when the wind blows the cradle will rock

trundle bed
two trundle beds and a partridge in a pear tree

I need a wee bit of advice. Abigail’s crib is falling apart. Phil says it’s just loose, needs some glue or nails or something, but I say, it’s done. I say it’s a sign. Why not take this as an opportunity to transition to a toddler or twin bed with rails.

And that’s my question for you. Which would you do? Would you go out and purchase two toddler beds (which for those who don’t know are small beds with rails that still use a crib sized mattress), or would you skip that step and simply buy two twin beds with universal rails? While the twin beds will be more costly, we’re at least skipping a step. I feel like we should just go for the twin beds, but wanted to hear any advice you might have. Also, at what age do you think bunk beds can be appropriate? That is, what age would a child have to be in order to safely sleep on the top bunk?

I do wonder if come morning I’ll ever find them snuggled up together on the floor.

A YEAR AGO: My Little Anyones
3 YEARS AGO: Vomitando
5 YEARS AGO: Suzara’s Soiree



  1. I would go for the twin beds (even better if you can find them with a trundle bed underneath, for them to be closer to each other; or for the inevitable sleepover friends phase that you will be entering sooner than you think!).
    Happy Shopping,

  2. We went from crib to twin-size bed with rails with my son. I just could not see spending the money on a little bed that would only be used for a very short time. As for bunk beds… my sister and I had them growing up. We were about 8 and 4, I’m the oldest and slept on top. There was always great temptation to jump off of the top bunk. I actually did that once in college but that is another story… There are some bunk beds that can be used as two twins and then stacked once you are ready. That might be a way to go. Either way, happy shopping!

  3. I’ve done it both ways – and it depends on the kids’ personalities, but I’d go with the twin beds. The toddler beds are cute, but they grow out of them in a hot second. If you think you need to try the toddler beds though, I’d hit Craigslist – usually a plethora of ’em there. Good luck!

  4. Skip the toddler bed. Go straight to a twin bed. you can add rails and a step stool if necessary for the temporary need of them, and you’ll have many years of use with the twin beds.

  5. I vote to keep them in the cribs for as loooong as possible. Eliminates one more thing to worry and fuss about a little bit longer. I plan to keep mine in until they are climbing out. My cribs convert so that is my plan, but if they did not I would skip the toddler bed and go for the twin beds. In addition, I do not think bunk beds are safe at any age to be honest. I worked for CPS and cannot tell you how many kids get injured in one way or another. Even playing on them and falling off. Just bad news.

  6. Fix the crib or buy a new cheap one. I also vote for keeping them in cribs as long as possible. My 15 year old dived out of his crib at age 2 1/2 and I put him in a twin bed the next day. That was the end of his napping. For the price of a toddler bed you can probably buy a cheap but functional crib at Toys R Us or Ikea. Good luck!

  7. I would get them the 2 twin beds. The twins I care for are in the middle of transitioning from their cribs (waiting for their beds to be shipped) and the boy’s crib transformed into a toddler bed but the girl’s crib didn’t so she has a mattress on the floor. Let’s just say the first couple of weeks were rough for the boy. The girl would climb into his bed and bite him.
    After the first two weeks that behavior was finally eradicated but she was still was having trouble falling asleep. Now it’s the other way around, the boy will wake up in the middle of his naps or in the middle of the night and snuggle into his sister’s bed.

    Basically they don’t like having different beds (what getting a toddler bed with a trundle will mean). So yes, I suggest getting the twin beds so that they feel equal. Also, have you potty trained them yet? If not, I suggest you do that first. Especially since Abigail always had that poo-painting problem.

    It’s fairly easy to potty train them. I potty trained the twins I cared for in 1 weekend. All it takes is 2 little potties, a timer, a bribe (M&M’s or something like that will work), and a portable potty for when you are out with them. If you need more specifics of how we did it, feel free to e-mail me.

  8. I vote for the toddler beds. It’s kinda scary, I think, to go from a crib to what seems like an enormous big bed. I have twins, the toddler beds were very inexpensive, and the kids loved them. Made them feel like big kids in a way that they could easily handle, and I think it made the transition to regular twin beds much, much easier. I think they were able to use them for at least a year or more.

  9. I’ve moved all four of mine from crib to twin bed with rails, and it worked great. While the twin beds are more expensive in the beginning, the toddler beds are not going to last very long.

  10. You can have the best of both worlds- go to Ikea! We bought Luci a bed that extends to a twin. They are toddler-size with extensions on the mattress that enlarge it all the way up to twin size. I think they actually can be adjusted to three different sizes. And there are many different styles to choose from. I think we spent about $200ish. We had it set up as a toddler-size in the beginning, but for many months now, it’s been a twin. They are low to the ground so you don’t have to worry about them getting hurt when they fall out (and that’s never happened to us so far).

