If your toddler is ready to make the transition from the crib to a big kid bed, a mattress is one of the first orders of business before tucking him into his new bed. It might be tempting to just buy the first twin size mattress that you see, but do a little research so you can be sure your child will sleep safely and comfortably. Since you'll likely be snuggling with your little one in his twin bed, all that research will pay off for you, too, especially on nights when you fall asleep cuddling your toddler at bedtime.
Identify what your budget is for a new mattress. The price range for brand new mattresses varies tremendously and having a price range in mind can help you narrow down your options more quickly.
Browse several mattress stores to get an idea of what types of twin mattresses you can get within your budget.
Ask your toddler to lay down on twin mattresses that are in your price range. Ask her to show you which mattresses she thinks are the most comfortable.
Lay on a few mattresses yourself to get an idea of which mattress you think would best meet your child's needs.
Choose a firm mattress, recommends Tizzie Hall, author of "Save our Sleep Toddler." A soft mattress can increase the risk of sudden infant death syndrome if your toddler rolls over onto his tummy and then can't flip back onto his back, Hall reports.
Purchase a box spring with your toddler's new twin mattress and consider bed rails to help prevent your child from falling out of bed.
- Look for the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association, or JPMA, certification on any bed you're considering for your toddler. This seal of approval means that the bed meets minimum safety requirements.
- Buy a new mattress if possible. Not only will the mattress be clean, but you'll also know that no one else has slept on it before your child.
- Make sure that the new mattress doesn't leave gaps between the sides of the mattress and the edges of the bed frame. Your child could slip into the gap and become entrapped, Hall notes.
- Photodisc/Photodisc/Getty Images