There isn’t much worse than transitioning your toddler out of their crib and into a ‘real' bed only to hear a “Thud!” in the middle of the night (usually immediately followed by a scared “Whaaa!!!!”) It can be really difficult to keep a child safely on top of the mattress after having been in a crib their entire lives.
Right now we are in the middle of moving our 3 year old to his ‘big boy’ bed (You may remember I was lamenting what do with his old crib. And then I finally decided.) Lucky for us, this isn’t our first rodeo. After converting three kids into their “big kid” beds I have learned a thing or two about keeping them from falling out.
With my oldest daughter we bought a set of these commercial bed rails.
The problem was that it was hard for her to get in and out of bed, it was hard to pull the covers on and off, and it was hard to lay in bed at night and read to them. It “swung” down but it was still always in the way.
With the second kid we researched other options, and found these “Bed Rail Bumpers” which were fabulous, but at $25/each I thought it was a ripoff. (I mean, the ‘real’ rails were only 19 dollars!)
And when you look at doesn’t it seem like something you could easily knock off?
I knew I could get the same effect, but with $2 POOL Noodles! And they worked like a charm with daughter number 2. So this time, with the baby, we are using the same technique.
For his bed I bought the 4 inch ones (I got mine at Walmart) but if you want the REALLY big ones (so you could even cut them in half), you can find them on Amazon.
I didn’t bother cutting mine in half since my toddler is not a heavy duty wiggly worm. He doesn’t toss and turn as much as my older kids, so I knew just the tension on the fitted sheets would keep the noodles in place. I just stuck the noodle under the fitted sheet as is.
The tighter the fitted sheets the better when it comes to the noodle staying in place.. If your sheets are loose or if you child really moves around a lot at night, you may want to cut one side of the noodle off to give it a flat side.
Now my three year old would have to roll UP and OVER the noodle to fall out of bed. It wouldn’t necessarily be impossible, but it would be a lot harder.
We’ve never had anyone fall out of bed, but if you are nervous you could start with the real rails and then move to this method (It would be a great transition between the fold down rails and nothing.)And the best part is how easy it is to make the bed and tuck the kids in. Plus you can’t beat the price.
Now we can all rest easier at night, knowing we won’t hear the dreaded “Thunk. Whaaaa!!!”
Now that you have a safe “big kid” bed.. Here are some ideas for what to do with that old crib: