When your little one shows signs of growing out of his crib, you may look for another bed alternative that will provide him with a comfortable and safe sleep. A toddler bed is one option to consider because these small beds often serve well to transition a young child from the confines of a crib to the greater freedoms of a bed. Consider the age of your child as you determine whether a toddler bed fits your child's needs.
Although the age of a toddler is somewhat subjective, the Consumer Product Safety Commission has determined the minimum recommended age for a child using a toddler bed. According to the CPSC, a child must be at least 15 months old to use a toddler bed safely, as presented in "Safety Standard for Toddler Beds," published in the Federal Register.
Once your toddler moves to a toddler bed, you'll have a variety of new safety issues to resolve to keep your little one safe. First, your toddler will have the freedom to roam her bedroom, potentially without supervision. For this reason, it's imperative that you childproof this space carefully to ensure that your child doesn't get into trouble, warns the Baby Sleep Site. Cover outlets and cords, put tiny objects out of reach, and consider placing a gate at the doorway to contain your child and prevent her from wandering elsewhere in the house.
To ensure a successful transition, wait until you are sure your child is ready to move out of the crib, cautions pediatric nurse Barb Warner, with the St. Louis Children's Hospital. The transition typically leads to some amount of sleep disturbances for a child, so if your toddler still sleeps well in his crib, there's no urgency to move him. If your toddler is climbing out of the crib with the mattress in the lowest position, it's best to move him to avoid injuries. Avoid coinciding a crib-to-bed transition with the birth of a new baby. Place the toddler bed in the same spot the crib used to be and place familiar bedding in the toddler bed to make it cozy and comfortable for your youngster.
Outgrowing the Bed
By the time your child reaches 50 pounds, it's time to move her out of the toddler bed, advises the CPSC. You'll know that your youngster is outgrowing her bed because when she stretches out in it, she doesn't have a lot of extra room for moving around. Bed options after a toddler bed include a single or a double bed for your child.