Children grow at such a fast rate; one minute they are babies in a bassinet and the next they are walking. As children get older, they get bigger and taller and need beds to fit their size. With all the different sizes and styles of beds many parents remain unsure of what to choose. Below I have included a simple guideline as to what size of beds children need as they get older.
Ages 0-18 months- At this age because babies are so small many parents are tempted to share their bed with the infants, but doing so increases the infant’s risk of SIDS (Sudden infant death syndrome.) Infants should sleep in a safe bassinet or crib. It is recommended for infants to be placed on their backs while sleeping. Blankets and pillows should not be placed in the crib or bassinet with the baby as these pose a suffocation hazards and can also cause the infant to overheat. Be sure not overdress the baby and to keep room temperature at 68-72 degrees Fahrenheit.
When it comes to choosing between crib or bassinet it really boils down to preference. Many parents keep their infants in a bassinet until about 3 months and then make the transition to crib. A crib is much fuller and offers the baby much room. Many cribs transform into toddler beds that can be used, so the crib is one piece of furniture that grows with the child. A bassinet is smaller and more intimate, and because of its weight limit can only be used for up to 3 months. It might seem odd to see such a tiny baby in a monstrous crib, and so parents might get the urge to stuff blankets and pillows inside the crib to make it fuller, more comfortable but this should not be done, as doing so can cause harm to the baby in the form of suffocation.
If your baby can sit up in her bassinet (even if she is not yet 3 months) it would be a good idea to transition her.
Some parents by the bassinet and use it for 3 months and then purchase a crib.
The baby’s crib mattress can be used in their toddler years for their toddler bed.
Ages-1 ½ -5- Somewhere between 1 and a half and 3 and a half children will be ready to transition into a toddler bed. Every child is different and will transition at their own pace. If your child is attempting to climb out of her crib then it is probably time to make the transition. Toddler beds can be used up to 5 years of age. Parents should look to their children for signs of them outgrowing their crib.
Toddler beds are so exciting to go shopping for because it is the child’s first bed and they often come in so many fun designs. Toddler beds are pretty petite and are low to the ground. There are many character themed toddler beds available for both boys and girls. Examples of character themed beds include Disney’s Princess theme bed, Disney’s Ariel, Disney’s Cars and Thomas and Friends. There is even a Dora themed bed, and beds shaped like cars, trucks, and fire engines. If you do not want any theme for the toddler bed, non theme beds made of wood or plastic are available.
Toddler beds usually have what look like guard rails on the side of the bed, but these are not for protecting the kids from falling out of the bed. Actual guard rails can be purchased and placed on to the bed. Since toddler beds are low to the ground it will be easy for them to climb in and out of. Toddler beds are essential for children who are starting to potty train because they can easily get up in the middle of the night if they do need to use the bathroom. Note that most toddler beds do not come with the mattress so it would have to be bought separately. Parents can use the crib mattress (if in good condition) to place inside of the toddler bed.
Ages- 5+ – The twin bed is great for children aged 5 and up
Bunk Beds/Loft Beds- are a fun option for older kids. Bunk beds are actually two beds attached to each other, one on top the other on the bottom. Bunk beds are generally recommended for children 6 and up. Parents should use their best judgment to decide if their children are ready for bunk beds, since the top bunk is up really high and a fall from there could cause injury
Manufactures are getting very creative with their bed designs; there are beds out there that also alternate as a play area. There are beds for girls that resemble a princess castle and beds for boys that resemble a knight castle. There are even beds equipped with tents and slides!
These beds can be pretty pricy. If you can’t afford to go all out then settle for the traditional twin bed which you can purchase at some places for a little under $200.