A toddler bed is necessary when your baby has grown too big for a cot. The purpose a toddler bed is to take your baby through the time starting from when they are too big for a cot yet too small for a regular bed. Some cots are designed to convert easily into a cot bed when the time is right, often through the use of an additional kit comprising of side rails.
The ideal time to move your baby out of their cot and into a toddler bed is when they are aged between 18 and 40 months. By this stage they may have outgrown the cot or be able to climb out of it.
With your toddler typically spending between 10 and 13 hours per day sleeping it’s essential to ensure that their bed is safe and secure. Following the tips below will ensure maximum safety and security so that you ALL get a good night’s sleep.
- Choose a bed that is low to the ground in order to minimise the risk of injury if your toddler falls. Adjustable guard rails are available which fit between the bed base and mattress to Prevent Falls, converting a bed into a form of cot with low sides.
- Choose the location of your toddler’s bed with care. Keep away from extremes of temperature such as windows, doors or radiators and strangling hazards such as blind cords. Make sure that your toddler cannot become trapped between the side of the bed and the wall.
- Ensure the bed is sturdy and all screws and joints are secure, especially if you’ve assembled it yourself.
- If you’ve chosen to use a family heirloom, rather than a new/modern cot, ensure that none of the surfaces are painted with old lead-based paint. Many toddlers still chew surfaces and lead is poisonous. If in doubt, you may want to re-paint the cot.
- Place something soft around the bed such as a spare quilt or soft rug should your toddler fall out of bed.
- Modern mattresses should all be fire retardant but always check. In addition, choose natural fibres such as cotton and wool for bedding as this dissipates heat and perspiration better.
- If you are using bedding or pillows filled with feathers, check them frequently to ensure that the feathers cannot escape as they can pose a possible Choking Hazard.
- If your toddler’s bedding has been washed in strongly scented washing powder or fabric conditioner, make sure it’s been well aired first. Chemical residues and strong perfumes can exacerbate asthma and produce Allergic Reactions in some children.
- If you are using a video or voice alarm, ensure that it is placed well out of reach of your toddler and that all electrical wires are secured or hidden.
- It’s desirable to leave windows open at times for ventilation, but make certain that cats and dogs can’t enter the room and get access to the bed. If you have a cat that’s free to wander, always check that ‘Moggie’ is not camping under the covers.