Is My 1-Year-old Ready for a Toddler Bed???

Updated on November 14, 2007
S.R. asks from McKinney, TX
47 answers

Hey Mamas!

I know that question sounds crazy, but I'm in a bit of a situation...

When we were gathering together everything we needed for our little girl's nursery, the crib we had registered for went on backorder. Some good friends of our's graciously offered us the furniture their daughter was sleeping in (which is beautiful!) so we could have our dream nursery for our first child. (They pulled out some furniture that was in the attic, and their daughter has been sleeping in that.) So, they just had another baby girl and have told us they need the furniture WE are using for Emma back... by Thanksgiving! We were a little suprised because we thought they were going to put their 2-year-old in a toddler bed, and then move the new baby to the crib...anyway... don't get me wrong, we were so blessed to have had this beautiful furniture while we did, but now here's my problem:

I am frantically trying to find furniture for Emma's room in a couple of week's time, but I don't quite know when babyies switch to toddler beds. Emma turned 1 on October 5th, and I know that's young, but I don't want to go out and buy a crib if she's only going to be in it for 5 or 6 more months. I'm not sure, though that Emma would stay in a bed that's not keeping her in...she's pretty curious and fearless. What should I do? We're really on a tight budget, but I worked so hard making her nursery the most perfect baby girl's room. I'm so sad at the thought that it might become mis-matched and thrown together.

Help!
-S. (Emma Kate's mommy)

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So What Happened?

Thank you all so much for your suggestions, advice and encouragement! We finally buckled down and spent a little more than we were wanting to, but we found a beautiful convertible crib & dresser at Babies-R-Us that Emma will be able to use for awhile! I'm glad she's still in a crib... I really didn't want to rush her into a big-girl bed... she's still my baby! :-) I love this crib even more than the one we had before, and on the plus side... it's OUR'S! :-) Emma will be able to use it when she's ready for a toddler-bed (probably at least not for another year or so) and even when she's ready for a big-girl's full-size bed. I saw many of you had your babies in a toddler bed by the time they were about Emma's age, and she's so smart, I'm sure she could do it after a few days of "training." But I'm working full-time and in school, so I figured it might be best to stick with what's working great for right now! :-)

Thank you so much again!
Happy Christmas-time!
-S. (Emma Kate's Mommy)

Featured Answers

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A.G.

answers from El Paso on

I agree with candice about getting a day bed, or even just get a twin mattress and put it on the floor. You probably care more what her room looks like than she does. :) have the mattress on the floor and totally baby proof her room and get a child gate. On the other hand I had a friend who had her daughter in a toddler bed by the time she was a year.

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L.F.

answers from Austin on

Hi,
I don;t have any advice as to switching, but I would recommend getting a crib that converts to a toddler bed from IKEA. They are resonably priced and convert, so she can switch to a big girl bed when you feel she is ready.

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S.S.

answers from Wichita Falls on

My youngest was born 1/5/06 - and he's nowhere near ready for a toddler bed yet. You can get a crib that converts, though, if you're concerned about her growing out of it too quickly.

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M.R.

answers from Houston on

Hi,

I'm sorry to hear that you're losing the bedroom furniture. Moving to a toddler bed at 1 seems a little early. I typically transition my kids at 2 y/o or more. I am writing to tell you that I have an extra crib w/mattress if you'd like it. It's been sitting in my garage. I used it with my first 3 boys. It needs a little paint, but would still work fine. I can give it to you or if you feel moved to pay for it, then just pay whatever is on your heart. We moms have to stick together. Well let me know. My direct e-mail address is [email protected]____.com.

~M.

1 mom found this helpful
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A.B.

answers from Dallas on

Hi S.,

If you need a crib, we have one that we are not using. It's not fancy, (our beautiful one was destroyed by a moving company and we had to get something fast!) but I'd be willing to give it to you. I even have a mattress that goes with it. Just let me know.

Good Luck, A.

1 mom found this helpful
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S.

answers from Dallas on

You've gotten lots of responses, but here's my experience:

The toddler bed just wasn't comfortable for my two girls. I think the lack of high bars to give them the sense of confinement was part of the problem, plus the mattress is just small! I would recommend either a twin, double or queen mattress on the ground against the wall, with a rail on one side. That gets your child used to the size of the mattress. Then, at age 2, put the mattress on a bedframe but keep it against the wall or use rails on both sides. By age 3 or 4, she won't need the rails. Meanwhile, you can lay down with her when she is sick or scared, or to read stories, etc. It is more comfortable for child and parent!

Sorry you had the rug pulled out from under you on the furniture issue. Sounds like you've worked hard to make her room pretty (isn't that fun!), so I hope you will be able to incorporate the next level of bed the way you want it. Enjoy that sweetie! Mine are 3 and 6 now, and it keeps going by too fast!

1 mom found this helpful
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K.N.

answers from Dallas on

S., I am actually thinking about converting my 15mo old son's crib into a toddlers bed. He is getting to where he wants to climb out of his crib. He is walking now and what we do at night is close his door when he is asleep and turn his monitor on. I think if you get a toddlers bed, your daughter will be just fine. It just boils down to what you are comfortable with. Good Luck.

1 mom found this helpful
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F.F.

answers from Dallas on

Hi S.,

My goodness! I know what you mean, baby's are expensive! I don't know about the toddler bed for a 1 year old, but I , myself have purchased a jog stroller on CraigsList. Used of course, but in amazing condition. That might be an idea, if your "little" is too young yet for a toddler bed. It would be a less expensive way to go for the next 4-5 months or so.

Goodluck,
F.

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K.T.

answers from Dallas on

Only you know if your daughter is ready. I know my first child (a girl) was always big for her age and out grew her crib a little after her first birthday and we ended up getting a beautiful full size bed passed down to us and so we put her in that and she loved it and has been in it ever since (she's 4 now).

Our son on the other hand just turned 1 at the end of September and he is no where near ready. I've thought about it because my cousin just had a baby and is really needing a crib. I lent her our pack and play and have thought about buying a 4 in 1 crib or whatever that changes but ...like you...thats extra money and I'm not sure I want to do that.

Good luck~!

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A.S.

answers from Dallas on

I moved my kids over into a toddler bed about the age of one. There was really no problem. My youngest used to sleeep walk so we just put up a baby gate so she couldn't leave the room and get hurt or get in to anything. As far as the furniture goes there are lots of great places to go get nice furniture at a good price. One place I know of is furniturebuzz.com they have great stuff at really good prices. Hope this helped.

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J.G.

answers from Dallas on

My son started climbing out of his crib right after he turned one. We tried going to the toddler bed, but he wouldn't stay in it and didn't seem to feel comfortable with how open it was. We ended up staying with the crib (with a crib tent so he couldn't climb out) until he was about 2 1/2. Then we went to the toddler bed and he did pretty well. Every child is different, but I feel that 1 is probably a little too young.

Check craigslist for some great deals though! I know we sold his crib through there. Or look at a convertible one, at least then you don't lose your investment.

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B.L.

answers from Beaumont on

We converted our daughter's crib into a bed right before she turned one and never had a problem with it. I put pillows on the egde in the beginning for her to get used to it being open (you can also use a swimming pool "noodle" under the sheet) and now I don't even do that. She loves being in a "big girl" bed, and if she ever gets up a night she comes straight to our room. She even crawls into her bed when she's ready for a nap!
I'm sure your daughter will do fine! I was the same way about Bailey's nursery...it's hard work to make a room perfect! : )
Best of luck!

B.
[email protected]____.com
www.themomteam.com/bleboeuf

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L.S.

answers from College Station on

I would not try a 1 year old in a toddler bed. You will probably end up getting up several times every night because she fell off the bed. That is what we experienced with my first child at age 2. I was having another baby so we were trying to get her used to being in a toddler bed so we took off the side rail of her crib and lowered it. If you do choose to get a toddler bed, get one with rails on both sides so she won't fall out. If your child is very active at all, she will probably climb out several times a night until she gets used to it.