    She’s been sleeping in it for the past 9 months and our kids are roughly the same age. It just might take some extra effort on your end to make sure they stay in their beds, but with a little excitement and playing it up, it can be done!

  11. My daughter’s bed from age 2 to age 12 was a full twin futon on a frame which was only a few inches off the floor. Safe as a toddler; cool as a pre-teen.

  12. Definitely go with twin beds…but MAKE SURE you buy really GOOD QUALITY waterproof mattress covers and buy two for each bed. Toddlers with throw up and have an accident guranteed and reall mattresses are not water proof like crib mattresses. With two there is always one in reserve for those 3 am vomit fests that are sure to occur… just a piece of advice from a mom that had 3 babies in 4 years

  13. Definitely keep that cute cocktail in a crib for as long as possible. You’re asking for a cranky child if not! She’ll let you know when she’s ready for a big girl bed.

    Just get a handyman (or Phil) to tighten-up the bed screws and add a little glue!

    It’s totally work making sure she gets as much beauty sleep as possible.

  14. Twin beds and put the mattresses on the floor until they stop rolling out of them. Yes, it’s hoopty, but it will save your kids from bumps and bruises and screaming in the middle of the night. TRUST.

  15. I transferred my 2 1/2 yr old twins into twin beds a couple of weeks ago with no problems. The one had been climbing out of his crib for months and instigating all sorts of trouble with his brother at bedtime. I was petrified of putting them into beds as I thought it would be the end of nap time, but it has been amazingly smooth. We skipped proper “beds” for now and just used some good quality box springs and mattresses so it wouldn’t be too high off the ground, got some adorable new bedding from Dwell that the boys saw on the internet. I kept showing it to them for a few days (bikies! aeroplanes! cars!) and they couldn’t wait to go to sleep in their “big boy” beds. First night was like Christmas for them, in and out constantly but after that no (major) issues. We didn’t even put up rails. The room is carpeted and only one has fallen off the bed but it’s low and soft enough to not be an issue. They still nap and actually sleep later in the mornings.

    Go for it!

  16. Keep them in cribs as long as you can! We moved my son when he was barely two, and as soon as he tasted freedom, nightly struggles began. We still work at putting him down, a year and a half later!

    For what it’s worth, we went with a toddler bed. Same mattress, close to the floor, and he got to pick it out (winnie the pooh). Still, though, I miss his crib some days!

  17. hi.
    you know your kids best. firstly; stay in cribs while you can then skip the middle set; unless you buy beds that do the ‘toddler’ to ‘kid’ thing that my friend has for his son.

    secondly; my best friend has 5 kids. not ideal ;but she has bunk beds. the girls 8 and 4 were in there. Now the 4 year old is on the top and the little boy (3) is on the bottom.

    they learn not to play on the top bunk. she only had one kid out of three that played in the top; he is the boy of course he fell, he wont do it again.

    the older girl transferred to her own bed now. the youngest two are cribs.

    you’ll know what they can handle.

  18. Twin beds, pushed against a wall with the rail on the other side. Those toddler beds are a huge waste of $$, and for the bunk beds- probably not until after age five, and only if the top bunk dweller isn’t a klutzy sort. (or an over-the-top daredevil!)

  19. I’m in the same boat w/ my twins and I think I’m going to skip the toddler beds and go w/ 2 twins. Good luck!

  20. Twin beds with trundles. Then leave them pulled out a bit until you’re sure they don’t roll. The rails are flimsy and hard to secure.

    The Wooden Duck has beautiful trundle beds made of recycled wood with a fab patina, and they are virtually indestructible. The trundles can (but don’t have to) pop up for other guests. Our twins have been sleeping and bouncing on them for almost 7 years. They got their “big kid” beds and separate rooms for their third birthday, and were really excited about them. The transition was relatively pain free.


  21. You are getting good advice here – but I just wanted to add that the Universal rails can be dangerous. Children can get stuck between the rail and the bed. I would put the twin mattress on the floor until they are a bit older and not rolling off the bed. My son is the same age as your twins, he’s been in a twin bed for 5 months (after climbing out of the crib, he forced our hand). His twin bed has different heights – higher to fit a trundle underneath, or lower to the ground. He’s been fine without a rail, hasn’t fallen out of the bed once.

  22. I would go for the twin bed(s). Costco currently has furniture at great prices including the bed and trundle combo.
    Good Luck!
    PS. Just finished your first book that we chose for our book club…wish you could come!

