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Are Toddler Beds Dangerous?

Are Toddler Beds Dangerous?

Are Toddler Beds Dangerous?

Toddler beds may seem like the perfect blend of a crib and a bed, but they actually tend to do more harm than good, especially for those with special needs.

New safety standards for toddler beds help ensure that issues like entrapment don't become major issues. Still, toddler beds create risk. Children with special needs may be particularly prone to harm. Consider looking into a Cubby Bed, which is designed to prevent entrapment.

If you’re considering using a toddler bed for your child, it’s imperative to be aware of what these risks might look like and what you can do to try and avoid them. Toddler beds are largely unnecessary, though, at the end of the day -- if your goal is to keep your child in the bed securely all night long, other options, like the Cubby Bed, might be better.

Are Toddler Beds Safe? Product Hazards and More

Toddler beds are usually designed to be smaller versions of the full-sized beds older children and adults sleep in; they’re meant to serve as a step between a crib and a bed and are generally targeted at children around one to three years of age.

Most toddler beds are meant to fit a crib-size mattress inside of an open-style bed frame. You can think of a toddler bed as a crib that’s not fully enclosed, allowing children to come and go as they please throughout the night.

In the past, toddler beds have faced frequent criticism and backlash for creating safety concerns for the children who use them. Entrapment in various parts of the bed, including rails, mattresses, and bed endings became a large concern for many parents after multiple cases involving this phenomenon arose. 

Other common injuries include falling from the bed, head injuries, and even fractures. 

In response to these worries and to the legitimate design flaws in many toddler beds, the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission issued safety standards for manufacturers to follow, effective in October 2011. 

These standards list specific rules for manufacturers to adhere to when creating future products and control guard rail size or length, mattress size, bed support, and more. 

Beds that follow these guidelines are fairly unlikely to be faulty or cause injury to your child, but the fact that the bed doesn’t act as an enclosure remains. For young children, especially those with special needs, this lack of enclosure greatly increases the risk of accidental injury; children simply aren’t always ready for the level of independence and motor control that a toddler bed (as opposed to a crib or another option) requires.

Toddler Bed Entrapment

A major concern for many families with toddler beds, as discussed, is entrapment (when a child’s body part, clothing, etc. gets stuck in a part of the bed). 

This is partially because many toddler beds feature guard rails of some sort. These rails may be meant to protect children and keep them inside of the bed, but they also leave large gaps that are easy to navigate into, but not so easy to navigate out of.

Entrapment is not only a safety concern, it’s incredibly frustrating and sometimes scary. If you do consider purchasing a toddler bed, be sure to be mindful of this risk and look for models that feature minimal opportunities to get stuck.

Toddler Bed Safety Standards

Modern safety standards for toddler beds are certainly a step up from what they have been in the past, and many of them were deliberately developed to address the main reasons these beds become problematic in the first place.

For example, manufacturers must follow guidelines controlling:

  • Guardrail structure (how rails are shaped and attached to the product)
  • Guardrail opening size
  • Guardrail durability
  • Load strength

Specific instructions for testing new products to ensure they meet these requirements are also available to sellers and consumers alike. 

These safety standards make it fairly unlikely that a child will be seriously injured by a toddler bed, and so far, they seem to be working. 

Still, toddler beds may not be the best choice for children who already struggle to stay safe or comfortable in bed, are prone to movement (such as nocturnal seizures) that may cause injury, or for children who have a hard time staying in bed throughout the night.

All About Safe Sleep for Toddlers

Regardless of how you feel about using a toddler bed for your child, it’s important to be aware of what healthy sleep patterns look like for toddlers. It’s also beneficial to be able to identify room for improvement in your child’s current nighttime routine.

What Makes a Toddler Bed Safe?

Safe toddler beds should follow legal guidelines, of course, and feature rails with gaps large enough to avoid entrapment, include padding, and be designed in a way that ensures the mattress within is secure.

Toddler beds should be able to hold an appropriate amount of weight, too. Be sure to be aware of any weight limits that your bed may have to avoid damage to the load-bearing structures of the product.

The materials that go into a toddler bed should match the same rigor as safety standards. Cheap plastics or overly solid options may be something to avoid.

If your child has special needs, you might want to seek out a bed that takes these needs into account. If you’re unable to meet these needs in a bed, incorporating supporting technology like nighttime monitors can help ensure your child is safe and comfortable.

At What Age are Toddler Beds Safe?

Toddler beds are not meant to be used until a child is around 15 months old, according to US safety guidelines. Children can use toddler beds from this point to about two to three years of age, depending on their size.

Toddler beds aren’t usually bigger than cribs since they use the same size mattress, but the fact that they don’t keep your child completely enclosed means that they’re not appropriate until your child is old enough to stay in bed while asleep.

AAP Safe Sleep Guidelines: 2020

The American Academy of Pediatrics is an excellent resource to turn to if you’re looking to further understand how to help young children, including toddlers, sleep safely. The AAP releases sleep guidelines that medical practitioners, caretakers, and parents can all use as a reference.

