Choosing Your Child's First Bed

Choosing your child’s first bed is an exciting time for both parents and toddlers. However, there are lots of things to consider which can make it quite a daunting prospect for some parents. We’ve put together this comprehensive guide answering some common questions that parents have, to help you make an informed decision and choose the right bed for your child.

Lars Low Cabin Bed
Didi Shorty Reversible Toddler Bunk Bed with Storage


Things to consider when buying a child’s bed:

  • What age should you move your child to a proper bed?
  • What type of bed should I choose?
  • Is it worth investing in a toddler bed?
  • What kinds of children’s beds are there?
  • How do I choose a safe bed?
  • What other things should I be thinking about?

What age should I move my child to a proper bed?

There is no set age for moving a child into a proper bed, but most children tend to make the move when they are 18-36 months old. Each child is different and your little one will likely let you know when they’re ready to graduate from a cot.

Signs your toddler is ready to move into a proper bed:

  • They have outgrown their cot
  • They try to climb out of their cot
  • They ask about having a big bed
  • They can be left safely unsupervised
  • They have begun potty training
Oliver Furniture Wood Mini + Kids Junior Bed
Cabane Junior Kids House Bed

What type of bed should I choose?

Once you have established that your child is ready to leave their cot behind, you need to make sure you pick a bed which is suitable for their development and meets your requirements as a parent. Whether you choose to invest in a toddler bed or progress straight to a regular bed is completely your choice.

Benefits of toddler beds:

  • Closer to the ground for easy getting in and out
  • Many toddler beds have built-in guardrails
  • Minimal risk of injury if your child does roll out of bed
  • Smaller & therefore take up less space
  • Can be an easier transition for toddlers to make

Although a toddler bed has many benefits, your child is likely to outgrow this quite quickly. It may be more cost-effective to invest in a regular single bed and fit guardrails yourself. Then, when your child is ready, all you need to do is remove the safety rails. If you do choose to move straight onto a regular bed, our ultimate guide to kids beds provides an overview of the different types of bed available.

Choosing a safe bed

No matter how ready your child is to move into a proper bed, or which type of bed you choose, it’s important to make sure you have safety measures in place to prevent any injuries. Here are several other factors which should be considered to ensure your child stays safe in their new bed:


Guardrails, or safety rails, are important to prevent your child from rolling or falling out of bed in the night. Some beds will come with these incorporated as part of the design, or you can choose to fit them yourself.

Sturdy frame

Make sure to choose a bed which has a wood frame, metal frame, or strong plastic frame. Each material offers its own advantages, and choosing a frame which is robust enough to support your child (and weather any jumping on the bed sessions!) will give you peace of mind about their safety.

Safe design

It’s important to make sure the design of any bed frame you choose is safe for use in your child’s bedroom. Remember they will likely spend time running and jumping around, so you should choose a design which avoids any sharp edges, pointed corners, or protruding fittings. Smooth edges and rounded corners significantly reduce the risk of serious injury.

Non-toxic finishes

We all know that young children are prone to chewing and licking things they shouldn’t. Therefore all children’s beds should be painted or finished using non-toxic substances as standard, but it’s important to bear this in mind to protect your little one should you choose to repaint the bed in the future.

Choosing an appropriate mattress

Choosing the right kids mattress is just as important as choosing the right bed frame. You should choose a mattress which gives your child’s body the best opportunity to develop. Depending on their age, children should be getting between 10 to 14 hours of sleep a night so finding a mattress which provides good support is crucial. We’ve produced a separate guide on mattress types, so check this out for more information.

Other things to consider

How easy is it to assemble a child’s bed?

If you intend on assembling your child’s bed yourself, it’s important to make sure you choose a bed which will be simple to construct. If you do build the bed yourself, make sure to follow step-by-step assembly instructions. Alternatively, many of our kids beds come with an optional installation package, so you can be completely confident your child’s bed is assembled professionally and correctly. For a small fee we can provide a professional two man delivery team to fully construct your bed and remove any packaging afterwards, ensuring a stress-free process for you!

Should I let my child choose a style?

Getting a ‘big bed’ can be a very exciting time for a child, and you should consider including them in the bed selection process so they have a bed that they truly love. This lets them choose a bed which reflects their personality.

Choosing a style they like can help make the transition from cot to bed much easier, and allowing your child to have input in the decision also helps to stimulate their creativity. We have a wide range of bed styles to suit all tastes, including our fabulous novelty beds, so your little one is bound to find something they love.

How much should I spend on a child’s first bed?

Every parent has a budget in mind for how much they’re able to spend on their child’s first bed. As with most things in life, it’s important to remember that you will always get what you pay for. All of our beds are highly safe and made of quality materials as standard but, depending on your requirements, you could consider investing in a more premium bed. For example, if you want to make your child’s bed more of a feature in their room, you could look at choosing from our treehouse beds, loft beds, cabin beds, caravan & car beds, kids beds with slides or even hot air balloon beds!

Maxxi Cabin Bed with Slide

Require more assistance?

No matter which bed you choose to invest in for your child, all of our beds are built to last and will provide a safe and stylish sleeping environment for years to come. If you would like more information or advice on choosing your child’s first bed, give our Children’s Bedroom Advisory Nod Squad a call on +44 (0) 1305 231231 or email us at and we’ll be happy to talk through your requirements and help you make the right decision for you.


Guide to Kids Beds by Age
Ultimate Guide to Kids Single Beds
Guide to New Born Sleep Solutions
Ultimate Guide to Bunk Beds

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With more than 10 years’ experience in providing advice and support to parents looking for their perfect kids bed, mother of 2, Nathalie Davis is passionate about helping children develop. In her role as Director of Product Procurement at Cuckooland, Nathalie has helped thousands of parents improve their children’s sleep and sleeping habits through the beds and mattresses she sources and the articles she writes. In her spare time she teaches her Golden Retriever to be a responsible vegetarian and is often spotted sifting through clothes at her local Charity Shops.