  23. Twin beds- a better choice.
    By the way, could you recommend some good children books? Books your kids love? Thanks.

  24. I went with handsome oak bunk beds that unstacked as twin beds. Top bunk obviously had the safety rail and I never had a problem. It all worked out great. When we moved and they had their own bedrooms, the first week they stayed in the same room. Now they may be going off to different colleges and I am a mess! Enjoy every minute….

  25. I have no opinion on the matter; I just want to know where you can buy that trundle bed.

  26. Skip the toddler bed’s. Waist of money and why make your kids transition from crib to toddler bed to big bed? Too many transitions I say.

  27. I would skip both and go straight to a full sized bed. My kids were not in their twins long enough to justify the cost of the mattress. With a full size (or queen) you can cuddle with them, and they can have sleepovers.

  28. Here I go, throwing a wrench in things…Skip both ideas and go for full beds if you have the room. When my son was done with his crib he went straight to a full bed. One side was against the wall…and we put a body pillow on the other side. He never did fall off once. It gave hime room to move around…room not to fall off…Gave us more room for snuggle time in bed with him, as well as book time! It also made it easier for us b/c my son was frequently being nebulized. We could lay in his bed with him comfortably and give him his treatments. In the long run it has paid off…He is 7, loves the room of a big bed and prefers his own bed b/c of that!

  29. I see that most of your readers recommend going straight to toddler beds, and if my twins hadn’t shared a teeny room I might have done that also. But we got more than two years out of our toddler beds — which were adorable, stylish and less than $100 each at Toys R Us. They continued to take long afternoon naps, had no fear of twin beds (without rails) at age five, didn’t fall far when they did roll off and gave us two more years to think about real furniture, linens, decor, etc. I would do it all over again, and I’m sure you could sell the beds or find someone else who could use them in a snap. Plus, it’s so easy to make the little beds up, even if they’re pushed against a wall.

    We were advised not to put a child in the top bunk until at least age six. Even at eight, I’m not sure I’d want my kids in bunks every night, but for an occasional sleepover it’s okay.

  30. i bought 2 twin beds from ikea – the malm, to be specific. because it’s so low to the ground and the frame surrounds the mattress there has been no need for the side rails. neither have fallen out – they are 2 1/2 and have had the beds for about 6 months now because they were getting to big for the cribs. i’d go right to twin beds – if you buy toddler beds, you’ll be buying twin beds next year anyway.

  31. Go right to the twin beds. And I believe 6 is the standard minimum recommended age for bunk beds.

  32. We went to twin mattresses on the floor for a few months then up in their frames they went. Also twins :)

    With first born son someone lent us a toddler bed so we used that. Didn’t want to have to buy another so when the girls came along just went with the twin beds.

  33. Twin beds definately. That way you can put the beds in two separate bedrooms eventually, because by about age 8, they will want their own defining spaces for sure! Hold off on the bunk beds too. My son had bunk beds from age 8 to 12, and within the first week he fell off the top bunk and had a big knot on his head.

  34. I always vote for practicality, which, in this case, is moving straight into twin beds. Also, the marketing powers that be are all over selling parents way more than they need. It makes you wonder how anyone ever survived without a toddler bed! Bunk beds and trundle beds are OUT! Both are clever space savers but neither has much interior design class. A far better choice would be matching twins with boy/girl appropriate linens. They’ll look great while they still share a room and will be no problem when they split off into their own rooms!

  35. Twin beds. Everyone I’ve talked to about this says toddler beds are a HUGE waste of money as your little ones will outgrow them in a New York minute. I actually bought a crib that converts to a twin bed, which is cool. But definitely skip toddler beds.

  36. Toddler beds. They are only little once. They will have many years ahead to sleep in “grown up” beds.

  37. Go right for the twin beds, with rails. We did around 20 months with our toddler, but she was ready then. The question lies in do they get in and out of your bed okay? If yes, then you’ll be okay with the twin beds and rails….

  38. get toddler beds and use the matresses from their baby beds until the night time potty training is complete. you will be glad you did as baby bed matresses are much easier to clean. then when potty training is complete you can reward them with “big kid” beds.

  39. I love those trundle beds — but I worry it would be a competitive thing between them, because it does seem like one is the real bed and one is the “sidecar” as it were.

  40. Go for the twin beads, but use those temporary bed rails on the side(s). Same thing, and less money in the long run, and they won’t fall out. Also, bunk-beds at age 6…MAYBE 5.