My 2 year old is still in a crib and is not climbing out yet, so we are waiting until she is almost 3 before transitioning her to a regular bed. Each child is different, so do what you think is right for your child.

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L.R.

answers from Dallas on

I have to think that just like adults ... when a baby is ready for one thing or another depends entierly upon their level of maturity and personal perferences.

We have a 14 month old and another baby due in December. We were hoping to transition her to a twin bed (we have the mattress on a no slip surface on the floor so she can get in and out on her own and go about her day at will) unfortunatly, whe just won't sleep on the mattress yet... she is very excited about it and will wallow around a bit, but even if she is completely asleep and you put her on it she wakes up and immediatly begins crawling around and squeeling with delight... cute, but not the sleep we were hoping for. In any case we are going to continue to allow her to try it until she is ready to actually sleep in it... in the interim her crib is still her crib and new baby will stay in our room in an arms reach co-sleeper...

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B.

answers from Houston on

We put my daughter into a toddler bed when she was 13 months because we needed the crib for her sister. I think it worked out great and we're about to put her sister into a toddler bed at 18 months because she wants one like her sister. If you're worried about them getting up at night, just put a baby gate in their doorway at night.

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D.S.

answers from Dallas on

yes, she'll be climbing out soon anyway.........I dont think your friend is a very good friend for putting this time limit on you so fast. they could put their newborn in a basinet for a few weeks/months until you can find what you need. good luck.. If it were me.....I'd tell them that your baby is not READY & niether are you!

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S.D.

answers from Dallas on

You won't know until you try...
My daughter started sleeping in a toddler bed at 14 months, and my son started sleeping in one at about 20 months. I second the baby gate. As long as everything is baby-proofed in their room, and you think the child is ready, give it a whirl!

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A.J.

answers from Austin on

I'm sorry to hear about your sitiation. I have a 16 months old and i'm still not ready to put her in a toddler bed yet. Your daughter is too young to go into a toddler bed.I would get a crib that converts into a toddler bed. You would be worry if she would fall out. A other thing you can do is put the matters on the ground and see how she dose and the put her in the toddler bed. As a daycare worker we put mats on the ground for transition from the crib. it works. i hope this helps.

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J.C.

answers from Dallas on

We have a convertible crib from www.babyenvy.com. Its very pretty. It converts from a crib to a toddler bed and then to a full size bed. I want to say it was under $400. Make sure you buy the rails to convert to a full size bed at the same time. I know some people that didn't and then years later when they were ready to convert it, they couldn't find them! We just bought everything and stuck the extra parts in her closet.

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L.D.

answers from San Antonio on

Personally, I would not put a child that young in a bed, especially if she is curious and fearless. You may create a whole set of problems for yourself as well as unnecessary stress. I needed a second crib for awhile and purchased one from Craigslist in very decent condition for $50 and got the mattress in Walmart for $35. Good Luck!

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D.O.

answers from Dallas on

I wish I still had my convertible cribs for you! I second the recommendation to look on craigslist. I sold one of the cribs on craigslist and the other at a garage sale. You can find some very nice cribs there on occasion. My 2 1/2 year old boy is still in his crib with no indication that he is ready to move anytime soon. :)

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D.S.

answers from Houston on

My suggestion would be to keep your precious baby girl in a crib. Two years of age is about the mature age for a toddler bed. Then move her to a twin bed at
3 - 3 1/2. This is what we did with our first born. Sometimes twin beds can be too high off the ground and you should be careful of that because if the toddler falls off the bed, it's can be a long way down. This happened to my daughter and she ended up with a spranged wrist. We had the headboard against the wall with both sides open and she was playing on the bed and fell off. Hindsight...I should have put the bed in the corner so at least one side was against the wall...just until she got use to the openess. These are just a few things to think about.

