You have arrived from the hospital with your little one, and you already have a bassinet in place to accommodate your baby for about 3 months.
What happens when your baby is about 6 months old and is ready to transition to a crib? Are you going to use a crib mattress, toddler mattress, or go straight to using a twin mattress?
While it might sound easy to know that you’d be needing a crib after the first 4 to 6 months, this situation often leaves most parents perplexed.
Buying a crib, toddler bed, or twin bed can be financially draining especially if you are tight on budget. Do you need to buy all the three options or it is simply a waste of resources? That’s what we’ll be looking at in this article.
Before we talk about the sizes of these beds and the best options to go for, let’s try to differentiate each of these beds.
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Understanding The Differences Between A Crib, Toddler Bed, And Twin bed
Differentiating these bed options would be very useful, especially for new moms. Below is what you need to know about a crib, toddler bed, and twin bed.
What Is A crib?
A crib is the sleeping environment a baby transition to after leaving the bassinet. Usually, a baby is introduced to a crib between 4 to 6 months after birth.
The standard measurement of a crib mattress is about 52 inches in length, 28 inches in width, and 4 to 6 inches thick. A crib mattress is firmer than a toddler mattress because a firm surface helps in babies’ early development.
What Is A Toddler Bed?
A toddler bed is a sleeping environment primarily designed for toddlers. Once a baby is around 18 to 24 months old, he or she needs to transition to a more comfortable surface.
Toddler mattresses are softer than crib mattresses. This is because, at about 2 years, a baby begins to have more control and would require something that is cozier than a crib mattress.
Nevertheless, the size of a toddler mattress is the same as that of a crib mattress. This means that a toddler mattress can easily fit into a crib.
Some mattress brands design toddler mattresses such that one side is firmer and the other side is softer. That way, you can use the firmer side as a crib mattress, and flip it over to the softer side to serve as a toddler mattress.
A toddler bed is suitable for kids between ages 2 and 6. Afterwhich, another transition is required – moving to a twin bed!
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What Is A Twin Bed?
Twin beds are made for kids from about 6 years and above. In terms of design, a twin bed is similar to a toddler bed, but the size of the mattresses and weight limits are what differentiate these two.
A typical twin mattress is about 38 inches wide, 75 inches long, and between 9 and 16 inches thick. With these dimensions, you can see that a twin bed can serve kids for a longer period when compared to a crib and toddler bed.
Is A Crib Mattress The Same Size As A Twin?
No! A crib mattress is not the same size as a twin. A crib mattress is narrower and shorter than a twin mattress and is suitable for babies between 6 and 24 months.
If you are planning on using a twin mattress in a crib, that won’t be possible because it can’t fit in. Instead, you should use a toddler mattress. Toddler and crib mattresses are the same sizes.
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What Are The Differences Between Crib Mattress And Twin Mattress?
If you are finding it difficult to differentiate between a crib mattress and a twin mattress, the following points below will help you.
- A crib mattress measures about 28 inches wide and 52 inches long, while a twin mattress measures about 38 inches wide and 75 inches long.
- A crib mattress is suitable for kids of around 4 to 24 months, while a twin mattress is suitable for kids 6 years and above.
- Crib mattresses are usually firmer and flat, while twin mattresses are softer and thicker.
- A crib has rails to protect your child from falling, while most twin beds don’t come with the rails or guards.
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Do You Need To Buy A Toddler Bed And A Twin Bed?
You don’t need to buy a toddler bed if you already have a twin bed. Since a toddler mattress is the same size as a crib mattress, you can use a toddler mattress on a crib.
Also, you can transition from crib to twin bed without going through the toddler bed. Most parents consider owning a toddler bed a waste of resources because a twin bed can serve the same purpose.
When your child is about 18 years old, you can start using the twin mattress. Both toddler and twin beds are soft, the major difference is the size.
However, if your baby needs to make the transition at 2 years+, please don’t force the process. Babies develop at varying rates and you should be sure your baby is mature enough to switch from a crib to a twin bed.
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How Safe Is It To Use Twin Mattresses For Toddlers?
It is completely safe to use a twin mattress for toddlers since a twin mattress is similar to a toddler mattress. Apart from safety, a twin bed also provides good comfort and a large sleeping surface for your little one.
You shouldn’t have any trouble using a twin bed for toddlers. However, it is safer to get a twin with rails if you decide to use the twin for toddlers.
Whether you decide to use a toddler bed or twin bed for your toddler, just ensure the sleeping room is designed to cushion any fall from your little one.
The safety and comfort of your baby are the two major things to consider when choosing the right bed.