Crib conversion rails ensure your baby's comfortable and safe sleep as it transitions from infancy to childhood. During this phase, children's size changes significantly, and their sleep is characterized by frequent tossing and turning.
When you decide that your little one is ready to graduate from their current sleeping arrangements, it is vital that you choose the correct type of rails to convert their crib into a 'big kids' bed and to prevent them from falling off the bed during sleep. This article collates essential information on the subject. Read carefully before deciding on a crib conversion rail for your child's bed.
Which Types of Conversion Rails Should I Choose?
Depending on whether you are moving your child to a toddler bed or a full bed, you have different options. If you are planning to use the current base of the crib and change one side panel only to allow your child to move freely in and out of the bed, you will need a toddler rail. If, on the other hand, you are thinking of transforming the crib into a full-size bed, you will need a full bed rail conversion kit.
Toddler rails are panels that replace one of the side panels of your current rib. They are the option for parents who want to keep the current size of the crib, and the main reason for the change is to enable the child to climb in and out of bed on their own.
These rails are fixed to the frame of the crib and their design, apart from allowing the free movement in and out, protects the child andprevents its accidental fall during sleep. They act as 'guard panels'.
Toddler rails, available in wood and metal, can be:
Universal - compatible with most of the crib models, and their design is usually a rectangular slatted panel. They are available in a wide array of colors so you can match them with your current crib style.
Bespoke - compatible with specific crib models; if you'd like your toddler rail to fit like a glove, you should go with the bespoke option. Check with your manufacturer what toddler rails are available for your crib model and get one for a perfectly cohesive look.
A less fancy option (and also a cheaper one!) is mesh toddler rails. These are also a universal type, but if you have a wooden or metal crib, they will stand out and will not be as aesthetically pleasing. Nevertheless, they do have the 'guarding' function and will prevent your child from rolling from the bed.
On the plus side, mesh rails are easy-to-handle foldable assemblies. You can often collapse them to sit beside the child to read a bed-time story. You can even detach them from the bed when not in use.
When you want to convert your crib into a full-size bed, you will need to get full bed conversion rails. For such a transformation, you will also need special, 4-in-1 crib models. When you look closely at the 4-in-1 crib models, you will see that their side panels become a headboard and a footboard in a full-size bed. But to do this transition, you will need to get a new, bigger (full size) bed base. And here you have the option to choose between:
A bed base consisting of two matching side rails with approximately five slats in between that will attach to a headboard and a footboard. This solution is pretty straightforward to assemble.
This set includes the side rails only, and you will need a separate bunker board or full-size box-spring to lay the mattress on. You will also attach the side rails to panels from your existing crib to get the headboard and a footboard.
Of course, these solutions are only available on a bespoke basis, and hence, you do not have to worry about matching the color or material.
You might be asking why you should be choosing this solution instead of getting a brand new bed once your child outgrows their crib. Well, there are two main reasons; the first one is cost-saving - you get a crib which then transforms into a toddler bed and then changes to a full-size bed. Instead of three beds and three big expenditures, you make one (plus some smaller spending on the conversion rails). Secondly, maybe not so obvious, when you transform your crib into a bed, your child is staying within a familiar environment as they already know the bed. This might be a significant factor for more sensitive children who do not react so well to a change.
What Are the Safety Standards to Check for Conversion Rails?
A conversion kit is a vital child product whose purchase requires considering various aspects of child safety. Do check whether the product you are considering has these compliances:
The ASTM International standard for materials, products, systems, and services. This is a voluntary yet critical standard.
The US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) standard
GreenGuard Gold Certification. It ensures that certified products are child-friendly and safe for use in schools, caregiving facilities, and other children-centric environments. This label will ensure that the crib conversion rail you buy is tested for 360 volatile organic chemicals (VOC) and other chemical emissions.
The purchase of a crib conversion rail marks an important milestone in your child's growth journey. Moreover, it directly relates to your beloved one's peaceful and comfortable sleep. Choose the right type, based on the information provided in this article.