The transition from baby to toddler may not seem like a big deal but it is an important step in the development of a child.
The moment when the nursery room becomes a toddler bedroom brings with it a lot of changes related to both the interior design of the space as well as the attitude of and towards the child.
Check out our inspiring baby room ideas if you’re interested in cute and quirky decors but be prepared for the transition towards a more grow-up and serious design.
When and how to transition to a toddler bed?
As a general idea, you could switch from a crib to a toddler bed as soon as your little one is 1 year old and they can use that bed for about 3 years after which another upgrade is needed. But there is no exact point that anyone can identify when this transition should happen. It differs from case to case as every kid is unique.
One detail to keep in mind is that your little one needs a lot of sleep as they’re growing up. They need to sleep around 10 to 14 hours a day so it’s important to provide them with a comfortable bed.
Even if they can’t tell you themselves when they’re ready to move into a toddler bed, kids show certain behaviors that that can help you reach that conclusion yourself. There’s a few indicators that you can observe such as the fact that they’re starting to grow too big for their crib or the fact that they start to climb on it or to get out by themselves. This shows they’re growing up and developing skills that make them more independent plus it also shows that sleeping in a baby crib is actually no longer safe.
Transitioning from a crib to a toddler bed can feel scary for your little one. It’s important to show empathy and to understand this so you can help them make the transition easier. Try to encourage them to make this transition by telling them it’s a show of courage and of the fact that they’re growing up.
Another thing you could do is make the transition smoother by allowing them to use both the crib and the toddler bed for a little while. Your little one could nap in the bed during the day and sleep in the crib at night for a few days. Then you can make the transition permanent.
It could also help to use their crib bedding in the toddler bed at first. This way they’d have something familiar there to make them more comfortable. Don’t change everything at once. Remember kids are not yet used to big changes and they’re just starting to learn how to react and to adapt to this.
Consider getting a toddler bed with safety guardrails, perhaps even a model that resembles a bit their old crib. This way the bed will look a bit more familiar. Moving from a crib that’s small and surrounded by safety rails to a bed that’s completely open can definitely feel scary so this strategy can help.
There’s another suggestion that we can offer in this matter and it’s to involve your little one in the decision-making process when choosing their new toddler bed. You could present them with a few different designs and models and allow them to choose the one that they like best. Perhaps they even have suggestions that can help you narrow down the options.
Small bed with guard rails
Toddler beds, besides being small, also have guard rails. These can be removed later on, as the child grows up and becomes more aware of the surroundings and the idea of a bed as opposed to a crib.
The rails also have the role of making the child feel safe and secure and to make the transition from crib to bed less dramatic. Be sure to check out Rogueengineer if you’re interesting in plans for DIY toddler bed rails.
Matching beds with cute designs
As it turns out, it can be quite difficult and tricky to find a ready-made toddler bed, especially one on a budget so an easier option is sometimes a DIY project.
Building a bed from scratch is not exactly a walk in the park but it’s not too difficult either and Designmom offers some really good suggestions in this sense. Here you can also find the list of materials required for this.
Decorations that make the sleeping area look lovely
There’s no need for much furniture in a toddler’s room and once you have that covered you can start being creative with all the decorations and the quirky accents.
How about this balloon decal? It’s a fun touch of color for the room and it works great with the bed frame and the rest of the decorations. It’s an idea that comes from Girllovesglam.
A crib turned into a toddler bed
For a kid, giving up the crib is not easy and to make the transition easier you can actually repurpose the crib into a toddler bed. A few structural changes should take care of the important part of the project.
You’ll need a few extra pieces of wood since the frame of the new bed will actually be larger than that of the crib. On Doityourselvesdivas you can find a more detailed description of this entire project along with instructions and a list of required supplies.
A bed with a magical leaf canopy
We’re back to the bed rails which are a crucial part of a toddler bed’s design. The bed itself can just be. a regular single-person or twin-sized bed and in case it’s too high you can add a set of small stairs or a stool for the child to climb on to reach the top.
Building the rails and attaching them to the bed frame should be fairly simple. Make sure they bed is secure to avoid unwanted accidents and go over the suggestions offered on Simplybeautifulbyangela before you start the project.
Exposed wood for a cozy aesthetic
When you think about it, putting together a bed, even from scratch, is not that difficult. The frame is simple and made up of three big pieces one of which is the headboard and another the base on which the mattress is placed.
The safety rails are options and we suggest making them easily removable. There’s a whole list of materials needed for such a project showed on Howtospecialist and that’s also where you can find a step-by-step visual guide.
Simple platform bed with a modern design
Platform beds are really easy to put together, especially if you don’t plan on adding a headboard or rails to the frame. Isn’t this one cute? It’s small and simple and that leaves enough room for a tent and a play area. If you’re interesting on the details of how this toddler bed was made, check out Behindthecameraanddreaming.
Stylish bed with an oversized headboard
This bed design featured on Intentionandgrace is also pretty nice although we’d make a few structural changes such as a small frame to avoid accidents when climbing in and out of the bed. The tall headboard is a nice touch and the sconce attached to it seems very practical as well. We also like the small wheels which make it easy to rearrange the room as the kids grow up.
