to go with your toddler bed frame. Then, let your little one help you prepare the bed, and tuck them in on their comfortable mattress for sweet dreams.

Next, read them a bedtime story, give them a snuggle, and let them fall asleep on their brand-new bed. With the right toddler bed and the perfect accompanying mattress, your growing child will love their big kid bed in no time!