When you first move your child from a little cot to a big bed, they can seem very small again and the floor can suddenly seem a long way down. Always consider safety when choosing a new bed as most children will roll out of bed at least once while they adjust to the new sleeping arrangement.
To avoid the possibility of your child hurting themself by falling out of bed, you can:
- Place a mattress on the floor for your child to sleep on. Once you’re confident that they won’t roll out of the bed, you can move them up off the floor.
- Push the bed into a corner, so that there are two sides of the bed where your child cannot roll out.
- Use a guard rail along the sides of the bed. Choose a rail that can be lowered and raised so your child can safely get into and out of bed.
- Place a mattress or large cushions on the floor beside the bed so that if they do roll out, they won’t hurt themself in the process.
- Move furniture, such as bedside tables and lamps, away from the bed so that if they do roll out, they won’t damage themself or anything else on the way down.
Bunk beds are not safe for toddlers or pre-schoolers, even if you plan to sleep them in the lower bunk. No child can resist the lure of using a set of bunks as gym equipment and most bunk-related accidents occur during play. As a rule of thumb, wait until the youngest child is around nine years old before putting up bunk beds.
Once they are tucked up in bed:
- Make sure the room and the house are safe at night. Children who sleep in a bed are able to get out of bed whenever they want, so you may be surprised to find them touring around the house just when you think they’re asleep.
- Consider using a night light in the room or in the area outside the room so they can leave the room safely.
- If you routinely shut the bedroom door at night, don’t be tempted to lock it to keep them safe. Most children and adults find it very upsetting to find themselves locked in a room. There’s also a safety issue in the case of fire.
- Be prepared for some broken sleep. Even the best sleeper in the world can quickly develop the habit of waking in the night and slipping out of bed to visit you. If your child hops straight into your bed and you can all continue to get a good night’s sleep then the visits won’t be a problem. But if your child’s appearance beside your bed interferes with your sleep, then you need to consider taking some action.
This article was written by Ella Walsh for Kidspot.