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How to Choose Your Child’s First Bed

Posted By: Layla

As a parent, you already know that children grow out of things quickly, especially clothing and shoes. But one thing that isn’t talked about often enough is how quickly children grow out of their cribs. Sleep is just as important, if not more so, for children than it is for adults. Getting them the proper bed once they’ve grown out of their crib is crucial for a good night’s sleep so that they can continue to grow. In this article, you’ll learn how to find the best first bed for a child.

How to Choose Your Child’s First Bed

When Should I Transition My Child From Their Crib to a Bed?

Most children transition from a crib to a bed between 18 and 36 months of age; a child can be anywhere from 1.5 years old to 3 years old. No child is the same, and no child grows at the same rate, so your child might be older than 3 when they transition out of their crib. You should never transition your child to a bed before they’re ready. One way to tell that your child is ready for a bed is if you catch them climbing out of their crib. Not only is this dangerous, but it means that they’re strong enough and big enough to sleep in a bed.

First Bed

Another sign that your child is ready to transition is when they’re fully potty trained. A child might also express the desire to get a larger bed if they’ve seen their siblings sleep in a bed that’s different.

What Type of Bed Should I Choose for My Child’s First Bed?

The type of bed you choose depends on your child’s preference and your budget. Of course, some types of mattresses are more expensive than others. However, investing in a quality standard bed, such as a twin, can ensure that they have at last six to eight years of comfort in that bed. These are the types of mattresses to choose from:

bed type for child


Innerspring mattresses are typically the most affordable, but many people find them uncomfortable. Luckily, your child likely doesn’t weigh enough to pop any of the springs, but they should avoid jumping on the bed to ensure that nothing breaks. Innerspring mattresses are typically firm and durable.

Memory Foam

Memory foam mattresses are made of 100% foam, which means there are no springs or metal components. A memory foam mattress is a great choice for children because they’re comfortable and provide ideal support. Memory foam mattresses are typically more expensive than innerspring but worth it if you’re looking for a quality mattress for your child.


A hybrid mattress offers your child the best of an innerspring and memory foam mattress, providing ideal support and durability. Depending on where you purchase a hybrid, they can be more expensive than innerspring or memory foam mattresses, but doing your research and looking for a great deal can help drive costs down.

No matter what type of mattress you purchase, remember that finding the right bed base is just as important as finding a mattress. You might not want to put your toddler in a bed base that’s too high up or too low to the floor.

How to Transition My Child From Their Crib to a Bed?

Transitioning a child from their crib to a bed can be difficult because your child is used to their crib. Most children don’t like change, so putting them on a mattress can be a process. Don’t expect your child to sleep a full night in their new bed immediately after you purchase it. To ensure a seamless transition from their crib to their first bed, consider these tips below:

child transition
  • Make the transition fun: Instead of bringing home a mattress that they’ve never seen before and putting it in their room, let them be a part of the process of choosing a mattress. When your child is excited about his or her new bed, they’ll be more willing to sleep in it.
  • Use their old bedding with their new bed: Using the same bedding that was in their crib or something similar can help ease the transition and make them feel like nothing has changed much.
  • Start by letting them nap on their new bed: Before your child can sleep an entire night in their new bed, you can help them just adjust by letting them nap on the new bed. Shorter naps allow them to get comfortable with the bed and know that it’s a safe place for them to sleep.
  • Stick to a similar nighttime routine: Create a nighttime routine before you ask your child to transition to a new bed. By getting into the habit and staying in those habits, they’ll be able to fall asleep faster, even in a new bed.
  • Get the timing right: Change is stressful on children, so don’t transition them from a crib to a new bed if there are other changes or big events happening in their life. For example, don’t ask them to sleep in a new bed on their first day of preschool, if you’ve recently welcomed a new child into the family, or if you’ve moved.

What Size Bed Should I Get for My Child’s First Bed?

While finding a comfortable bed is great, you should also know how to choose a mattress based on size. Choosing the right size mattress for your child’s first bed can help them continue to develop by getting enough sleep, but it should also depend on your budget or the size of the space you’re working with. If you’re not sure how your child will take to a new bed, consider starting with a toddler bed before progressing to a standard-size mattress. Toddler beds allow your child to easily get in and out of bed. Not to mention, they also have guardrails to ensure your child can’t fall out of bed.

Unfortunately, children grow out of their toddler beds quickly, so it’s not a long-term solution. You can also choose to skip the toddler bed altogether and get your child a twin-sized mattress. Here’s what to consider to help you choose the right bed size for your child:

  • Age: If your child is still quite young, a toddler bed can make the perfect transition bed before you purchase a twin mattress.
  • Space: If your child already has their own bedroom, then space shouldn’t be an issue whether you choose a twin mattress or toddler bed. However, make sure that you take the right measurements before you purchase a mattress to ensure that the mattress will fit. You should also avoid purchasing a mattress that’s too large and takes up too much floor space because your child will want that space for playing.
  • Siblings: If your child has an older sibling who is also young, it’s typically best to get them the same size bed to avoid jealousy. If you purchase a larger mattress for your toddler than you do their older brother or sister, there could be some tantrums in your future.

How Do I Choose a Safe Bed for My Child

When your child starts climbing out of their crib, you know that it’s no longer safe for them to sleep in it. However, you need to ensure their new bed is as safe as possible for them. Here’s how:

Choose a Safe Bed for My Child
  • Attach guardrails: Guardrails will ensure your child can’t fall out of bed, just like when in their crib. While guardrails aren’t as tall as crib walls, they can stop your child from rolling out of bed and onto the floor. If your child isn’t used to sleeping on a twin bed, then you can put guardrails on it and watch how they sleep to ensure they won’t fall off. Eventually, children learn how to sleep in their beds without falling off.
  • Ensure bed and frame are low to the ground: Your child will need to get out of bed by themselves sometimes, especially if they’re potty trained. Getting a bed and frame that are low to the floor allows them to have autonomy.
  • Buy mattress and frame with non-toxic materials: Always purchase a mattress with non-toxic materials. Ensure that you understand what a mattress is made out of before you purchase it. Believe it or not, some manufacturers use formaldehyde in their mattresses. While it’s considered reasonably safe, you can still avoid it by purchasing a safe, non-toxic mattress instead.
  • Invest in a sturdy and durable frame: Children like to play in their beds, so it’s important to have a durable frame that can withstand anything from rolling around on the bed to jumping on it.
  • Buy the right size mattress: Not all children need a toddler bed, and many children grow so quickly that a toddler bed won’t be comfortable for long. By finding the right size mattress for your child and their room, you can ensure a safe sleeping environment.

Once you’ve found a safe mattress, it’s important to keep it safe. As you know, children can get into messes or have accidents, so you must learn how to clean a mattress and how to get urine out of a mattress.

Key Takeaways: Finding the First Bed For Your Child

Finding your child’s first bed is easy once you know what to look for. Always take their preferences into account before you purchase something that they might not like. As soon as your child is ready to use the mattress, begin transitioning them with a simple nap in the new bed. Remember, some children have a difficult time with change, so it might take trial and error before they’ll sleep the entire night in a new bed. At Layla Sleep, we have a wide range of mattresses and bedding accessories that can help your child sleep peacefully night after night. Explore our products today to create a sleeping environment that they never want to leave.