  41. My friends went from the crib to a full size bed on the floor for both of their boys. The mattress was set on the floor minus the frame until each child was older. Wyatt loved having the big bed and since neither of them slept a lot, it made it easier for them to just rest in bed, play, read books during nap time.

  42. Go straight to twin beds. We did so with both our boys, but now they have bunk beds at age 4 and 7 (almost 8). When our 7 year old was about 3, we bought him a twin bed. He did fall out so we put pillows on the floor beside his bed and tucked him in as close to the wall as possible. He was fine.

  43. When my wife and I were having to wrestle with this decision several years ago with our triplets we opted for the intermediate step of the low toddler beds. We used the same mattresses so it was less expensive then to go the whole hog single bed routine at the same time. Plus much less anxiety regarding then getting out and falling.

  44. I think the toddler beds are a consumer rip-off. Get the twin beds and put the boxspring and mattress right on the floor for a while–this way if the fall out of bed they won’t get hurt.

  45. My twins got out of cribs at 2 and stayed in toddler beds until they were 4. Twins are *different*. When they moved to twin beds, we ended up pushing them together and using king sized sheets because they really didn’t like those big beds. They’re 7 now and sleep apart, but there are days when we find them curled up together like they are in the womb.

    My (non-twin) son got bunkbeds when he was 6 and has slept on the top ever since.

  46. I’m going to suggest the twin with railing options. W just did this with our 2.6 yo and it has worked like a charm.

  47. Skip the toddler beds, go straight to twin beds.

    But here’s an added idea a friend gave me that worked great: Start off with just the mattress on the floor. That way when they roll out it doesn’t matter, and it’s easier for the kids. Then when they grow a bit and stop rolling out, add the box spring underneath. When they grow a little more, finally put the whole thing into the frame. It makes for an easier transition but you’re still using the big bed.

  48. Went straight from wonky, worn out crib to twin bed without rails for my little daughter. She only ever fell out of bed once. Loved her big girl bed from the get go.

  49. My son hated his toddler bed and we would find him asleep on the floor next to it. We got him a full size bed, he hopped in it, loved it and never looked back! He was two for the toddler bed and three for the full. Now he is eight and has a queen size bed. My second went from crib straight to a queen size bed and never had problems, he was three.

  50. I bought my son a “This End Up” brand daybed. It has 2 removable rails. The products can be purchased from their website. It was twin size, but it does have room underneath for a trundle. He is now 25 and I just sold that bed to another family who will be moving their 2 year old to his big boy bed. The furniture is so sturdy that I was able to sell it for $175 when it sells for $275 brand new!

  51. Off and on throughout our childhoods, my brother and I slept on the floor rather than in any bed. My husband and I still will avoid an inflatable guest bed in favor of the floor.

    I’m just saying that there’s nothing wrong with sleeping on the floor, if that’s where one is happy sleeping, what’s the big deal?

  52. Twin beds for sure. My little stinkerbell used her rail to keep her stuffed animal “friends” on the bed and kept her safe as well. And seriously! that trundle bed is adorable.

  53. Hey Stephanie. I was at Wunderman the same time you were, but we never worked on anything together (I was in the IBM group). Anyway, my twins are now 9, but when it was time for transitioning them (when 1 was easily climbing in and out of her crib at will), I just bought 2 twin beds and let the girls sleep on the mattresses, on the floor. No box spring. So when they roll off the mattress (and they WILL, I assure you), they’ll only fall 6″ (we used to keep a folded blanket next to the bed for them to fall onto). Then, about a year or so later, we got platform beds for them and just plunked the mattress on top of that. You can avoid the whole bedrail thing, too. Good luck.

  54. When my twins hit, about 2.5, we were done for. They were getting out of their cribs by unzipping their crib tents and somehow figuring out how to untie the sailor knots I used to adhere the zipper to the netting. We went to twin beds. Since they were sharing a room, I bought the Pottery Barn Belden beds. They bump up against each other in the shape of an “L”. The boys’ heads are practically touching and they can giggle all night, talk about Spiderman and tell stories. The first four months were killer as they worked through the novelty of them and now, we only have to lock them in their rooms at 9pm. (Just kidding). Have fun ;)

  55. Hey – our twinboys were pretty much done for at about 2.5. They were crawling out of their crib tents, after untying the sailer knot that I left behind. It was stressful so I broke down and bought the Beldon beds from Pottery Barn. I have them set up so that they are in the shape of an “L”. This way they can hold hands or talk about Batman or tell stories. The first 4 months were killers as they worked through the novelty of not being in prison, but we worked through it. It takes a bit, but for them, it’s pretty exciting. Have fun!

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