Moving a toddler to their first, proper bed can have its challenges…but have we got exciting news for you! Read on to find out more about our latest bed that won’t turn out to be as short-lived a piece of furniture as a baby cot is.
We’ve have many customers who come to us asking for advice on a first “large” bed for a toddler – whether it’s because their child is getting too big for their cot or there’s another sibling on the way.
Quite rightly parents fear their little one might be anxious about moving into a much larger single bed or are concerned about the risk of their youngster falling out of their bed during the night.
There can also be question marks about costs – especially if you decide go down the route of buying a “toddler bed” as an interim solution before moving to a full size single bed.
We believe, either way, the most important factors to consider when easing the transition from cot to full size single bed are good quality and safety when it comes to choosing the right bed and mattress. Don’t compromise with a half way house.
Think about how much time a child spends in bed and how important a good night’s sleep is for their development. Investing in a good bed and mattress up front is essential.
The main benefit of toddler bed as an interim solution is that it will appear less daunting to a child and will help your child feel safe and secure. They are smaller than a single bed and they tend to incorporate guard rails in some form or other that help prevent the child rolling or falling out of bed.
If your child is more confident then we tend to advise moving your child straight into a single bed. In our experience with some careful preparation, you should be able to overcome any anxiety issues and trepidation and actually make the whole move to a big bed a fun and exciting experience.
First Single Beds
If you are currently deliberating whether to move your child into their first proper bed, then here are some points worth considering before you make your final decision.
- Safety – Some parents opt for bed guards that can be fitted to the sides of the single bed frame. These come in many shapes and sizes but the most important thing is to check that the rails can be fitted securely to the bed. It is therefore important to a strong and robust bed. Side rails shouldn’t compromise the comfort of the bed or mattress. Some designs require the rail to be secured by running parts underneath the mattress. There should be no damage to the bed when fitting or securing safety guards to the bed frame. Sometimes a row of pillows down the side of the bed or simply having an underbed trundle bed pulled out alongside is enough for a toddler to feel safe and snug.
- Height The height of single beds can vary and so-called divans (a bed consisting of a base and mattress but no footboard or headboard. tend to be higher. It’s wise to select a bed that is not too high off the ground, so that in the event of a tumble the child doesn’t have very far to go. We advise opting for a single bed that is raised off the ground just enough to allow an underbed trundle to slide underneath, as this will also extend the use of the bed in the future.
- Timing What else is going on in your little one’s life? Planning a move into a regular bed is exciting but can also cause stress if not discussed and carefully arranged in advance. Allow six weeks or so to get them accustomed to a new bed or room before introducing any other major changes. Six weeks is generally enough time to get them used to a new environment.
- Make it exciting! Could they get involved with the selection of their new bed? Perhaps they’re moving into a different room in the house or their existing bedroom is having a refresh? Whatever the case might be, make sure your are involving your child along the way and communicating any changes to them, explaining any unknowns and offering reassurance. You’ll be surprised at just how much they understand and also how quickly they are able to adapt.
- Familiarity Although bedding for toddler beds is sized smaller than duvet sets for single beds, if your toddler is reticent about changing beds, creating some kind of consistency between the new bed and their old one is key. Familiar bedding and blankets can really help with this adjustment and will offer comfort and reassurance for their first few weeks in new surroundings.
- Routine Try to keep their bedtime routine as similar as possible, so that your child can cope more easily with the switch.
- Be prepared! A few sleepless nights are inevitable during a changeover phase. Something that helps some parents enormously is the convenience of being able to roll out a trundle bed from under their child’s bed. A trundle bed provides the perfect solution for a parent needing to sleep in the same room at any point in time. It’s a well-known fact that when a child is uneasy they just want a parent. Being nearby can make a worried child feel more secure and more likely to sleep through the night.
Making the all-important, which First Bed decision?
The simple answer is that there are no golden rules.
It is as much about design preference as it is about functionality and longevity. This is also the perfect time to invest in a decent mattress too – and since it is going on a single size bed it should serve its purpose for a good few years to come without having to change it.
You may also have some ideas about getting maximum use out of the bed later. Why waste all that space under the bed? Choose a bed where you have the option to add an underbed trundle for overnight guests. If the extra bed is not required then you can also use it as a massive storage drawer for toys or bedding. Many parents find having the sleepover trundle bed from the outset useful as it provides somewhere to bunker down when a child is ill or needs comforting.
So we’ve been thinking… what if your toddler could grow with their bed?
The designers at Little Folks Furniture have been busily crafting a First Bed that’s safe, secure, made of solid hardwood, and featuring built in safety guard rails. It’s not too high off the ground, and is offered with or without a storage and sleepover trundle. And the best bit? Well, when the time comes, it cleverly converts to a bunk bed – it simply becomes the top bunk when the bottom bunk and ladder are added!
So without further ado, let’s introduce you to our brand new First Bed to Bunk Bed by Little Folks Furniture
You only need to invest once, buying a Bunk Bed for a lifetime, which starts off as a First Bed with built-in guard rails for as long as it is required. Better value, better quality, and better for the environment – no fast furniture adding to landfill over here!
Here are the stages of this clever bed:
Stage One: First Bed. Recommended age: Toddler+
This full size single bed is the perfect height for toddlers. It is close to the ground, so it is easy for youngsters to climb in and out plus there are built-in safety guard rails to prevent your child falling out of bed.
If extra space is required, this bed also comes with an Underbed Trundle. This trundle rolls easily out and in (thanks to hidden castors) to provide an extra bed. A solid bottom means it is the perfect sleepover solution. And if an extra bed for overnight guests is not required, then you can also use it as a massive storage drawer for toys or bedding.
Stage Two: Single bed. Recommended age: 3-6
When your child feels ready for the next stage, then it is time to convert the first bed into a single bed. This is a very straight forward swap job in terms of assembly. It simply involves removing the safety rail and swapping a head board for a foot board.
Stage Three: Bunk Bed. Recommended age: 6+
Not only are bunk beds the most practical way to accommodate room sharing and sleepovers, they’re also every child’s dream. An ideal solution for smaller spaces too. Pop the same trundle underneath the bottom bed for additional storage or sleepovers! The solid, ready assembled, lean-to ladder can be positioned at either end of the bed and features wide treads to make it easier to climb.
Stage Four: 2 x Singles Beds for all ages
This stage is ideal for any child, but especially older children or young teens who may want their own bedrooms once the sharing phase is over. Simply dismantle the bunk bed into 2 matching single beds. These twin, full-size, single beds are also perfect for the guest room, so they really do serve a lifetime of usage! Add an additional trundle bed, if extra space is required.
And there you have it… our very first (and rather clever, even if we do say so ourselves), 4-in-1 combo First Bed to Bunk Bed including Underbed Trundle. Four different bed products all in one, designed to grow with your child for life. No extra fittings needed along the way, simply lots of options all rolled into one!