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.