After my twins were born (2nd pregnancy) and they spent two years in a crib, we went straight to twin beds. Actually, they are bunk beds, but we don't have them stacked (no way). They are low to the ground and we put one side against the wall and no one has fallen off.

I highly suggest keeping your one year old in a crib. Look on craigslist.com for a used crib. If it's only for one more year or less, I think blessings can still be counted!

I hope the best for you and your precious family!

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L.T.

answers from Houston on

Be thankful!!!!! Be thankful to your good friends and just give the furniture back in a timely manner. Don't lose your friends over something as small as borrowing baby furniture because good friends are hard to come by...and send a nice thank you note too.

We moved our little girl to her toddler bed a little after her 2nd bday. You still have plenty of time to get good use out of another crib....if you're having $$ issues, please email me privately. Hope that helps!! ;)

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V.B.

answers from Houston on

I would say if you can find a convertible crib, that might be your best bet. Just make sure if it is used that you check to be sure it meets current safety standards. We bought one that converts to a toddler bed and then to a twin bed, but I am pregnant with #2 and I think we're just going to switch our daughter to a twin bed with rails and keep the nursery furniture for the new baby. However, my daughter is 22 months old, so I'm not quite as concerned about switching her.

Best of luck. I know I'm a little nervous about making the switch to a "big girl bed". I hope you find what works best for you.

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M.D.

answers from Dallas on

My first was 2-1/2 and my 22 month old is still in her crib, with no signs of moving anytime soon. I am a believer in leaving them in it until you absolutely must move them. See if you can find a crib at a resale shop or try Craigslist. As for a toddler bed, I think its a step you can skip. We bought one when we moved my first and she used it for a few months and then needed a twin bed. I will go straight to a twin bed with my next one. As a previous poster said- you just wont know until you try. Good Luck!

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A.G.

answers from Dallas on

My kids were in toddler beds at that age. It worked out just fine. Actually, my daughter was in a twin size. We put it against the wall and bought rails. We also lowered the bed using a bunko. It is used instead of a box-spring.

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B.T.

answers from Dallas on

S.,

My daughter was not even 1 1/2 years old when she started to try crawling out of her crib. She was way too young to stay in a toddler bed. My fear was her having too much freedom and possibly hurting herself by running around and playing in her room when she wasn't sleeping. My husband and I decided to let her sleep in her pack-n-play. It works great! Sure, it's not the prettiest addition to her cute room, but we know she is safe. I would consider going this route before spending a lot of money on another crib. It is both safe and affordable. Your little one is way too young to be in a bed. Good luck!

B.

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M.B.

answers from Houston on

You could get a convertible crib. We have one that starts as a crib, converts to a toddler bed, then to a full size bed. They do offer some that only convert to a toddler bed. If your one year old is anything like my one year old, I wouldn't suggest a toddler bed just yet. Although my little one is fearless, as yours is, we have made it so he cannot climb out of his crib. We put the mattress all the way at the lowest setting (where it should be for the toddler bed), that way he can not even see over the top of the rails. If my son had a toddler bed, he would be out and running around his room in the middle of the night and that is just not my idea of safety at this point.

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J.M.

answers from Dallas on

S.~

I am so happy that you posted this comment!! We are actually in the process of debating whether or not to move our 14 month old to a big girl bed...we are thinking early January to make room for our new baby in February. Our Pedi keeps reassuring us that it is okay to move her this young. Personally, it makes me a little nervous too because our little girl is fearless. However, to buy a new crib for just a couple months is really not the best way for our budget. The mattress on the floor is a great idea or a toddler bed that is low to the ground. This is what we are going to try...best of luck!

