Wait, wasn’t it just yesterday that you were lowering the crib mattress for the first time? And now your little snoozer is suddenly big enough for their own twin size bed...or are they? We can’t slow down time for you (if only), but we can help you figure out if your kiddo is outgrowing their toddler bed and ready for the next step. Before we talk about when to transition, let’s understand the difference between a toddler and twin size beds:
What is the Difference Between a Toddler Bed and A Twin Bed?
We see some confusion on whether a toddler bed is the same as a twin size bed… especially if that twin bed happens to be racecar-shaped or princess-themed. But the difference between toddler and twin beds is simply size. A twin bed uses a twin-sized mattress, measuring about 38” x 75”. A toddler bed uses a standard crib mattress, measuring about 28” x 52”.
Most parents who use a toddler bed simply reuse the mattress they had in their crib. Many crib mattresses come with an infant side that’s extra firm and a toddler side that’s a bit softer. Even this softer toddler side is still quite firm, and as kids get older, they might prefer a softer, cozier twin size bed. Here are some signs that your kiddo is ready for the switch:
- They’re approaching the weight limit for their toddler bed
That 50 lb weight limit seemed so far away when your child was just a squishy little newborn that it’s tough to believe they’re already so big. But if you have a preschooler now, they might be close to outgrowing their toddler bed’s safety limits. Be sure to check the safety guidelines of your toddler bed and make the switch before they reach the upper weight limit, which usually ranges from 35-50 lbs. If you’ve lost the manual you can usually find the information easily on the manufacturer’s website.
- They always want to get in bed with you
While there are tons of reasons kids like to sneak into mom and dad’s bed at night, one may be that they simply find your bed more comfortable than the super-firm mattress of their toddler bed. Getting them their own big kid bed may not solve all their sleep issues, but it just might make them more comfy-cozy and excited about sleeping in their own bed.
- They seem uncomfortable
If you’re hearing thuds and thumps throughout the night, your not-so-little one may be hitting the rails of their toddler bed as they try to get comfortable. If they can’t stretch out with plenty of room to spare, or if they mention that their bed is too hard, it’s probably time to level up to a kids’ twin size bed.
- They’re about to be a big brother or sister!
One of the biggest motivators for making the switch is an impending new addition to the family. If you need to turn that toddler bed back into a crib for the new baby, it’s the perfect time to transition your older child into their own big-kid twin bed. Even if they have a standalone toddler bed that didn’t start as a crib, pregnancy is still a great time to make the switch. By the time their new best friend arrives, they’ll already be adjusted to the change of their new bed.
- You’re moving or redecorating
Whether it’s a big move or just a redecorating project, many parents prefer to take care of all the new adjustments at once by starting their kiddo off in the new environment with their new bed. Of course, follow your own instincts about your kiddo here. If you think they might be extra sensitive and resistant to change at this time, it’s okay to wait a little longer too!
- They express interest in a “big kid bed”
Sometimes, your kids will let you know exactly when they feel ready to trade their toddler bed for a twin, especially if they have older siblings who have big kid beds of their own. To pique their interest, try reading a few books about the transition to a “big bed.” Big Enough for a Bed (Sesame Street) and Liz Fletcher’s A Big Kid Bed Is Coming are some parent favorites. Although they do show the characters starting out in cribs, they work well for transitioning from a toddler bed too as most of the focus is on the new, exciting big bed.
Ultimately, no one knows your child better than you do. If you think it’s time for a twin bed, then it’s probably time. To help your child get excited about the switch, check out our selection of kids’ furniture together. You’ll find classic, durable styles that look great in princess rooms, superhero rooms, and everything in between. Sweet dreams, big kid!