Back to articles Little Dreamers, Big Bed

Categories: Parent Picks

Uh Oh. Is it time for a big kid bed? Insert profanity here. This next milestone in your toddler's life can be a daunting one for parents. It means new expenses and potentially, a disruption to some established routines and sleep patterns. But, look at the bright side! It can also mean an opportunity to have fun with a new decorating project ? one that your child may be involved in!
The gals at Wish Bedding have helped tons of Canadian parents make that transition to the “big kid bed” as smooth, fun and affordable as possible.  Here are Natalie Kaplan’s and Allison Meshwork’s top 7 tips on how to make that first bed fit for their dreams…

Tip #1 - Make your kid’s room a reflection of their personality

We all want to live vicariously through our kids and give them the room and bedding WE always wanted.  Remember that this is their room and it should reflect their personality.  Don’t choose patterns with bright primary colours if they prefer pastels.  Don’t give them a sports theme if they play with trains all day long.  If they love their room and their bed, they will want to sleep in it.  And, that ultimately is a parent’s dream come true.


Tip #2 - Start the transition early

Start talking about the transition well in advance of your intent to do it.  Talk it up as a special milestone that is all a part of becoming a “big kid”. Use older siblings or friends as examples.  Consider a party the day of the move.  Have the new bed all set up with a couple of balloons and a new bedtime book to enjoy!  You may also consider letting your child start in the new bed for naptimes and have them work up to night-time sleeps. 


If the move is being made because of a new baby on the way, make the transition at least 2 months in advance so that he/she doesn’t feel like the new baby is taking their crib away. 


Tip #3 – Buy quality but don’t break the bank

While a new bed will definitely be an expense, remember that your toddler’s first bedding ensemble will likely last around 5 years. Toddlers are tougher on their sheets and blankets and their tastes will eventually change.  With that in mind, an expensive designer duvet cover may not be super practical right now.  Do however; buy natural, breathable fabrics and good quality pillows, down-alternative duvet inserts and breathable, waterproof mattress protectors. Also keep in mind the temperature of your child’s room throughout the year; this should influence the type and weight of the blanket you choose to go with.  Following these suggestions will give your child the best possible environment for a good night’s sleep. 


Parents should expect to spend between $400 and $600 on dressing their child’s bed from scratch (insert more profanities here). Don’t get scared off. Let’s break it down so you can see the add-on’s. For a twin bed, this includes:

ü  A waterproof mattress protector (around $60)
ü  Pillows; you may need a basic one for a sham and one for sleeping ($10 - $35 each)
ü  A sheet set ($50 - $120 pending on blend, thread count, fibre quality & whether its printed)
ü  A bed skirt ($40 - $80 pending on same factors above),
ü  A comforter or duvet cover with sham ($80 - $150),   
ü  A duvet insert for a duvet cover (around $100),  
It might seem like a lot, but when you think about it, a good quality men’s 2-piece suit costs about the same, and they don’t sleep in it everyday!


Tip #4 – Measure, measure, measure!

With all the variety of mattresses out in the market today, it’s not surprising that they come in different depths, and as a result, so do sheets!  Have you ever slept on a bed that had loose fitting sheets?  Ughh!  So, before you buy your fitted sheets, measure the depth of your mattress, add ¼ - ½ inch for your mattress protector and then check the “pocket depth” of the sheets you want buy. If the depths are the same or within an inch or two difference, you’re in good shape!


Additionally, many bedding manufacturers have moved away from carrying separate double and queen size duvet covers.  There is now a new single size that fits both bed sizes called Full/Queen and these range from 86 X 86 inches to 90 X 90 inches.  So, if you are buying a duvet cover for a double size bed, be sure to check the dimensions of the duvet cover first, and then find a duvet insert that is at least as big, or a couple inches bigger than the dimensions of the cover.  This way you will not experience shifting or empty corners in your duvet cover.


Tip #5 – One sheet on the bed, one in the cupboard

This one is important Moms & Dads (for your own sanity)!  It’s the middle of the night and… well you know… stuff happens.  Sheets must be stripped off the bed and new ones must go on.  If you buy yourself 2 fitted sheets from the beginning, you won’t regret it. (Also, it will add longevity to your bedding set.)


The flat sheet is equally as important to own.  By separating the skin (and its oils, perspiration, etc.) from touching the comforter or duvet cover, it minimizes the number of washes it will require.  Less laundry… hooray! (Fewer washes also means it will add longevity to your bedding set!)


Tip #6 – Posture, posture, posture!

Toddlers and young kids have small necks and so it is REALLY important that they have very soft support pillows.  Too much support can force their necks to over-pronate at night which is not only uncomfortable but bad for their posture health!


Tip #7 – Put Safety First

A lot of toddlers visit every corner of their mattress during sleep.  Don’t forget to buy guardrails and if you can, use a wall on one side to ensure your child stays safely on the bed.   Guardrails are great but not always full-proof so in the beginning it is wise to have some pillows on the floor just in case and remove any toys or other objects around the perimeter of the bed.  If you are really nervous about falls, consider leaving the mattress on the floor until your toddler has gotten comfortable with his/her new bed. 


Got more questions?  Get in touch with Allison and Natalie at 416-506-WISH.  For more tips on buying bedding, or to look at their fabulous selection of kids’ bedding, visit