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A.P.

answers from Houston on

One is way too young for a toddler bed. They really need to be restricted from nocturnal jaunts until around 2 years old. We had a cot bed (it's bigger than a normal crib and converts to a toddler bed) and took off the sides when my daughter was just under 2 years old, really because she was starting to climb out of the crib and we were afraid of her falling on her head. That would be the only reason I would do the same with my son, who is 1 now (October 11). The thing is, they are still not really that coordinated and there could be any number of nighttime accidents (primarily falling out of bed, but could include bashing into things too). Plus be warned that whenever you put her into a toddler bed, your nights will suddenly not be your own again. Every single toddler I've known has taken their newfound freedom as a great opportunity to get up and go to Mommy and Daddy ALL NIGHT LONG. Keep them behind bars for as long as you can. Don't rush them into growing up.

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S.D.

answers from Austin on

I am a first time mom myself and we have a little girl turning 2 next week. I am expecting our second baby in February so we are going to transition her to an actual full size bed next week. I would have kept her in the crib for another year. Some moms I know switch their kids to beds at two, some at three. I guess it depends on the child and if they will stay in a bed. I am a little worried about my baby getting out of bed, but I guess we will just have to train her. If you want to keep your little girl in a crib for a little longer, you can always find good deals on craigs list.

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J.C.

answers from Houston on

I think that your girl is a little young for a toddler bed. However, if you have a play pen, or a pack and play that you use sometimes, that would be ok in the meantime until your daughter reaches about 2 years old.
My son would wake frequently at night and the only thing that helped is when I would put him in his playpen. He preferred that. I was sure to keep the toys out, the blankets out and put just him in it so he wouldn't strangle or climb on things.

Good luck. I know that you're in a spot, but it's going to work out.
Julie

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B.R.

answers from Longview on

Have you considered a crib that converts to a toddler bed? We did that with my nephew, and it worked great. Hope this helps!

-B.

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B.F.

answers from Dallas on

In my opinion I don't think I one year old is typically ready for a toddler bed. Many 2 year olds have a hard time with the transition. I would suggest looking on http://dallas.craigslist.com for a decent crib that someone is selling. When my son was born we needed a crib for him because my daughter still sleeps in a crib. I found a very nice crib for $40. I had to get a mattress, but I would probably do that anyway.

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S.H.

answers from Houston on

The thing that always worked best for us and made everyone happy was a large parent bed with the youngest child in it and moving to a toddler type bed next to me when ready and finally to a different bedroom.
Spending all that money and trouble when they are too young to care, and when they mostly want to be close to someone didn't make sense to me. They definitely will care when they reach pre-teen years what their room is like, and you can make it perfect then.

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S.E.

answers from Austin on

Hey S.,
I think when to switch really depends upon the child. My sister had to switch her son to a "big kid bed" at about 14 months because he was already a climber. We recently transitioned our 2 year old son to a twin bed with rails to prepare for his little brother and I am really regretting doing so. He used to sleep through the night but now about every 3rd night he wakes up around 2 and we can't get him back to sleep for at least an hour. Don't let me scare you because I think a lot of this has to do with his age and the new baby. My point is I wish I had just bought a 2nd crib and kept my oldest in his for as long as possible. If you think Emma will wander, maybe you should invest in a crib. Even if she is only in hers for another year, that is a year of not worrying about whether she is exploring the house at night. Good luck with your decision!
Sherri

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A.K.

answers from Dallas on

I would recommend trying Craig's List for a bed. She is too young now, however my son started crawling out of his crib when he was 18 months old so we put him in a full size bed. I would hate to spend a lot of money on a crib at this point because you never know how long it will last. My sisters kids were in their cribs until they were almost 3, so kids are all different. Good luck and happy crib hunting!

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A.C.

answers from Dallas on

I work in the furniture department at Babies R Us and STRONGLY reccomend the convertable cribs! (Also called Lifetime or Lifestyle, depending on the company that makes it). I honestly think it's the ONLY way to go! They're made of wood and don't take much at all to put together, and all you need is an allen wrench (included) to take off one side to make it a daybed or toddler bed with a rail. Later when you need a full (not twin, but full) size bed, you remove the 2 short sides and use the 2 big sides for a headboard/footboard. Definately the most economic way to go in the long run. ($300 average price if bought new at a store, for a bed that you'll keep until they move out). You can find them on craigslist.org as well, for a lot less, here and there.

