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Bed Training Basics: Toddler Bed vs. Regular Bed


Whether a child uses a toddler bed or a regular bed often comes down to convenience, the child's wishes and how much space is available. If you already have a regular bed for the child and can't fit a toddler bed into the same room, it may be necessary to go directly from the crib to the regular bed. However, many toddlers are intimidated by a full-sized bed and may do better with a toddler bed. Here are the pros of choosing either bed type.

Toddler Bed Pros

A toddler bed is infinitely easier for a toddler to get into. It is short and easy to reach, and the child can feel like a big kid by climbing into the bed without help. This is often the biggest reason to choose a toddler bed as an intermediate step between the crib and the regular bed. Toddler beds generally come with side rails to make it easier for the child to stay in the bed. This makes the choice of a toddler bed less complicated because rails or other barriers don't have to be installed on the bed as they do with a regular-sized bed. 

A toddler bed is small enough to fit into any size bedroom at the same time that the crib is there. This allows a child to get used to seeing the bed, making the transition easier for many toddlers. The two beds in the room allows the child to choose which bed to sleep in. Some kids like to go back and forth between the two for awhile before the crib is removed.

Toddler beds are very inexpensive, making it easy to get one and less of a worry if the bed is damaged by the child. The bed can be played with, drawn on and covered in stickers, and it won't be a big deal. Many toddler beds are available for less than $100 and can be used for a year or two if desired.

Regular Bed Pros

Many families choose to forego the toddler bed completely and take the child from a crib to a regular-sized bed. The main advantage to this choice is that it is less complicated and there are fewer transitions to be made. The child has only one transition--to leave the crib behind. For a child who doesn't like change and doesn't like the transition at all, this may be the best choice. 

Another advantage of transitioning directly to a regular bed is that a separate set of toddler bed linens aren't needed. The linens that fit toddler beds are an awkward size that won't fit a regular bed. With no toddler bed to deal with, there is no need for a lot of specialty linens that can't be used elsewhere. 

For some kids, a toddler bed seems too much like a crib. An adventurous child who wants to be a big kid may be far happier about an adult-sized bed than a toddler bed. The regular bed represents a transition into being a big kid, which can be a boost to self confidence.

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