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Transitioning from Toddler Bed to Big Bed: When's the Right Time?

Last updated: May 2024

Sleeping boy

How do you know when your child is too big for their toddler bed and ready to move into a full-size bed? When children make this transition, it can be intimidating for parents and child. Kids tend to become attached to their surroundings, especially if it’s something they've known for as long as they can remember. Your little one may have a strong urge to remain in their toddler bed, insisting on sleeping in it even when you think it’s about time they moved out of it.

No two children are the same, so we’re going to list the top tell-tale signs that your little one is growing out of their toddler bed and now a full-size one. You may want to try more than one of our suggested tips before making the change. We understand it’s an important milestone for both you and your child, so giving you and them time to try out different approaches is important.

When are children ready to leave their toddler bed?

The transition to a larger kid's bed starts from around the age of 5. However, since every child is unique, parents often have an instinct to know when it's the right time for their little one to make the move. Here are a few other tell-tale signs that their toddler bed is no longer needed:

  • They may start asking for a bigger bed. This is more likely in children with an older sibling as they tend to mimic their big brother’s or sister’s behaviour.
  • Are they complaining of feeling uncomfortable? Does it look as if they’ve suddenly outgrown the length or width of their toddler bed? Check the manufacturer’s guidelines on the toddler bed – often these beds are built with height and weight limits. A growth spurt is something you can’t avoid.
  • Are the raised sides becoming more of a hindrance than a help? As your child gets older, they will no longer require the raised panels on their toddler bed. If they’re stopping them from getting in and out of bed comfortably and easily, this is a sign that they’re ready to move into a more grown-up bed.

Kids' bed sizes by age

For guidance on which bed sizes suit your child best, check out this helpful table.

Please consider the size of your child and whether you feel that they’re mentally and physically ready to move into a bigger bed.

Cot 60 x 120cm / 23" x 47" 0-1 year
Toddler bed 70 x 140cm / 2'3" x 4'6" 1-5 years
Small single 75 x 190cm / 2'6" x 6'3" 5 years+
Single 90 x 190cm / 3'0" x 6'3" 5 years+
Euro single / twin 90 x 200cm / 3'0" x 6'6" 5 years+

Kids bed types by age

The recommended ages in this table should be used as a guide only. For more information on some of our kids’ beds and what to consider before investing in one, check out these informative buying guides below:

Cot 0-1 year
Toddler bed 1-5 years
Bunk beds 4 years+ for bottom bunk, 6 years+ for top bunk
Mid and high sleepers 6 years+
Cabin beds 6 years+

How to choose a safe new bed

While this is an exciting time for your little one, a bigger bed does pose some risks when it comes to safety and naturally, you’ll want peace of mind that you’re choosing a safe full-size bed. You can invest in some detachable side rails or a bed guard while they get used to their big bed. You can also place a deep pile rug next to the side that they get in and out – this will cushion them should they take a tumble during the night as they get used to the new set-up. We also recommend you check that you’re using the correct size mattress for their new bed so they can sleep on a steady and supportive surface.

What type of bed?

You can choose between several types of adult-size beds once your child is ready to leave their toddler bed. Depending on your preferences and your child’s needs, our wide range offers different benefits and features. If you’re looking for a kid's bed with storage, we have bed frames with drawers which could be handy for keeping pyjamas, books, toys and other trinkets out of sight.

Bunk beds are an obvious choice for siblings, while high sleeper beds and mid sleepers provide a more personalised touch with a range of storage options, plus study or play areas.

What else should I consider?

You’ll naturally want what’s best for your child but it’s worth considering their wants when making their full-size bed decision. It’s nice to get them involved in choosing their new bed as it can make them engaged and excited about sleeping in it. The happier they are, the more likely the transition will be smooth sailing.

Signs your toddler is not ready for a bed

If your toddler is having issues falling and staying asleep, then moving into a big kid can add more stress. Before considering the transition, ensure your child has a sleep schedule that they stick to before instigating the change. Plus, if your child has a limited understanding of boundaries, they might not be ready for a big bed. The last thing you want is your little one getting out of bed during the night and roaming.