Some commonly perplexing questions for new parents is about the transition of their toddler to a toddler bed from the baby crib or straightaway give them a big twin bed. Perhaps they can even consider moving their toddler to a standard double bed.
“Should I put my child in a toddler bed or a twin bed? Which one is better? Which is a better investment?”
Every parent finds themselves asking these questions at some point in time. It always poses as a mind-boggling puzzle. And in a sense, it is! Because, before you can answer those questions you’ll have to realize that there are several interrelated yet competing factors that you might have first to address.
Differentiate between a twin bed and a toddler bed
These days most cribs can be turned into a toddler bed to make the toddler get used to the transition out of a crib. But a toddler bed is specially designed for toddlers and hence is typical of the length of mere 50” – 60”. It mostly comes with railings to safeguard the child from rolling off the bed while sleeping. It is a neater, compact and toddler version of a bed. A twin bed, on the other hand, is slightly larger, mostly without railings and safeguards, and is typically around 80” in length.
The Factors You Need to Factor In
One of the very first factors you’ll have to consider while deciding upon a toddler bed or a twin bed is the question of available space.
Is your nursery too small?
Does your child’s room have enough free space for them to play around?
Is the child going to share this room with their older sibling who already has their toddler bed in the same room?
If you put in a twin bed, will it cramp up space and leave no play area for the child?
You need to keep in mind that children tend to have too many toys and belongings which need a lot of space, along with space for your child to play with them. Stacking up most of a smaller room with a more prominent bed might steal a child from their “play station.” Most parents prefer a toddler bed precisely because these easily fit in smaller rooms and leave enough floor space for the child to play in.
If this is about your second child who’s now sharing the room with an elder brother or sister who has their toddler bed, then that pretty much makes the possibility of having a twin bed in the same room very unlikely due to space constraints. In that case, a second toddler bed makes it way easier to fit both the children and their needs smoothly into a shared room.
However, if space isn’t a problem, going for a twin bed shouldn’t be a difficult choice to make, as twin beds have more space in themselves, for a hop-in by a parent during story time or when the child needs to be put to sleep or comforting. Does your child love bedtime stories for which they demand you cozy up beside them in their bed? Does your child need frequent encouraging or demands you to lie down beside them as they fall asleep? If yes, you know what’s your choice!
Age of the Child
The other most vital factor in this whole context is your child’s age. You alone can decide if your child should stay a little longer in the crib or transition out to a bed. So, when is the right time to transition a toddler out of the crib to a bed? Some say it’s a time when they become able in climbing out of the crib. Some other parents move their babies out of a crib as early as one and half years of age. Some others hold back the shift until the child turns three! So, there is no textbook rule about THE correct age to make this transition.
The age of your child at the time of the transition is a huge factor in deciding whether it should be a toddler bed or a twin bed. Let’s say you’re making this change when your toddler is still pretty young, e.g., eighteen months old. Then it is highly advisable to invest in a toddler bed. Why so?
Consider these realities. At the age, they’re not yet correctly toilet trained. They are most likely to, at times, soil the bed sheets. It is way easier to change a toddler bed paraphernalia than a bigger twin bed. Secondly, your child is still very used to their crib and might be moving around a lot in their sleep. The smaller and more compact toddler bed will continue to give them a cozy and safe feel at night. Also, the railings make a toddler bed mostly more safe for rolling-over toddlers than twin beds. Toddler beds are also typically much lower than twins, so an occasional rollover and fall are more natural and less unsafe. Last but not the least, the toddler bed can make use of the same mattress from the crib. So that straightaway saves another significant investment.
However, if you’re making the transition with an older child, let’s say when they are two and a half or three years old, then a direct transition into a twin bed is preferable for various other factors. A three-year-old can grow in their twin bed, into a sturdy teen and even further until they leave home for college. Twin beds, in such scenarios, save the parents both the decision, the investment and the extra effort of having to buy a bigger bed after the toddler outgrows their toddler bed over the next few years.
Developmental Stage of the Child
However, age cannot and should not be the only factor in choosing between the two beds. Where a toddler is, developmentally speaking, also is a vital factor. Not every child is developmentally ready for a leap from a crib directly to a twin bed. Both psychologically and motor skills wise, a child may need mediumship of a toddler bed before they can start feeling “home” in a twin or a bigger bed. Under such circumstances, a toddler bed cannot be skipped or seen as an unnecessary investment, as this provides a child the gradual shift. Goes without saying, any harsh or abrupt change at the tender age of toddlerhood, especially if they are not physically, psychologically and environmentally quite ready, can be damaging. Hence, to carefully gauge a child’s unique needs and temperament becomes essential while deciding upon the choice of a bed.
While choosing things for your child, not just their next bed, the simple truth is – you alone instinctively know your kid the best and what his or her individual and unique requirements are. What they will be most comfortable with and love. The child’s choice is the only and the best option in this case. And you as their parent will know your child better than anyone else. So, with all the practical factors factored in, at the end just trust your knowledge and take the call! Because, beyond every logic and lists of pros and cons, your parent-instinct knows the best!
Akshay works as an Interior Designer with Lalco Interiors, and he is in love with his job. Thinking up interesting home decor ideas and helping clients implement them is what makes him tick. You can catch up with Akshay and his team and indulge in one of their beautiful home decor pieces for your home at Lalco Interiors – Best Furniture Stores In Bangalore