by Staff Writer
When your child moves out of her crib and into a toddler bed, the moment can be both exciting and scary for her. However, toddler beds use the same size mattress as cribs, so the transition shouldn't feel too extreme because you can use the familiar mattress that your child has been sleeping on. If you're shopping for new crib mattresses, consider these steps, so you will know how to pick a mattress for a toddler bed that will help your child's new bed feel cozy and secure.
Bed size: Purchasing the right toddler mattress means finding one that fits perfectly in the toddler bed that you have chosen. Measure the child bed before shopping for a crib mattress to fit the bed. Consider the size of the toddler bed and the placement of any guardrails or other parts when measuring for the mattress.
Consider mattress materials: Toddler mattresses can be made from springs, coils, wool, cotton and memory foam. Each filling has its individual benefits. Springs and coils, for example, offer the support of a traditional mattress in a smaller size to suit a child's body. Wool mattresses help retain heat, and cotton mattresses have a high level of breathability. Memory foam toddler mattresses offer plenty of comfort and support and are also very durable. If your child has allergies or sensitive skin, consider organic cotton mattresses for the toddler bed but avoid wool.
Check for firmness: Whichever mattress material you select, it is important to make sure that the mattress is firm. Firm crib mattresses are recommended for infants and toddlers because they don't pose a high smothering risk. A firm toddler mattress will also offer support when your baby moves and fidgets during the night. There are dual-sided convertible crib mattresses available that offer a very firm side for infants, and a slightly softer side for toddlers. While many parents choose to invest in a convertible crib mattress, it is perfectly fine to let your toddler sleep on the same firm crib mattress they used as an infant.
Buy a mattress cover: Mattress covers are great for toddler mattresses because they can be taken off to be washed. Mattress covers also help to prolong the life of the mattress, which is helpful if you're using the mattress from infancy through your child's toddler years. In addition, padded mattress covers can add to the comfort of the child bed.