16 answers

What's the BEST First Bed?

My son is 1 and a half and in a few months, he's going to be ready for a real bed. In your experience,what is the best type of bed for a toddler? His crib turns into a bed but we're going to use it for baby 2 so we'll need to buy a bed anyway. I've seen some with rails, some that look like cars,...or should I just use a full size mattress without a frame so that it sits directly on the floor? And what mattress should I get? Soft or firm? Will he need a pillow? He doesn't use one now. He just lays flat in his crib. And what about a comforter? Right now, he turns in so many different positions through out his sleep. I'll put him down one way, and when I go check on him,he's on the opposite end of the crib in a different position. And sometimes he's even woke up in the middle of the night crying because in his sleep,he sticks his little leg through the crib bars(over the bumper) and it gets stuck so I have to go get it out and put him back to sleep.
With all this movement,I don't want him getting suffocated by a comforter or pillow, or falling off a too high bed. But perhaps he's past that stage?
Lots of questions,I know! :)

What can I do next?

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Good morning A.,

We put my son in a single bed on a frame with a head board and footboard. We then added the side rails and we had no problems!

Best of Luck!

C. Roeschen
The Trinity Group
Keller Williams
###-###-####
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www.TheTrinityGroup.org
www.ValueMyNeighborhoodOnLine.com

We just went straight to a full sized bed on frame and all. We did not do the box springs, just put a piece of board down for the platform, so it is not too high off the floor. Both girls were in theirs at around 18 months and have done great.

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Lots of great ideas have been given. But check in to a twin, you mentioned a full, and that will take up more room that you think, we have a twin for our son and got rid of it b/c of the space. now he has a twin bed with a head board that has a little shelf in there. keep in mind with the bigger bed, how hard it will be to change the sheets once potty training starts! what ever you get, if you put it on the frame, which is best, be sure he will be able to climb in and out of the bed on his own. we used floot pillows to accomplish this, and it also gave some padding if he rolled out. good luck. p.s. check www.craigslist.net in the furniture and baby/kids section...there are always toddler beds on sale.

1 mom found this helpful

We just went straight to a full sized bed on frame and all. We did not do the box springs, just put a piece of board down for the platform, so it is not too high off the floor. Both girls were in theirs at around 18 months and have done great.

My son never really liked his crib and we got his "big boy" room ready thinking it would be a while before we put him in there. But we have a daybed (it looks like a daybed with one rail up, it has rails for both sides) and it's solid wood with a trundle drawer underneath. We bought a new twin mattress for it, not a really expensive one but not the cheapest one either, and I have pillows, sheets (top & bottom) and a comforter. Most nights he is asleep in the middle of the bed with no pillow or comforter. So even if you have those things, he may or may not use them. Mine likes to cuddle up in his covers while he's getting sleepy but by the time he's asleep there usually isn't anything on him. I think by this age they aren't going to suffocate or anything, they will move if they need to like we would. After he is asleep I put up the other rail. he has bumped his head on the wood rails and has put his foot through the rail (usually on purpose) but I am making bumpers for the rails to solve that problem. Good luck, I'm sure whatever you do will be fine. We skipped a toddler bed and went staight to the twin daybed and he sleeps in it WAY more than he ever slept in his crib. But if you go with a mattress on the floor, that works for a lot of people too. Good luck.

-T.

We put our daughter straight into a full size twin bed from the crib. We bought one of those gate-like things that attach to the side and put the bed against the wall. She never fell off. And we put her on a pillow with a regular blanket/ comforter and never had any issues doing so. I'm glad we did it because we haven't had to buy her another bed since...she is 4 now.

Alex

Saw your post, he is already in a big boy bed, that is great! I saw your profile, I dont need an interior decorator, but I do really need help with photo editing, will you hire out for that? Im serious! :O) Im living right around the corner from you so it is close!

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S.

We were also given a car bed (actually a firetruck). It was a toddler bed, so we used a crib mattress. My son LOVED it. The sides of the bed are made to be a little higher than the mattress, so we didn't need to buy a rail and didn't need to worry about him falling out of it.

However, since baby 2 will need the crib mattress, you'll have to buy another mattress anyway. You can go ahead and get a twin. You'll want a side rail, and possibly a step stool. Our first child was "kicked out" of the crib at 17 months because of the new baby arriving, so we transferred her straight to a big bed. Because her bed didn't fit flush to the wall, we put a railing on each side. The railings usually extend and fit a long ways down the side of the bed. We put the step stool at the foot of the bed.

Good morning A.,

We put my son in a single bed on a frame with a head board and footboard. We then added the side rails and we had no problems!

Best of Luck!

C. Roeschen
The Trinity Group
Keller Williams
###-###-####
____@____.com
www.TheTrinityGroup.org
www.ValueMyNeighborhoodOnLine.com

A., I agree with the two people that advised you to keep him in the crib. My oldest son was 2 when my 2nd boy was born, and I didn't mind having two cribs, but my husband insisted on moving him to his twin bed, which he already had, and I didn't oppose because he was such a wonderful sleeper that I thought that he will do all right.
Well, that was the beginning of our nightmares, for a almost a year and a half we struggled with him, not wanting to stay in the bed, wanting to sleep with us, which we didn't want. He would wake the baby up, crying because he didn't want to sleep in the bed. So, a friend gave me her crib, but it was already too late, even with the tent, he didn't want to stay, and he used to have the tent since he turn 20 months old.
Now he just turned 4, and finally, I can happily say that after 6 months of fighting it ( and nobody having a whole night of sleep), and another year of giving up, and letting him sleep with us (in our room, next to our bed in a sleeping bag), he is sleeping in his bed, and his two year old brother is in his crib in the same room. They keep each other company and I am not planning to take my little one out of his crib until he is at least 3 years old.
Each child is different, and maybe your son will do great in a bed right now, I have friends that never had any problems, but after what I experienced I will be in no rush to take a toddler out of the crib, they feel cozy and secure in there.
So good luck with your decisions, whatever you decide I hope it works best for you and your son.

