Night time is bliss. Or, that’s how it ideally should be. We all deserve a comfortable night of sleep, and beds play a crucial role in that. The same is true for our precious little babies. But buying a baby bed could be a nightmare – largely because you cannot just lie down on it and see how comfortable it is! The huge variety of baby beds in the market only makes the decision more complicated.
But like always, you need to sift through the noise of useless information and focus only on the important details. Let’s dive deeper into the essential guide for choosing a kids bed in 2023:
Importance Of Beds For Babies
Beds are important – not just for adults, but also for babies. In fact, they are even more important for your toddler, given the vulnerable and crucial age they are in. Here are all the reasons why you must find the right bed for your little one:
A good bed is essential for a good posture. The wrong kind of mattress can lead to back problems. Since toddlers are growing rapidly, sleeping on the wrong type of mattress can cause spinal issues that might be grave to their health.
Baby beds promote independent sleeping. While you, as a new parent, might want your infant to sleep beside you, most doctors suggest otherwise. Kids need to develop the habit of independent sleeping as soon as possible, and beds are an essential tool for that.
Like all baby furniture, a good bed is a safe one. Baby beds need to follow strict safety guidelines set by health organizations, thus making them the safest place you could leave your baby in. Kids who sleep in separate beds also have much lower chances of Sudden Infant Death (SID) syndrome than those who sleep beside their parents.
How To Choose A Crib
With the plethora of crib options around, choosing the right baby crib could certainly be a headache. To keep things simple, here are a few things you should keep an eye out for:
Look For Safety Adherence
There is nothing more important than safety when it comes to baby beds. In fact, don’t even think of buying a crib without safety certifications. Even with certifications, it is best to verify the safety features. The crib must have firm guardrails all around the bed. The rails should not be more than 2.5 inches apart (enough for the baby to slide through their hand, but not get their head stuck). The corner posts should not be higher than 0.6 inches and the sides must be stationary. There should be no cutouts/headboards and no missing/broken hardware - both of which are potential safety hazards.
Never Buy Second-Hand
Buying a second-hand crib could be tempting. Cribs are hardly used for two years, so you could definitely get one in perfect condition and at a fraction of the cost. However, keep in mind that the safety regulations keep updating every few years, so you might miss out on the latest safety features. Used cribs also pose the threat of missing/damaged parts that are not really apparent, but could pose a safety hazard.
Find The Perfect Mattress
Finding a good mattress is the final piece of the puzzle. Most new parents tend to choose to softest, fluffiest mattresses for their little ones; but they couldn’t be more wrong. Soft mattresses put extra stress on the spine and could cause backache, along with chronic spinal issues in the long run. Instead, opt for a firm mattress; you could also pick a mattress that’s soft and firm on either side. Furthermore, ensure that the mattress fits perfectly in the crib without leaving any gaps.
The safety of the material used should also be a consideration when buying a crib. Since cribs are not used for long, many parents try to save their wallets and pick cheaper options. This is fine, as long as the cheaper options do not compromise on the material quality. A cheaper material like plastic could break at any point, thus becoming a safety risk. You should also look out for the paint used on the crib; do not accept anything except non-volatile, eco-friendly paints.
How To Choose A Toddler Bed
A toddler bed is the sleeping space your child will graduate to, once they are too big for their cribs. Toddler beds are considered the transitional phase between a crib, and adult or bunk bed. Typically, toddler beds are suitable for kids between 2-10 years of age. If you opt for a convertible toddler bed (like one that would extend itself to double its size), it could last even longer.
- Safety Features: Even though your little one is no longer an infant, he/she still needs protection. Toddler beds are recommended over bunks beds for kids precisely because of the safety features they provide. The toddler room must still have guardrails; it's better to have removable guardrails which could be removed once your kid grows up. The bed should also have a low height so that your toddler has no difficulty climbing up or down from it. There should be no complicated hardware that could prove to be a safety hazard. It is always best to look for safety certification for whatever toddler bed you pick
- Durability: Your kid would be quickly entering their “catch me if you can” phase. There would be a lot of jumping on and off the bed. Like all kids furniture, whatever bed you choose should be durable enough to withstand all that. Not to mention, unlike cribs – which are used for two years at most – toddler beds could easily be used for 8-10 years. It is always preferable to pick a bed made purely of wood – natural and engineered alike – rather than one with plastic parts. A metal spring would also absorb most of the shocks and make the bed last longer.
- Think Long-term: While buying a toddler bed, you have the luxury to decide how long you to use it. If you want it for a few short years, then a basic one is enough. For long-term usage, you might want to select a larger bed. Even better, convertible options ensure the bed could be used as a double-bed, storage unit or a sofa even after its initial utility has ended.
Baby Bed FAQs
- Should the baby sleep in a crib right from birth?
As mentioned above, a baby bed is the safest place for them in their crucial years. For the first 6 months, you could install the bed in your own bedroom, so it is easier for you to monitor them and soothe them in the middle of the night. But having a separate bed is essential.
- Should you get a crib, a cradle, or a bassinet?
It depends entirely on your usage. A crib is the most stable and sturdy option; it is also more expensive and less portable. A cradle is similar to a crib with some minor design changes. You can easily switch between them for the same purpose. A bassinet is entirely different; it is designed to be portable. If you don’t have a dedicated nursery and/or are low on space, a bassinet would be a better choice of bed
- How long should a crib last?
Cribs made purely from wood are very durable and could even last for a decade. However, your toddler would outgrow it long before that. Most toddlers switch from crib to bed at 1.5-2 years of age. By 2.5 years of age, almost all toddlers would need to shift to a toddler bed.
- Should you repair a broken bed or buy a new one?
While unlikely, it is possible that your crib breaks while still in use. While the safest option would be to buy a new crib, you can also repair it – in the same manner as kids table and chairs - if you are careful. Remember to not use any volatile chemicals like non-eco-friendly paints or adhesives. Sharp objects like nails should be completely hammered in.
- Should you move the baby directly from a crib to a twin-size bed?
While it is certainly possible to do so, most child experts don’t recommend it. Due to their significantly different nature, your child might have trouble adjusting to the adult-size bed. Toddler beds are considered better because while they are much larger and accommodating than a crib, they also retain the safety and comfort of a crib. Rule of thumb: Don’t move them to an adult bed unless you are also buying study table for kids.
We all deserve a good night of sleep – our kids, more than anyone else. We hope this guide will help you avoid confusion in the marketplace and look for precisely the right type of bed for your little one.A comfortable bed is the first safe space your baby would know; make it count.