How To Convert a Crib to a Full-Size Bed: A Guide for Parents

how to convert crib to full size bed

Now that your child is getting bigger, you might wonder how to convert a crib to a full-size bed. While not every crib can be used this way, many convertible cribs are designed to grow with your child.

In this guide, we’ll walk you through converting a crib to a full-size bed and provide tips and tricks to ensure your child has a safe and comfortable place to sleep.

Table of contents

How convertible cribs work

how to convert crib to full size bed

Convertible cribs are innovative pieces of children’s furniture designed with adaptability in mind. By rearranging the parts, you can transform the crib into different types of beds as your child grows. This way, one bed can last for years.

When you buy a convertible crib, it should be labeled as either 3-in-1 or 4-in-1. The numbers refer to how many ways you can reconfigure the bed later.

The first stage of each is the crib. Your baby will likely sleep there for about two years, though some toddlers are ready earlier, and others stay happily in a crib until they’re three.

But at some point, your little one will become too big for their crib. When that happens, you can turn your convertible crib into a different bed for them. With a 3-in-1 crib, you can turn it into a toddler bed and a daybed.

A 4-in-1 crib, like our Sprout Convertible Crib, gives you the additional option of being able to convert your crib into a full-size bed. Some other models allow you to make a twin bed instead.

Let’s look at each of the stages more closely.

Toddler bed

Some parents move their baby from a crib into a toddler bed. These beds use the same size mattress as a crib. Because they’re small, they provide a sense of security for your little one. They’re also lower to the ground, reducing the fall risk.

To convert a crib into a toddler bed, you typically lower the mattress to its lowest setting, remove one side of the bed, and use brackets to attach a bed rail.

Please note that you’ll typically need a toddler bed conversion kit with a rail. Some cribs come with them (like our Hudson Convertible Crib), and others require you to add this to your purchase (like our Austin Convertible Crib.)

When purchasing a crib, read the fine print carefully to see if you need to buy anything extra.

Daybed

a day bed good to convert crib to full size bed

A daybed is essentially a toddler bed without the side rail. Instead, it’s completely open on one side. This option can be great if your child doesn’t roll around much.

Typically, you’ll completely remove the front side of the crib to make a daybed. Then, you can use decorative pillows along the back wall to create a cozy daytime seating area for your child.

Twin bed or full-size bed

Before you know it, your little one will be too big for a toddler bed. And if you want, you can use part of your 4-in-1 crib to bring some familiarity and childhood comfort to their twin or full-size bed.

The type of crib you buy determines the size of bed you can make, so read the specs carefully if you prefer one over the other.

However, whether turning a crib into a twin bed or a full-sized one, you’ll need a conversion kit to make it possible. The kit has rails to support a larger mattress and the brackets required to connect everything. Without these pieces, you won’t be able to safely make the larger bed.

Consider buying this kit when you initially purchase the bed. Otherwise, you might run into supply problems if the crib is discontinued.

How to convert a crib to a full-size bed: Beginning steps

full size bed

Now that you know more about convertible cribs, it’s time to discuss how to convert a crib to a full-size bed.

Also known as a double bed, the full-size mattress measures 54 inches by 75 inches. It’s wider than a twin but not as large as a queen. Your child will have plenty of room on this type of bed. It’ll last them for years!

But before they can start sleeping on their new, bigger bed, there are a few things you’ve got to do first.

1) Get your mattress and conversion kit.

Purchase the right size mattress for your child’s new bed, and ensure you have a conversion kit from your crib’s manufacturer. Until you have these in hand, don’t begin the process.

While Newton Baby has a twin mattress, we don’t have a full-size one. When looking for a mattress, try to find one that is GREENGUARD Gold Certified to ensure it has low chemical emissions.

Tip: Once you no longer need your crib mattress, consider adding it to a fun play couch for your child. The Newton X Figgy Play Couch comes with an extra cover that you can use to cover your mattress.

2) Read the directions.

Once your mattress and conversion kit arrive, carefully read the instructions. While we will walk you through the typical steps below, the process will differ from manufacturer to manufacturer.

3) Disassemble the crib.

Before you can turn your crib into a full-size bed, you’ll need to disassemble it. Keep the two long sides close by. Those are the parts you’ll need to create the headboard and footboard of the bigger bed.

You won’t need the other parts of the crib for this project.

How to convert a crib to a full-size bed: Next steps

Now that your crib is taken apart, it’s time to assemble your little one’s full-size bed. You’ll need a screwdriver with a head that matches the hardware of your conversion kit.

This process isn’t complicated and likely won’t take too long. However, having a second person to help will make it go more smoothly.

4) Attach the headboard and footboard.

You’ll use one piece of your old crib as the headboard. Have your helper hold it as you line up the holes and connect a conversion rail to each side.

Next, do this step again for the footboard. Before you put the screws in place, make sure everything is square. Once it’s together, go around the bed again and ensure all the hardware is tight.

Your full-size bed is now assembled.

5) Add a mattress.

Some full-size beds require box springs. If yours does, place that onto the conversion rails first. Then, carefully set your mattress on top. If your model doesn’t require a boxspring, you’ll place the mattress directly onto the rails.

Either way, double-check that the mattress is firmly in place and won’t move or shift easily. There shouldn’t be any large gaps.

6) Add bedding.

All the bed needs now is some full-size bedding. Let your child help pick out the sheets and blankets. That way, they feel more comfortable in their new bed.

Add a pillow or two and maybe some stuffed animals, and then your full-size bed conversion process is complete.

Safety first!

Now that your child’s larger bed is ready, you’ll want to take some safety precautions before they start sleeping in it.

Here are some tips:

  • Ensure that all screws are tightly secured to prevent any wobbling or movement of the bed.
  • Use a stable and sturdy mattress that fits snugly into the bed frame with no gaps or spaces where your child could get stuck.
  • Keep all cords and strings away from the bed.
  • Regularly check for any signs of wear and tear on the bed frame, headboard, and footboard.
  • Put one side of the bed against a wall to prevent movement.

You’ll also want to teach your child how to safely get in and out of their new bed. Consider placing a step stool nearby if they’re not tall enough to get into bed without help. That way, they can be more independent.

Remind them not to jump on their new mattress. Although kids find this thrilling, it can damage the bed frame and potentially lead to injuries.

With these safety tips in mind, your child will be ready to enjoy a bigger bed:

Sleep tight with Newton Baby.

how to convert crib to full size bed

Congratulations! You now know how to convert a crib to a full-size bed. Your child will be able to sleep here comfortably for years. It may even last them to adulthood.

Don’t forget to upcycle their old crib mattress with the Newton X Figgy Play Couch. It’s the perfect way to let your child get even more use from the mattress they slept on as a baby.

Thank you for choosing Newton Baby. Sweet dreams!

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