Is it time you buy your child’s first bed? He’s ready to move out of his cot, so follow this guide to pick out the best bed and mattress for him.
Age and height are important factors
Generally, the transition happens between the ages 1½ and 3½, or when your child is about 86cm to 91cm in height and has grown too large for his cot, says Emily Heah, a senior physiotherapist at Core Concepts, a physiotherapy group.
At this point, your little one may have also attempted to climb out of his cot a few times, as well.
(Also read: How to stop co-sleeping with your six year old)
Choose a supportive mattress
This investment should be more important than the bed frame. Choose an innerspring mattress, suggests Dr Marc Calaunan, senior doctor of chiropractic at Healing Hands.
It should have a minimum of six coil springs and be pocketed – if it doesn’t, a pillow-top is a must. An innerspring mattress provides good skeletal support without sagging. Plus, says Emily, it allows your child’s spine to develop normally.
“As his skeletal structures are still growing, sleeping on an inappropriate mattress, such as latex, which has a tendency to mould to the body over time, may put stress on his spine. A foam mattress does not offer great support either, and you should definitely avoid buying a memory foam mattress.”
If your child has a musculoskeletal problem that causes joint pain and brittle bones, get his paediatrician’s advice on the best mattress for his condition.
(Also read: Top kid-friendly furniture stores in Singapore)
Beware of bunk bed dangers
While such beds are quite safe, as they are fitted with rails to prevent injuries and falls, they may not be suitable if your kid is accident-prone or likes to jump around recklessly, Dr Calaunan points out.
“Children under the age of six should not sleep in the top bunk because they have a higher risk of falling,” Emily adds.
“Younger children tend to suffer more trauma from falls than older kids because their centre of gravity is likely to make them fall head-on first. The most common injuries associated with bunk bed falls include lacerations, scrapes, bruises, fractures, concussions and sprains.”
Invest in safety accessories
“All four sides of the bed should have guard rails to prevent your child from falling,” says Emily.
“If your child has a bunk bed, there should be bed rails on both sides of the top bunk, with guard rail gaps of less than 9cm to prevent entrapment.”
If the bunk bed has only a partial railing, make sure the gap is small enough so that your child’s head, limbs or torso cannot pass through it, Emily adds.
She also suggests buying a night light to help your kid see better at night when he moves up and down the bed ladder.