4 tips to follow when buying your child’s first bed

March 30, 2016
  • 1. Age and height are important factors
    1 / 4 1. Age and height are important factors

    When do most children make the transition from cots to their first bed?

    Generally between the ages 1½ and 3½, says Emily Heah, a senior physiotherapist at Core Concepts, a physiotherapy group.

    Or when your child is about 86cm to 91cm in height and has grown too large for his cot.

    At this point, your little one may have also attempted to climb out of his cot a few times, as well.

    Related: How to stop co-sleeping with your six year old

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  • 2. Choose a supportive mattress
    2 / 4 2. 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… may put stress on his spine.”

    Avoid materials such as latex, which has a tendency to mould to the body over time.

    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.

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  • 3. Beware of bunk bed dangers
    3 / 4 3. Beware of bunk bed dangers

    Such beds are quite safe, as they are fitted with rails to prevent injuries and falls.

    But 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.

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  • 4. Invest in safety accessories
    4 / 4 4. 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.

    (Photos: 123RF.com)

    Related: 9 cool night lights for kids

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