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Bed Safety for Toddlers to Age Three


toddler sleeping on his back on bed


Moving a toddler from a crib into a bed is pivotal for many parents - it can be both a sad and exciting time. It can also be difficult to tell when it’s time to transition to a "big kid" bed. Here's some advice that can help.

First of all, remember that every child develops at his own pace. Some children will still be sleeping happily in a crib at 36 months or beyond, while others will be climbing out by the age of 18 months. Take your cues from your child's behaviour, not her age. If she's trying hard to climb out of the crib, it’s time to introduce a toddler bed.

Bed Safety Checklist

  • Choose a bed with a simple design. There should be nothing sticking out and no cut outs or fancy headboards or footboards.
  • Check the joints every few months to make sure screws are tight.
  • There should be no spaces between the mattress and the headboard, walls, or other surfaces that could trap your toddler.
  • Place the headboard (rather than the side of the bed) against the wall. This position prevents your toddler from becoming trapped between the bed and a wall.
  • Choose a bed that is low to the floor. Put protection on the floor (carpet, quilts, and pillows) in case your toddler falls out.
  • Use safety rails that you can attach on all sides.
  • If you have bunk beds, your toddler is safest in the lower bunk.
Last Updated: August 9, 2013