This article is mommy approved by Miriam Slozberg, mother of two.
Toddlerhood is a time of big changes and there is a parallel to the teen years as far as that goes. Toddlerhood represents a time when an infant makes the transition to a school-aged child, and the teen years present a time when an older child transitions to adulthood.
Toddlers are children from the ages of 12 months old to 3 years old, as in early toddlerhood is when infants begin to walk and change their diets. However, those other changes that toddlers experience don’t usually happen before 18 months old. Those big transformations include potty training which means getting out of diapers, doing simple chores, and moving from a crib to a bed.
When it comes to toddlers moving into a new bed, parents’ biggest concern is that they will fall out and injure themselves. However, there are 7 easy methods that parents can utilize to stop their toddlers from falling out of bed.
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Place The Mattress Directly On the Floor
For parents that are very concerned about the strong possibility of their toddlers that are quite active falling out of bed, they can forget about the bed frame and box spring and put the mattress directly on the floor instead. And if the bedroom is not carpeted, a large area rug can be purchased to place underneath the mattress. This way if the child falls out, he or she will only fall onto the carpeted area of the floor. The child will still wake up abruptly if that happens due to falling alone, but the child will be kept safe this way.
Get Two Firm Guard Rails
Good-quality guard rails that are placed on both sides of the bed will keep the child in, and you can get one as well for the foot of the bed if there is no footboard. You will want to get a rail that can be lowered as well as raised so the child can heave and go back to bed in a safe way. Be sure to get new guard rails that need safety standards. Otherwise, they will defeat the purpose if they are not sturdy enough to keep the child safe in bed.
Keep Large Cushions Right Beside The Bed
Even with a guard rail in place, there is no guarantee that the child will stay in bed. If the guardrail is still in a lower position there is a chance that he or she will fall out while sleeping. That is why it is also recommended to place cushions on the floor right beside the bed on both sides, or you could use two crib mattresses if there is room for them. The extra buffer can ease the minds of parents that if their toddler falls out of bed even with the guardrails, he or she will still be kept safe.
Keep The Bed Next To The Side Of A Wall
Instead of using two guard rails, you can push the bed next to the wall so that there is a barrier there. You can place one guard rail on the other side of the bed. The child may like having the bed next to the wall as well as being in the enclosed space may be more comforting instead of having the bed out in the open. This may mean the child will end up sleeping better.
Place The Bed Into A Corner
Another idea for parents who are concerned about their toddlers falling out of bed is to place the bed into a corner. This way, there are two sides of the bed that will be enclosed. However, a footboard or guard rail will still be needed for the foot of the bed. Just be sure that the bed is kept away from outlets or windows. If this arrangement cannot be possible due to that, then you will need to have the bed in the middle of the room with guard rails, or against one wall that does not have any outlets or a window.
Roll Up A Beach Towel And Place It Underneath The Mattress
Another trick that parents can use that will help to prevent the child from falling out of bed is by rolling up a large beach towel and to place it in the space between the mattress and the box spring on the open side. It will lift the mattress on that side and as a result, it will make it harder for the toddler to fall out of bed.
Consider Making The Transition To A Toddler Bed Instead Of A Twin Size Bed
Many parents would rather transition their toddlers from a crib to a twin-size mattress because it is more economical. However, a toddler bed may be a good idea to start with. Especially if you are planning to make the transition before the toddler is 2 years of age. Toddler beds are slightly raised from the floor and can hold a crib mattress.
Do Not Consider A Bunk Bed
Bunk beds may not be safe for the child’s age. Do not consider transitioning your toddler into a bunk bed, even if you plan to place the toddler in the lower bunk. If you have to move your toddler into the same room as an older sibling due to the lack of room space, then it is best to use two separate beds in the same bedroom.
Those are the tips to utilize when you are transitioning your toddler from a crib to a regular bed. Before making that transition, it is essential to talk to the child’s pediatrician first. Do not consider making the transition as well if you plan on potty training the child anytime soon, moving to a new home, or are expecting a new baby. Moving into a big kid bed is a lot for the toddler to take as it is and it cannot be done at a time when other big life changes are happening.
On a side note, if you have a child with autism that is not a toddler but has a tendency to fall out of bed, then you will want to make sure that you have new guardrails for the child in place as he or she may not outgrow that risk if the child is on the severe end of the spectrum.
For more information, check out Jilly Blankenship’s (Pediatric Nurse) video below:
Miriam Slozberg is a Canadian author, blogger, and mom to 2 kids. One had combined autism and ADHD. After years of trialing different forms of therapy, she learned how to best support her son. She writes on publications such as BabyGaga.com. She also is a mental health advocate as she lives with ADHD and has experienced depression.