Ready to transition your child out of the crib? Learn the differences between a toddler bed vs a twin bed to make the best choice for you.
Finding a place for our kids to sleep can come with endless options, don’t you think?
When they were infants, we didn’t know whether to put them in a bassinet in our room or in a crib in theirs. And now that they’re toddlers and fast outgrowing the crib, we wonder yet another question:
Should they sleep in a toddler bed or a twin bed?
For some, this might be an easy answer, depending on your circumstances. But for many others, you want to make sure that you’re making the right decisions, not just for now but for the future.
For instance, would you miss out on the benefits of a toddler bed if you go straight to a twin? Which would work best for your child’s temperament as he transitions to a new sleeping arrangement? What’s more financially feasible or appropriate for his age?
Toddler bed vs twin bed: which one to choose
It doesn’t help if your toddler has climbed out of the crib and you’re rightfully concerned he’ll injure himself. You might not have too much time to weigh the pros and cons of each bed.
Changing your mind isn’t exactly an easy thing to do, either. From buying to installing to getting him used to the bed, you can feel committed to your decision once it’s made. No wonder you want to weigh all your options before choosing one over the other.
Even if he absolutely needs to move out of the crib, deciding which one—a toddler bed vs a twin bed—is less certain. Below, I list several advantages of each type, and hopefully you can see which one is a right fit for you:
Toddler bed advantages
- The bed frame is lower to the ground, giving your child easy access.
- You can reuse the crib mattress you already have instead of buying a new one.
- A toddler bed frame is usually less expensive than a twin bed frame.
- A toddler bed takes up less space, making it ideal for small rooms.
- Will you be moving? A toddler bed will be easier to move than a twin bed.
- Sleeping in a converted toddler bed can be an easier transition, since your child is already used to the crib. It’s perfect if you feel like a twin bed would be too “mature” for him.
- Choosing a toddler bed can be a no-brainer if you have a convertible crib bed.
- Buying a toddler bed can feel less of a “temporary” purchase if you have a younger child who will be using it as well in the future.
- A convertible crib-to-toddler bed makes for a quick transition, especially when he has jumped out of the crib and sleeping in it is not a safe option.
Twin bed advantages
- Your child will use a twin bed for years. While the costs of a twin bed and bedding can be more than a toddler bed, he’ll also be using it far longer than he would a toddler bed.
- Twin beds are a comfortable option for kids who are too tall or big for a toddler bed.
- Have two kids? A twin bunk bed can be a great choice. Simply place your younger child on the bottom bunk to share the top one with his big sibling.
- A twin bed is a great option if you’re expecting a baby. Rather than converting the crib into a toddler bed, you can put your older child in a twin bed and keep the crib for the baby.
- A twin bed allows you to lie down with your child.
- A twin bed can also serve as a spare bed for visitors.
- Mattresses for a twin bed are softer and more comfortable than a crib-turned-toddler bed mattress. While the firm mattress was the safest choice for baby, it’s not always the most comfortable for your toddler.
- Worried he’ll fall off a twin bed? Installing a railing is a snap. Just make sure to find one that’s specifically for a twin bed—these are longer than those meant for a toddler bed. Some parents will also place extra pillows or an old mattress on the floor next to the twin bed for added reassurance.
The best advice of all? Remember to do what works for you. Even if all your friends tell you they went with one type of bed, go with the one that’s the best option for you and your family.
For instance, you might already have a twin bed, making it a better option than buying a toddler bed. Maybe your child’s room is too tiny for a twin bed, or you’d rather buy a twin bed after you move in a few months. Perhaps you go with neither and choose a full or even queen bed.
Personally, my kids slept in toddler beds before moving on to their twin beds because their cribs converted to one. They also shared one room, and fitting three twin beds wasn’t nearly as practical as having one twin bed and two toddler ones.
My eldest moved from a toddler bed into a twin when we were expecting twins. We converted his toddler bed back into a crib for one of the babies and moved him into a twin bed.
Meanwhile, my twins outgrew the cribs and slept in their converted toddler beds. But even that was short-lived, as we later got them bunk twin beds once they were old enough to sleep in them.
Hopefully, you’re now able to see several advantages of one over the other. You won’t find one “right” choice, and even the one you buy make won’t always be perfect. But armed with the perks of each kind of bed, you can feel better about which one you eventually choose.
Get more tips:
- 10 Things You Should Do when You Transition from a Crib to a Toddler Bed
- When to Transition from a Toddler Bed to a Twin Bed
- Transitioning to a Toddler Bed at 18 Months
- Toddler Bed Transition: Top 7 Items You Need when Your Child Resists
- Is Your Toddler Waking Up at 4am? Here’s What to Do
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