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C.M.

answers from Houston on

This may be very different from what others think but here is my experience - I wouldn't buy a toddler bed at all. I would consider putting your 1yr old in the pack 'n play for a few months and then move her into a twin bed with railings (or a cute day bed flipped around, which is what we did). I think toddler beds are kind of a waste of money but I have really tall children so that is my reasoning. If you are planning on having more kids in the near future, then buy another crib that you can use for them, and then transition your daughter into a twin when she is older.

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M.S.

answers from San Antonio on

My son went in one at 18 months and did fine, 1 is a little young but you could always try. OR you could go onto craigslist or yahoo groups yard sale and see if somone has one cheap you could buy for the rest of the time she'll need to be in it.

Good luck,
M.

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B.W.

answers from Dallas on

My first climbed out of the crib and tumbled to the floor while I was holding his new sister across the room - he was 14 months old........after that there was no holding him back........he was put in a toddler bed and did great. I think he would have done fine earlier as well.......hope this helps.......now he is 15 and I can't get him out of bed...lol

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H.B.

answers from Austin on

S.,
Both of my girls were in twin-size beds by the time they were 13 months old. I have friends that have waited until their kids are well over 2-years-old, and sometimes it can be a harder situation because of how attached they've become to the crib. If you're worried about her "exploring", there are a couple of options. You can put a babygate in her doorway so she can still call for you, but she can't walk around. You can turn her doorknob so that it locks from the outside and you can "lock" her in. I know that that's extreme, but I've had several friends that have had to do that because their kids would start wandering around in the middle of the night and they were worried about the stairs. I hope this helps and I wish you the best of luck!!
~H.~

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L.N.

answers from Dallas on

We moved our son to a queen sized bed (we had an extra from a former guest room) when he was one year old (to make room for his brother). We put the box spring/mattress on the floor right up against the wall. We then used a railing on the open side of the bed. It was big enough that he couldn't fall out as easily as a twin as he would have more room to move around. He did fine it it. Actually, most nights he ended up sleeping on the floor with his blanket and woobie which was fine for him. If we tried to move him back to his bed, he moved right back to the floor. Anyways, each child is different. You never know how kids will react unless you try. Sometimes, new things for kids are harder on the parents than the kids as we, as parents, don't want our kids to grow up too fast. You might be surprised at how well your child does. Good luck.

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K.H.

answers from San Antonio on

Our oldest daughter slept in her crib until she was 2 years and 10 months old -- even after our second baby was born. Our baby, now 20 months, is still happily sleeping in her crib. I think it's much easier for the parents to have their baby safely sleeping in a crib as long as possible. You will need a crib for your new baby, so why not buy one now and get the most use out of it as possible? By the way, if Emma is still using the crib when your baby is born, you can use a bassinet for baby (borrow one from a friend again -- you only need it for 3 months or so) until Emma is ready for her big girl bed. If she's fearless, wandering around the house at night isn't a good idea. Not to mention, she probably feels very snug and secure in a crib.

I bet you can find a crib that matches just fine. The finish is all that matters, if you care about matching. Doesn't have to be perfect, just cute and comfy. Good luck!

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J.R.

answers from San Antonio on

Both my children have toddler beds that were once cribs...my son's is a darker wood and my daughter's is painted white...they were both purchased at Walmart for less than $200.00 dollars. No, I don't think your 1 yr. old is ready for a toddler bed.

Hope this helps,
J.

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K.K.

answers from Dallas on

My two were in a full sized bed by 18 months. Both have done great. We do not use a box spring just a flat board as the foundation on the frame and that way it is closer to the floor.

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N.M.

answers from Houston on

One is pretty young to put in a toddler bed. Aside from the fact that she could probably still get pretty lost in a big bed, it just isn't practical. To save money, do you have a portacrib or pack and play that she can sleep in? Also, check out craigslist.com or garage sales. Good luck!

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