Are you deciding on moving your toddler from a crib to a big-kid bed? We understand that it’s an exciting (and anxious) transition for you as well as your little one. The most common debate among first-time parents is the toddler bed vs twin bed one.
If you too are confused between a toddler bed or twin bed, this article will help you understand the differences and assess the better choice for your child.
And, for the uninitiated, no — a twin bed is not the same as a toddler bed. It’s higher, costlier, has the dimensions of a regular bed, and therefore has more space.
What is a toddler bed?
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A toddler bed is a special small bed for toddlers. This type of bed is designed to be lower to the ground so that it facilitates easy entry and exit for your child. Such a kid’s bed comes with a railing for further safety.
The size of a typical toddler bed ranges from 70 centimeters (28 in) x 140 centimeters (55 in) to 78 centimeters (31 in) x 180 centimeters (71 in). These beds are suitable for kids who are more than 18 months to 3 years of age.
Pro tip: Invest in a crib that would convert into a toddler bed as the child grows. Such a crib-cum-toddler bed comes with three height variations and is sturdy as well as safe. Your child’s transition from a crib to a toddler bed will be easier.
What is a twin bed?
A twin bed is a single bed for your child. These beds do not have any type of railings. The twin beds are practical and usable for a longer period of time.
The size of a typical twin bed is 99 centimeters (39 in) x 190.5 centimeters (75 in). It’s the same as the size of a single bed. The ideal age for a toddler to move to a twin bed is 4 years and above.
Pros of a toddler bed
- Boon for a small space and room. Since a toddler bed is the same size as your baby’s crib (and smaller than a twin bed), it doesn’t require any extra space. Needless to say, it’s a good choice for a smallish nursery.
- It provides more room for playing. There’s no requirement for you to alter your nursery design in order to accommodate a toddler bed. You can place the small bed in the exact spot as the crib and still have a good amount of space for your child to play around.
- The size of the mattress is the same as your crib mattress. And that doesn’t just save you money but also unnecessary hassles of finding the right mattress for your toddler bed. You can use the same crib mattress until your child is ready to move to a bigger bed.
- A toddler bed is safer. It comes with built-in guard rails. Therefore, there’s no need to buy separate rails for the safety of your child. Plus, it’s lower to the ground.
- Available in many fun choices. You and your child have so many options when it comes to choosing a toddler bed. From princess beds, car beds, Frozen-themed beds — there are exciting choices.
Cons of a toddler bed
- Limited time usage. Your child is bound to outgrow the toddler bed soon. Therefore making it necessary for you to buy a bigger bed at some point. You will be spending extra money in the long run. Parents usually let their kids be in a toddler bed until 3 to 4 years of age.
- It requires one more transition. Once your child outgrows a toddler bed, you’ll again face the issue of whether to opt for a twin bed or a regular one.
Pros of a twin bed
- Long-lasting and the less expensive choice in the long run. Your child will be able to fit in a twin bed for many years to come. Needless to say, you’ll save money by going straight to a twin bed instead of a toddler bed.
- An adult can fit in too. Love the storytime sessions, and the snuggles, in bed? Who doesn’t! On a twin bed, you too can fit in.
- Extra comfort. Extra space means your child can move around and get more comfortable. You can use the added space to keep stuffed animals on the bed.
- One less transition. Moving from a crib straight to a twin bed will save you and your child the hassle of one more transition. Adjusting to sudden changes can be hard for your little one.
- Available in different styles. You can find twin beds in loft-style (making more space in the room), as bunk beds, or in trundle style.
- Ideal for two kids. If you have two small children or twins, investing in two twin beds is a good idea. That would also provide them with a sense of space and comfort. And, a cohesive look to the room.
Cons of a twin bed
- Absence of guard rails. A twin bed doesn’t come with rails. Depending on your child’s age, you may have to invest in inexpensive rails for a short period. Want a useful tip? Use a pool noodle under the sheet. It has just enough height to keep your little one from rolling out of bed.
- It needs more space in the room. A twin bed has a larger frame than the toddler bed. If the room has limited square footage, this can be an issue.
- You’ll have to buy new mattresses and sheets. The crib mattress and crib sheets don’t fit. Be prepared to spend more money on new bedding and mattresses.
Tips to make your child’s crib-to-bed transition smooth
Whether you choose a toddler or twin bed, it’s best to keep a few things in mind in order to make your child’s transition easy and safe.
- The bed must have side rails to prevent your child from falling off the bed.
- Ensure that the mattress fits snugly into the bed.
- Make sure there are no slats in the headboard or footboard in which little fingers can be trapped and possibly injured.
- Prepare your child about the transition in a positive way to help him or her feel more secure with the change.
- Do not push your child towards the transition, let them slowly adapt.
- In case you’re opting for a twin bed, place a mattress on the floor and let your child get used to a regular-sized bed.
- Stay for a few minutes extra in the room after tucking in your child for the first couple of nights.
- Keep the bedtime routine consistent.
- Understand that every child will not respond in the exact same way to the shift from a crib to a bed.
So, what’s your final verdict regarding a toddler bed vs twin? Whatever decision you take, always keep the child’s safety, security, and comfort in mind. Remember that not every child develops at the same time as others. They grow at their own pace.
You know your child better than anyone else. Observe and understand their requirements. Weigh tall the possibilities and challenges before choosing the best bed for your child.