When to Transition from a Toddler Bed to a Twin Bed

Written by: Alyssa Larsen



Time to read 5 min

Your little baby is growing up. From baby to toddler to little kid and beyond, each stage comes with new transitions—including their sleep environment. You may have converted your little one’s crib or bought a separate toddler bed once they were ready to leave the confines of their crib. Now, you may wonder if it’s time for a bigger bed.

Is your kid ready to move out of the toddler bed and into a twin bed?

When is the right time to transition?

We’ll help you decide.

When to Make the Transition from a Toddler Bed to a Twin Bed

There’s no “one-size-fits-all” answer for transitioning to a twin bed. Consider your child’s age, size, and overall development before moving to a new bed. Children may change to a twin bed at 18 months old, 3 years old, or 5 years old depending on their individual circumstances.

There’s personal preference involved in making this decision as well. Some parents jump straight to a twin bed once the crib is no longer suitable, while others keep their kiddos in the toddler bed until they’ve maxed out the height and weight limits.

The Kids Bed from Nurture& is an upholstered, twin-size bed made to be your child’s first big kid bed. Rounded edges and stain-resistant fabric are perfect for any age. The Kids Bed has options to add matching safety rails to the sides of the bed and trundle storage underneath. Plus, there are 12 color combinations neutral enough to match any room decor while still getting kids excited for their new bed!

What’s the Difference Between a Toddler Bed and a Twin Bed?

The simple answer is size. A toddler bed frame fits a standard-size crib mattress which measures about 28” x 52”. A twin-size mattress is larger and requires a bed frame that fits approximately 38” x 75”. This is important information to have so you can measure beforehand and make sure that a twin bed will fit in your child’s room.

A toddler bed is likely to come equipped with a bed rail or guardrail for one or both sides of the bed, whereas a twin bed does not. Side rails can still be a good idea for your child’s twin bed, but you’ll need to buy them separately.

There are many different style options for twin-bed frames, including bunk beds, loft beds, and daybeds. Toddler beds may come in different colors or designs but are all generally compact and low to the ground.

A toddler bed is frequently the middle step from a crib to a twin bed because of its convenience. Convertible cribs and standalone toddler beds can accommodate the same mattress and sheets your little one has been sleeping on in their crib. Once you make the decision to transition to the twin bed, you’ll need to buy a new mattress of the appropriate size.

Signs that Your Child Might Be Ready to Transition From a Toddler Bed to a Twin Bed

If you’re feeling unsure about moving your little one into a full-size bed,  it can help to know what signs to look out for.

They’re Nearing the Weight Limit

A toddler bed typically has a weight limit of around 50 pounds. If your little one is creeping up on this mark, it’s time to start considering a bigger bed.

They’re Climbing Into Bed With You

At some point, your kid might start to prefer the coziness of your bed as opposed to the firm crib mattress in their toddler bed. Providing them with a snuggly sleep space of their own may help keep them in their own bed all night.

You Notice They’re Uncomfortable

Tossing and turning in their sleep or bumping their arms, legs, and head on the sides of the bed can be a sign that your growing child isn’t comfortable in their toddler bed anymore. This would be similar to what you saw when they started getting too big for the bassinet.

blue kids bed

You’re Bringing Home a New Baby Soon

You might want to convert the toddler bed back into a crib before your new baby arrives. Just make sure that you give the new big brother or sister plenty of time to adjust to the bedtime routine in their big kid bed before the baby comes home.

You’re Moving to a New House or Switching to a New Room

Making multiple changes at once, like a new house with new bedroom furniture, can be fun for some kids and make the transition easier by making it an exciting, big deal. Other kids may have a hard time with too many big moves in a short amount of time. Then, it can be better to draw out the process a little longer by taking one transition at a time.

They’re Asking for a Big Kid Bed

If there’s no other pressing issue, but you feel your child can handle the move to a twin bed, then let them decide when they’re ready! Sometimes the transition goes more smoothly when a kid feels a sense of independence in making the choice to get a new bed. There are young children who will show interest in a big bed—especially if they have an older sibling—well before they’re ready, so use your parental judgment on this one.

Twin Bed

Safety Considerations for Transitioning from a Toddler Bed to a Twin Bed

The biggest concern of moving to a twin bed is your child falling out of the bed while they sleep or treating it like a trampoline while they play. Explaining—and repeating—the rules of the new bed will be important as your kid learns that it can be dangerous to stand or jump on the bed.

Positive reinforcement when they’ve used the bed correctly can help, but you can take further safety precautions when your child starts sleeping in a twin-size bed with these recommendations:

  • Add a guardrail to both sides of the bed so your child doesn’t roll out in their sleep. If you can position the bed along a wall you may only need one guardrail.

  • Choose a twin bed frame that’s low to the ground to prevent fall injuries. A low-profile platform bed just a few inches high works well for young children. There are also many themed beds shaped like a racecar or a castle that sit flush with the floor and have higher sides.

  • Start with a twin-size mattress on the floor. When the big bed is fresh and exciting it can be hard to get your child to settle down enough to care about the rules. Once the novelty of the new bed wears off, you can try moving the mattress up onto a frame.

With all of this in mind, you know your child best. Watch for signs of readiness and be prepared for the twin-size bed transition—it comes sooner than you think!

Discover what makes Nurture&’s twin bed great in our virtual store. For more information on going through life’s biggest transitions with your little ones, you can browse through our Journal. Nurture& strives to bring today’s modern families premium nursery furniture made for parents, by parents.

Alyssa Larsen

Alyssa Larsen

Alyssa Larsen is a stay-at-home mom with a passion for writing. Before starting her career as a freelance writer, Alyssa devoted all of her time to her family and raising her young children. The evolution of her motherhood journey and parenting experience inspires her work. She strives to always tell a story that is helpful and relatable to the person reading it. Alyssa lives in Ohio with her husband and four hilarious kids.