We have recently had to purchase a bed for our children. Actually, we only needed to purchase a bed for Munchie so Ducky would inherit the larger crib. We ended up getting bunk beds, so when Ducky will be ready for a big boy bed we will be all set.
Bed shopping was a lot more difficult than you would think. I had no idea what we were getting into. Yet we not only ended up with an awesome bed, but we learned a lot in the process.
1. Skip the toddler bed. You will only be using it for a small amount of time, and then you will need another bed. Spring straight for the big girl/boy bed (a twin or bigger), and your little one can use it all the way until they go off to college (I ended up having the same bed for almost twenty years with only a mattress change, and I am hoping for the same for my kids).
2. Price is important, but not everything. Keep in mind, a sturdy bed along with a sturdy mattress is an investment. You child can have this bed for a very long time. The better the quality, the longer it can be used, which translates into money saved in the long run.
3. Pink beds, car beds, Barbie beds, whatever, are all very cute. How cute will they be when your kid is a teenager? If you really feel the need to make it cutesy, buy some decorative/themed bed linens.
4. If you have multiple small children, a bunk bed might be the way to go. It can be a space saver, and a money saver. A bunk bed will usually cost less than two individual beds.
5. When purchasing a bunk bed get the kind that can be taken apart and configured into two individual beds. This will give you more options, especially once the kids get older and may end up in two different rooms (regardless of gender).
6. Bunkee Boards are not optional. They are sold as optional pieces when buying a bunk bed, but they are essential in making sure your bed does not break. Most bunk beds are laid out on slats. These slats are meant to support the mattress and hold the bed together. However, if your child bounces on the bed or throws themselves onto the bed, the slats will break. And that will cost you more than the original bunkee board. If the place where you purchase your bed does not offer them (which is very odd), most mattress stores will carry them.
7. Just like the bed, the mattress is an investment. This does not mean you want to get your kid a temperpedic, but don’t just buy the cheapest they offer. A few extra dollars can extend the life of your mattress several years.
8. If you think your kid may not be ready for a big bed because you fear they will fall out while sleeping, you can get some guard rails to mount on the side of the bed. They are fairly inexpensive, and completely secure.