Does my 2-year-old need bed rails?
Moving your child from a crib to a toddler bed can be a big decision for both you and your child. It’s natural to worry about your child falling out of bed, especially if your child is an active sleeper. Bed falls are scary for children and, in some cases, can cause severe injuries. Luckily, bed rails and bumpers can help prevent falls and protect your child. Read on to find out if a bed rail is the right choice for your family!
What are bed rails/bumpers?
Bed bumpers and rails are attachable guards that help prevent children from falling out of bed. They are designed for children between the ages of 2-5, and allow for children to get in and out of an adult bed by themselves. It’s important never to use a bed rail or bumper for children under two, as they can pose a safety hazard for small children.
How do I know if my child needs bed rails?
There’s no hard and fast rule that states your child needs bed rails/bumpers at this exact time, but bumpers or rails should be installed once your child has already transitioned to a toddler or adult bed. Signs you can look for to know whether your child is ready to transition from the crib include:
- Your child is getting taller – From getting out of their crib to getting on your bed with ease, there are several signs you’ll see that indicate your child is ready to make the transition from crib to bed. A good rule of thumb, however, is to transition when their chest is just above the crib rail (this usually means the child is about 3’ tall). However, some children may not be ready even when they hit physical markers, especially if they have difficulties with self-control. You know your child better than anyone, so as always, trust your own judgment when deciding if your child is ready for a toddler bed.
- You’re expecting – A new baby brings new challenges, so you may want to get your toddler adjusted to their bed before the baby arrives — especially if you need to use the crib! Generally, you’ll want to give your toddler around three months to adjust to their new bed.
- They aren’t undergoing any other major changes – Toddlers are constantly learning, evolving, and changing, but big changes like potty training, a new daycare, or a new home can be stressful. In times of high stress, transitioning to a toddler bed could be an uphill battle for both of you. Transitioning your toddler in a more relaxed environment can help the change go over much more smoothly.
How long will my child need bed rails?
There’s no hard and fast rule which determines when your child will no longer need bed rails — some may need them well into adolescence. However, most children generally outgrow them by the time they’re 5 years old.
What types of bed rails are on the market?
There’s an assortment of bed rails on the market to choose from, ranging from rails that come attached to the bed to removable rails that can be placed on any bed. Some of the most common options we see are:
- Attached – These rails are made to go directly on the bed. They are harder to find if you’re looking to get a full or queen-size bed for your child that can grow with them, and can be difficult to install.
- Inflatable bed rails – Also called bed bumpers, inflatable bed rails are easy to use as you simply blow them up to create a safe sleeping space for your child. They do not require any specialized installation and are usable on any size bed. Inflatable bed rails are ideal for traveling.
- Foam bed rails – Foam bed rails are becoming more and more popular as they are easy to install and offer nearly the same support as attached rails but with the comfort that comes with an inflatable bed rail. Just like inflatable bed rails, they can be used on any bed size, making them ideal for families that only want to purchase one bed for their child to grow into.
What should I look for in a bed rail?
The main thing you need to take into consideration is safety. Manufacturers like hiccapop are dedicated to producing products that meet or exceed current safety standards to ensure a child’s sleep safety.
What should I do when I travel?
One of the biggest challenges parents experience when looking for bed rails is what to do when they’re traveling. We always recommend using inflatable bed rails for travel destinations as they are easy to pack, set up, and fit on any bed. You can find out more about hiccapop’s inflatable bed rails here.
Only you can decide when your child is ready to transition to bed rails or bumpers. Many 2-year-old children are ready to make the transition, but some parents may feel their child will be safer holding off for a bit longer. Regardless of what you decide to do, choosing bed rails when transitioning from a crib to bed is the right decision for many families. If you think your child is ready for the transition, try our inflatable bed rails or foam bumpers to ensure peace of mind and a restful night’s sleep.