We bought my daughter a toddler bed when we were pregnant with my son and needed the crib for him. However, I think my daughter is ready for a twin bed, and since the crib will turn into a toddler bed for my son, I think the toddler bed is somewhat wasted. They're only in it for a couple years, so I think your best bet is to skip the toddler bed and go straight for a twin. If you're worried about the height, they sell bed rails that are usually made out of mesh that will keep the child from rolling off. To me it just seems more economical, because if you get a toddler bed you have to get a mattress (since you're using the crib mattress for #2) and sheets and everything, it just doesnt make sense to have to purchase all that over again another 2-3 years down the road. I wish I'd thought of that a year ago!

We inherited a car bed (a plastic one) and had that for both of our boys. My second took to it like it was meant for him from the beginning! My oldest didn't do so well. Instead of the car bed, he took all the blankets off and made himself a bed on the floor. We let him sleep that way until he decided the bed was better :)

Toddler beds are great. But, you may also think about getting a twin bed. Instead of a box spring, get a bunko. I think that's what they are called. They will make the bed lower. Safety rails will be a must.

We bought a twin bed with a trundle drawer when our son was a year old. He slept in the "drawer" for a while until we felt he would not fall out of the upper bed. Later, when he had friends over, he could pull out the drawer for his friends to sleep. Two twin mattresses, one for the trundle, one for the bed. Our grandson is now using that same bed where he also slept first in the trundle and now has friends over who visit on the trundle. The trundle drawer could also be used to store lots of toys if one did not want the mattress.

I agree with the girl who said to wait on moving your son. I would get another crib for the new baby. I have a daughter who will be 3 in a couple of weeks and she just moved to a toddler bed last month (we had one a friend had given us and used the same crib mattress). She never climbed out of her crib and always slept all night, unless sick. So we decided, why mess with what works. We tried to talk to her about moving into a new bed a couple of months before her brother was born. She wouldn't have it. She couldn't stand the thought of someone else in "her" bed. We bought a cheaper Jenny Lind style crib that doesn't convert for about $120 for the new baby. We started using a pillow and small lightweight quilt before she left the crib. We bought a very flat baby pillow. It took a while for her to stay at the same end of bed all night. She does most of the time now. There are so many adjustments to make when you have a new baby, so we decided to keep things as much the same for our older one as possible.

I know this will sound crazy to you right now, but I would keep him in his crib as long as you can. If he is not climbing out of it yet, I would go get a crib tent and install it now with a lot of fun about his new circus tent (if he is already climbing out--it is too late). If you move him to a "big bed" now you are going to be dealing with a lot of bedtime and sleep issues and just about the time that gets resolved you are going to have a whole new set of issues with a new baby in the house. I ended up buying another crib (I know it sounds crazy) but it worked really well for us. The last thing you want is your 2 year old crawling out of bed in the middle of the night when he hears you up with a fussy baby. My opinion is to NOT rush it. My middle one stayed in the crib until his 3rd birthday. I kept asking him when he wanted to go to a big boy bed and he said when he turned 3--so we moved him with great celebration on his 3rd birthday--in the meantime he was all snug (very snug at the end) while the new baby was my first-born's crib. I think people underestimate the impact a new baby has on the older child(ren) and if they are well rested it will go a lot better! Good luck.

Every kid is definately different...saying that, here is my experience. I moved my son to a toddler bed at 13 months. I figured that it was easier to deal with him getting out of bed when he was littler and before he started climbing out of his crib. I also wanted to have another baby and did not want him to remember the crib as his when the new baby got it. I used a toddler bed because someone had given it to me, but I would say a twin bed, low to the ground would be more worth your money and he'd have more room to move around in his sleep.(my son is fine in a twin bed at two years old) Make sure and get a water proof cover to put over the mattress...you never know when a diaper will leak or someone will get sick in the night!
I started by putting the bed in his room so he could play on it and get used to it. When he seemed interested and it was familiar to him I started putting him in it for naps. After a week or two we moved to nights in the bed and then took out the crib shortly after. As most kids do, he would get out of bed sometimes and we would just return him to bed right away and say it was time to sleep. We ended up putting the baby gate up in the doorway so that he could still see out, we could here him if he needed us, but still saw the gate there as a physical sign that it was time to be in bed. We take the gate down when we go to bed and just shut the door...that way he can come get us if he needs us in the night. If your son did not have a pillow and blanket in his crib, then he doesn't need them just because he is in a bed. I gave my son an older, flatter pillow and a light blanket that he could move off himself easily, but he still kicks his blanket off EVERY night so he doesn't really need it.
Make sure you put his favourite stuffed toy in bed with him and maybe a few books he likes so that it seems comfortable and he wants to be there. My 4 year old nephew and my 2 year old son both still have their crib toy, that makes music and lights, in their big beds. This way they can press the button to sooth themselves to sleep.
Hope some of this helps. Good luck and congrats on the new baby!

my parents bought my daughter the dora room in a box and i use her crib mattress. she just loves it and thinks shes a big girl,its funny because she doesnt want anyone to touch her BIG GIRL BED. in the box was the bed which includes side rails,a table with two stools,and a toy organizer which was a blessing because we needed something else to keep all her little people off the floor.best of luck finding something he likes =)

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