These guidelines are meant to act as injury prevention, especially for infants. Many infant injuries and deaths are the result of safety concerns that could be avoided, so the value of these efforts can not be understated.

The AAP recommends the following guidelines for ensuring babies and toddlers sleep securely and appropriately:

  • Limit the amount of loose items (blankets, stuffed animals, pillows, etc.) in your child’s bed; for infants, it may be advisable to avoid them entirely.
  • Place babies and infants on their back alone in their sleeping space when it’s time for bed.
  • Ensure your child’s sleep area is free of electronics, dangling cords, or other safety risks

Though the AAP’s guidelines are mostly pertinent to babies, they can serve as a good starting point for parents looking to develop a safe set-up for toddlers, too.

Sleep Safe and Sound With The Cubby Bed

The idea of a toddler bed isn’t a bad one, even if they tend to be less than remarkable in reality. Toddler beds attempt to create a space that’s appropriately sized for children and protective but still open enough to allow them to move freely and come and go from the bed.

Where traditional toddler beds fail, the Cubby Bed prospers. The Cubby Bed’s 360 enclosure ensures your child stays safe in their bed, but its mesh design and padding keep them free from injury or entrapment.

The Cubby Bed also features monitoring capabilities, including high-quality camera and microphones, that can be accessed at any time. The bed’s Android or iOS app allows instant access to a live feed of your child’s sleep environment, so you can check in even if you can’t be with them all night long.

The Cubby Bed allows your child to take control of their own sleep in a way that doesn’t sacrifice their wellbeing. Toddler beds may always have their flaws, but the Cubby Bed has been specially designed for the safety and happiness of children, particularly those with special needs.

Don’t waste your time, money, or energy on products that might end up failing you in the long-run. Worried about the cost of something as high-quality as the Cubby Bed? No problem - be sure to visit our page outlining financial aid options and other ways to make this investment work for your family.

A good and safe night’s sleep is just a few clicks away for both you and your child.

6 Best Weighted Blankets for Children

6 Best Weighted Blankets for Children

6 Best Weighted Blankets for Children 

If your child tosses and turns at night or manages anxiety, sensory issues, or restlessness, a weighted blanket might be the solution they’re searching for.

Based on extensive research, we’ve compiled a list of some of our top recommendations for the best weighted blankets for children. The best weighted blankets are those made with high-quality materials and those that are appropriately sized for the body weight of a child.

With so many choices to look through, it’s natural to be overwhelmed or be unsure of which one is best for your child. We’ve broken down our picks by their main feature to make it easier to decide what sort of options will work for your child’s needs. 

Best Weighted Blankets for Kids: Our Picks

  • Overall best weighted blankets for kids: YNM Kids Original Weighted Blanket 
  • Best weighted blanket for kids with autism: Sensory Goods Standard Weighted Blanket
  • Best weighted blanket for toddlers or young children: Southpaw Weighted Blanket
  • Best budget weighted blanket for kids: Weighted Idea Weighted Kids Blanket 
  • Softest weighted blanket for kids: Harkla Kids Weighted Blanket
  • Best stylish weighted blankets for kids: Bearaby Nappling Weighted Blanket

  • Below, we’ll take a closer look at our selection process for these picks. We’ll also unpack all of the benefits that weighted blankets have to offer to help you decide if one is a good choice for your child.

    How Do Weighted Blankets Work?

    Weighted blankets feature a specific amount of weight, generally in pounds, and are meant to be laid across the body. The weight of these blankets is very therapeutic to many; it’s often described as feeling like a warm hug.

    The weight in these blankets usually comes from beads, whether glass or plastic, that are inside of the fabric of the blanket itself. Instead of featuring fluffy, soft filling, like a comforter or thick blanket might, these products are generally firm to the touch.

    There is actual science to support anecdotal claims surrounding the efficacy of these blankets. Pressure from the weight of the blanket can slow heart rate and breathing, leading the individual underneath to feel more relaxed.

    Weighted blankets are also believed to stimulate the release of serotonin, the brain’s feel-good chemical, which also contributes to feelings of peace. These blankets can help an individual feel grounded and safe, which is great for managing overstimulation throughout the night.

    Are Weighted Blankets Safe for Children?

    Yes, weighted blankets are safe for children! So long as you select a blanket size and weight that’s appropriate for your child’s body, safety concerns shouldn’t be an issue.

    Weighted blankets don’t carry any real risks in terms of injury when they’re appropriately sized, but excessively heavy blankets can be problematic. 

    Though these blankets are safe, they’re not great tools for very young children (15 months or younger). Children this young don’t usually weigh enough to find a blanket that’s an appropriate size, and loose fabric is generally unsafe for babies because of the suffocation risk it poses.

    If your child weighs around 30 to 40 pounds or more, they’re likely old and large enough to safely use a weighted blanket. When in doubt, it never hurts to check with your child’s doctor before purchasing a blanket.

    Weighted Blanket for Kids: Benefits

    Weighted blankets are a severely overlooked tool for children, especially children with autism or other special needs. They offer tons of therapeutic potential with minimal to no risk, and the amount of options on the market makes it easy to find a design, color, or material that your child loves.

