Toddler beds: Who knew it could be so complicated?

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Toddler beds, cot beds, small singles, standard singles, IKEA toddler beds... what the actual...?

Toddler beds. Why on earth is she writing a post about toddler beds, I hear you ask? Well, my friends, as dull as it may seem, if you currently have a tiny human sleeping (or not) in a cot, this article may soon serve you well. 


Almost all of my experiences of buying anything child-related has been way more confusing/complicated than I could have ever dreamed. I remember being six months pregnant, walking through the doors at Mothercare and wondering how the frig there were so many pushchairs to choose from. Why are there so many different options, and which one did I need? The answers to these questions, I found, came after a few days of using the one I chose, when I could no longer take it back. Obviously.


Anyway, I digress. When it came to choosing a toddler bed for Rex, I thought the only decision I would have to make was the design/colour. I was an idiot. 


Toddler beds: The (many, many) options


The toddler bed you choose will be dependant on the size of your child and which you think will make the easiest transition from a cot (or wherever they've slept up to this point) – crystal ball, anyone? You also need to think about how much space you have. Toddler beds are smaller than standard single beds so maybe a good option if you're tight on room. 


Another consideration is bed guards. I don't know about your kids but I have never known a human move in their sleep like Rex does. Honestly, the positions I find him in sometimes, it's a wonder how he sleeps like it. A lot of toddler beds have built in bed guards to stop them rolling and falling out, but they can be purchased separately if not. 


So, what are the options? Well, you've got cot beds, toddler beds, small single and single beds to choose from. Oh, and let's not forget IKEA, which has helpfully built its very own style of toddler bed, which differs in size from standard toddler beds (and you therefore can't get the right size bedding for it anywhere other than IKEA). Still with me? 


Here's a breakdown of the sizes of toddler beds you can currently buy:  


  • Cot bed: 60 x 120cm 

  • Toddler bed: 70 x 140cm 

  • Small single: 80 x 190cm 

  • Single bed: 120 x 190cm  

  • IKEA beds: 70 x 160 or 80 x 200cm


It might seem like an obvious comment, but whichever size bed you choose needs the same size bedding, or sheet, at least. In the (way more than is healthy amount of) hours of research I put this, I noticed finding bedding for the smaller beds more difficult and expensive – something to bare in mind? 


Personally, I bit the bullet at went straight for a standard single bed for Rex for when he moved out of his cot, which I'm glad I did because that was less than six months ago and he's already almost the length of it. We bought Cuggl bed guards from Amazon, for both sides as his bed is not against a wall, and can't recommend them enough. I dread to think how many times he'd have been on the floor by now without them. 


I think that just about covers it, hopefully this helps you on the hunt for a toddler bed. Or small single. Or standard single... 


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