Toddler beds are temporary. Though they won't be in use very long, they're meant as transition items for young children who are too big for a crib and too small for a more traditional bed. Many parents begin to think about transitioning children from a toddler bed to a "big kid" bed when they're around three years old.
When Is It Time for a New Bed?
When a three year old appears to outgrow a toddler bed, it's time for a more permanent option. Most toddler beds have weight and height limits. Their mattresses are the same length and width as a crib, but most toddler beds aren't built to withstand more than 50 pounds. If a child can't stretch out comfortably while laying down in bed, it's time for a bigger model. The type and size of the bed depends on several factors, including room size. Other factors to consider are if the bed itself will transition to a teen's bed and or if it will eventually become a bed for an adult guest room.
Twin Size Bed
Many parents move transitioning toddlers into a twin or "single size" bed after their children outgrow toddler beds. A twin is the perfect size for a three year old and can take them into their teens. A standard twin is 38 inches wide and 75 inches long. Many bunk beds are twin-size, although it's probably best to wait a few years before putting your child in the top bunk. Twins are a good option for a smaller bedroom.
A full-sized or "double" bed is another option for a three year old. Between 74 and 75 inches, full beds are the same length as a twin, but wider at 54 inches. For children who like to snuggle with parents before sleeping, the full is a comfortable option. A teen can spread out in a full-size bed, and it perfectly transitions to a guest bed once children's have flown the coop. A full-size bed works well in bigger rooms.
As full and twin beds are higher off the ground than toddler beds, safety rails are a good idea until parents are confident kids can sleep without falling out of the bed. Keeping one side of the bed against the wall also helps keep a toddler from rolling off the edge of the bed.
Look at a variety of bed sizes and options to choose the best bed for your child, their room and whether or not you will be using the bed well into the future.
Deb Ng is a freelance writer and published author with over 17 years of experience in creating content for the web. Prior to her freelance career, she worked for over 12 years in traditional (print) publishing. In her spare time, Deb is an avid gardener who loves nothing more than bringing flowers and vegetables to life. She doesn't have as much time to spend outside as she'd like, however, because she's also assisting her husband with the DIY projects needed to complete their family home. See Deb's gardening and home improvement articles at LoveToKnow, Wisegeek, and Alloy.