    Some potential benefits of a weighted blanket might include:

    • Better quality sleep
    • Less trouble managing stimuli (noise, lights, movement, etc.) overnight; this is particularly useful for children with ASD, who tend to struggle tuning out certain types of stimulus and might fail to sleep as a result
    • Lowered levels of anxiety
    • Lowered levels of nighttime movement (less tossing and turning)
    • A better relationship with night and sleep in general

    Bedtime is a difficult time for many children; it’s one of the few times they’re truly alone and unable to immediately turn to an adult for guidance. Devices like a weighted blanket can provide some much-needed comfort and, as a bonus, a chance to customize your child’s sleeping environment to their liking.

    How to Size a Weighted Blanket for Kids

    Always ensure that the blanket you’re purchasing is appropriately sized for your child. A good guideline to stick to is 10% of your child’s body weight plus a pound or two.

    So, if your child weighs 40 pounds, a good sized blanket might range from 4-6 lbs. Sticking to this limit can help you find a blanket that’s heavy enough to actually produce results, but not so heavy that it limits your child’s mobility or breathing.

    If your child is too small for a weighted blanket in terms of weight, even the lightest options out there might pose a threat to their safety. Don’t skip this step; it’s the difference between finding a blanket that soothes your child and one that potentially stresses them.

    How We Chose the Best Weighted Blankets for Children

    The market is chock-full of blankets to peruse, but we’ve selected some of the top picks noted by healthcare professionals and parents of all sorts. 

    Our recommendations are based on price range (is it reasonable?), product quality, and the consistency of product reviews. Only blankets that combine function, style, and comfort have made this list.

    Cost Breakdown

    We’ve followed the following price breakdown when compiling our picks to help you quickly determine whether or not a product might be in your price range:

    • $: priced $0-75
    • $$: priced $75-150
    • $$$: priced $150+

    Products that range in price based on blanket size have been noted as such. Fortunately, you don’t have to break the bank to get a good blanket, but they’re certainly an expense to consider and plan ahead of time.

    6 of the Best Weighted Blankets for Children

    Overall Best Weighted Blankets For Kids: YNM Kids Original Weighted Blanket ($)

    This weighted blanket is featured in Forbes and highly praised for a reason. The YNM weighted blanket features soft cotton and several layers of breathable fabric surrounding high-quality, glass beads that provide an even distribution of weight.

    The YNM blanket is one of the best quality options out there; it doesn’t skimp on comfort. This option also comes in all sorts of fun colors and designs, so your child can select one that fits their personality. 

    Best Weighted Blanket for Kids With Autism: Sensory Goods Standard Weighted Blanket ($-$$$)

    Specially designed for children with special needs, the Sensory Goods blanket features a combination of soft material and firm weight to help children manage sensory issues.

    This blanket’s goal is to keep children calm and help them feel safe. The pressure from the blanket keeps your child cradled all night long, much like the warm arms of a parent might.

    Best Weighted Blanket for Toddlers (or Young Children): Southpaw Weighted Blanket ($$-$$$)

    The Southpaw weighted blanket is one of few options that feature a wide variety of size and weight options. This makes it an ideal option for parents looking to find blankets for children who are on the lowest end of the safe weight spectrum.

    Best Budget Weighted Blanket for Kids: Weighted Idea Weighted Kids Blanket ($)

    Weighted blankets can be pricey, but the Weighted Idea Weighted Kids Blanket manages to offer all the same benefits as more expensive options at half the cost. Though the blanket is an affordable option, its quality doesn’t reflect it; your child will still feel cozy!

    Softest Weighted Blanket for Kids: Harkla Kids Weighted Blanket ($$)

    The Harkla Kids Weighted Blanket features a soft, “minky” fabric that will soothe just about any child all night long. Unlike many other blankets, which are made with cotton or a blend of other fabrics, this option feels like a hug from a teddy bear.

    Best Stylish Weighted Blankets for Kids: Bearaby Nappling Weighted Blanket ($$$)

    The chunky, knit design of the Bearaby Nappling blanket makes it one-of-a-kind. If you’re looking for a blanket that’s gorgeous enough to display, look no further; the blanket comes in multiple colors to ensure you and your child make a choice you’ll be happy with.

    Maximize Your Child’s Comfort With The Cubby Bed

    If your child struggles to sleep soundly at night, the Cubby Bed -- in combination with a weighted blanket -- can be revolutionary. The bed features padding and a mesh enclosure to keep children safe from harm as well as soothing features (like a white noise machine) to ensure they’re comfortable, too.

    There’s no environment more secure than a comfortable bed with a special blanket, and the Cubby Bed can easily take on the first half of this role. For many children, a weighted blanket alone might not be enough, but the support the Cubby Bed offers might be the lifesaver they need.

    No other bed or blanket on the market can rival the Cubby Sleep System; the peace of mind that it offers, combined with its coziness, is priceless.

    Relaxing Bedtime Routine for a Child With Autism

    Relaxing Bedtime Routine for a Child With Autism
    In this article, you will find common questions, and some useful ideas for setting up a relaxing and effective bedtime routine for yourself and your child.