Modern toddler bed with hairpin legs
The bed frames that are the easiest to build are not also the best-looking ones. If you prefer a modern toddler bed but you also want to be able to put it together yourself, keep things simple and don’t forget to be creative. This design comes from Abeautifulmess. The bed has a blue frame and yellow hairpin legs. The combination is both elegant and playful.
Cute house bed with wooden fence
In addition to all those suggestions that can make the transition from crib to toddler easier and smoother, there’s another strategy that you can try: building the bed yourself. There’s a lot of adorable designs to choose from, like this one which is shaped like a little house and even has a cute wooden fence around it that acts as a protective guardrail. You can find the tutorial on jenwoodhouse.
Floor bed with a cute frame
Here’s a different interpretation of a house bed. This design which can be found on heykailymae stands out because the frame is placed directly on the floor. The fact that it’s so low makes it very accessible and safe for toddlers. They can easily climb in and out of the bed and they’re only a couple of inches off the ground in case they roll out of bed.
Matching car beds
Car beds have become very popular thanks to popular kid movies and TV shows so there’s plenty of models to choose from. However, you can also make a car bed yourself if you want to. You can check out these lovely matching toddler beds featured on ohhappyplay if you need some inspiration. They look great even though they’re essentially super simple.
Tiny cabin bed
A great way to make a toddler bed look more attractive is to give it an interesting and fun design. This cabin bed from chaoticallycreative is a great example because of that and also because by framing the bed with these walls you make it feel more cozy and safe. In a way this is similar to a crib in that sense but a lot cooler which should make the transition nice and easy.
Floor bed with loft
The bed itself is in case as simple as it can be. It’s mainly just a comfy mattress placed directly on the floor. It’s the extra features that make this little bed special. Above the bed there’s a little loft space which can be accessed via a ladder and up here there’s a cozy little space with a chalkboard and some shelves where your little one can come and draw, write and hide. If you’re worries the ladder is not safe enough, you can replace it with stairs. Check out the tutorial for this loft on jaimecostiglio.
Simple bed with tent-inspired headboard
As some of these projects have revealed, it’s not just the bed itself that matters. There’s a variety of accessories and details that you can focus on to make a toddler bed look more interesting and become more attractive for the little ones. This bed which is featured on pearsonandprojects for example has a really cool headboard which is shaped like a tent. It makes the bed look cozy without being in the way.
Bunk beds for a shared toddler room
When it comes to shared bedrooms, bunk beds really are the most space-efficient option. There’s a wide variety of styles and designs to choose from, whether you decide to buy or to build them yourself and this also applies to toddler beds. A nice example is the shared toddler bedroom featured on livingliesel.
Teepee bed for cozy naps
Isn’t this little teepee bed one of the most adorable and cute things you’ve seen? It looks lovely and it seems so cozy too. It’s also something that you could quite easily put together yourself. You can build it around a mattress and you can choose any type of fabric you want for it. This design from theprojectlady is cool because it looks really breezy.
Custom house bed
We keep going back to house beds and for good reason because they’re great for toddlers. They look fun, they’re cute and they’re nice and safe too. The walls act as protective guardrails without completely closing off the bed and making it claustrophobic plus they also block some of the sunlight as well. Check out this custom design from lizrotz if you want more inspiration.
A casual princess bed
You can make a toddler bed look cute without going over the top with the design. For instance, this one is made from some nice-looking footboards which give it this really sophisticated look. It really makes it look like a little princess’ bed. Also, the coral paint is perfect for this design. Check out the full story and tutorial on thecreatedhome for more details.
Pink Minnie bed
If you’re looking to buy a toddler bed as opposed to building one you’re probably seeking to choose a theme for its design. There’s a variety of themed to choose from based on various characteristics. This Minnie Mouse bed for instance is perfect if you want something pink to go in a cute princess bedroom.
Paw Patrol bed
You can except a lot of toddler beds in stores to have designs inspired by current TV shows and kid movies. This one is a PAW Patrol bed with a playful and colorful design. It’s cute and kid-friendly in many different ways. It’s also safe thanks to the built-in safety rails.
Disney-inspired race car bed
Race car beds come in all sorts of shapes and sizes these days. This one has a design inspired from the Cars 2 movie and it’s essentially quite simple but it definitely looks playful and fun at the same time. It also has the advantage of not taking up a lot of space compared to other race car bed designs.
Toddler bed with detachable guardrails.
In addition to having a fun and kid-friendly design, this Nick Jr. Paw toddler bed is also designed to be long-lasting. The guardrails are detachable which means you’ll be able to take them out when your little one grows up and doesn’t need them anymore. Then the bed will get an instant makeover.
Minimalist toddler bed
Just because the bed is meant for kids doesn’t necessarily mean it should be themed around something specific or that it should be super colorful. This one by Harriet Bee is actually really simple, minimalist even but it still looks cute. It’s made of solid wood with a white finish and t has guardrails on either side and a sleigh-style headboard.