Long gone are the days when a toddler bed was just a convertible crib or a plastic bed with a baby mattress. Today, the internet is full of ideas, tips, and tricks for everything, including how to customize a bed or toddler bed to create a DIY masterpiece.
It was like a breath of fresh air when I discovered these ideas, especially the Montessori bed. You see, my littlest is just now a kindergartner, and she was quite the hoarder as a toddler. Her room was full of toys, dolls and a plethora of other things. It begged for some type of storage solution while her size meant that she needed a bigger bed. Throughout the search, I found some really cool beds and some great ideas for storage. Above all else, these are really budget friendly. I also learned a great deal about Montessori, and now my little one is on the waiting list at our local Montessori school.
In this article
1. Add a Guard Rail and Utilize Totes
Instead of buying a toddler bed now and a twin bed later, you can transform a twin bed into a toddler bed. First, pick the twin bed of your choice. After that, browse through your favorite place to shop to find a guard rail. Guard rails are available for full and twin size beds to convert them into a safe toddler bed.
We’ve looked through them ourselves to make sure that there are plenty of styles available so that you can find exactly what you are looking for. Metal guard rails are available and easy to install. Mesh guardrails give the appearance of a crib and have that same ease of installation. Pick one that gives you the comfort that you need to instantly have your own DIY toddler bed.
For additional storage, pick up a few under the bed storage totes. It’s important that you measure the height between the floor and the bottom of the bed to make sure that they will fit properly. Totes are available in a variety of shapes, colors and some styles have wheels on them to make it easy for kids to pull them out. Then, you can use the totes to store clothing, shoes or extra toys.
This is not the most elaborate inexpensive DIY toddler bed with storage, but it will get the job done and requires little effort, making it a great project if you’re not the handiest person in the world.
2. Build a Traditional Toddler Bed With Storage
A traditional toddler is a standard bed with four legs, a headboard, and a footboard. These beds are easy to make if you already own the tools that you’ll need, and they can usually be completed in about a day. It’s also only going to cost you about forty dollars in materials. This blog gives you detailed instructions to help you craft the perfect inexpensive DIY toddler bed.
Before you rush to buy wood for this project, consider the fact that you will need to customize it a bit to include storage options. Some great ideas for this are:
- Bookshelf style headboard
- Make the bed taller to increase space under the bed
- Include drawers or cubbies under the bed
- Build a shelf with cubes that can be used for storage for the footboard
3. Transform A Couch Into A Daybed
If you already have an old couch, this project will cost you next to nothing. If not, you can pick up a cheap couch at a garage sale, thrift store or check local listings to see if someone nearby is giving one away. You will also need:
- A way to remove the cushions
- A mattress (foam mattresses are recommended as they can be cut to size)
First, cut the cushions off the bottom of the couch. Then, cut the mattress to size and place it on the couch. You can secure the mattress in place by sliding it underneath the cushions on the back of the couch. After that, put a sheet on the mattress, throw some pillows and plushies on the bed and you’re good to go!
Including storage options will take a bit more work, but it is possible. After creating the bed using the top of the couch, you will need to remove the front of the couch and some of the springs inside. Remember, there should be enough interior left to hold the mattress up.
After you have a nice little cubby, use wood to outline the cubes and hide the interior of the couch on the front of the daybed. These little pockets of extra space can be used for storage cubes to hold small toys, socks or other small items.
4. DIY Toddler Bed With Storage Loft Bed
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A loft bed instantly provides additional storage space because it does not take up as much floor space as another bed will. These beds are a bit more complicated to complete, but once they are finished they are sturdy, have high guard rails to protect toddlers, and give your little one all the extra room that they need. Check out this blog for detailed instructions and a complete plan for a DIY toddler loft bed.
5. Montessori Beds
Montessori beds can be low sitting beds to the floor, or they can simply be a mattress on the floor. While most people believe that this is a style for someone that is too poor to afford a bed frame, this is a common way to raise children that are being brought up in a Montessori style.
To create your own Montessori bed, you don’t need to purchase anything other than a mattress. Simply lay the bed, or mattress, on the floor and make it as you would any other bed. These beds also provide additional room for storage by giving you more wall space to utilize vertical storage options.
What Is Montessori?
Montessori is a method of teaching, parenting, and life that has evolved from Maria Montessori. The theory is that children should be observed, corrected and treated with respect. Instead of encouraging children to follow parents, the parent or teacher follows the child to provide them with proper guidance if need be. This theory is seen in Montessori schools, households that believe in the Montessori methods, and some parents choose to incorporate certain aspects of a Montessori lifestyle into their home, such as the Montessori bed.
What Is A Montessori Bed?
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A Montessori bed takes the place of a crib or other bed in a child’s room. These beds are often referred to as floor beds if it is simply a mattress on the floor. Montessori beds might also be a small bed frame with short legs that sits close to the floor, which gives your baby the opportunity to get in and out of bed by themselves.
Why A Montessori Bed?
A Montessori bed goes hand in hand with the common principles of the Montessori method. When a baby is allowed to play freely in their room, they develop a love to learn. Their natural curiosity takes over to propel them to learn everything that they can about the world around them. Often, children that have to play in a crib do not develop this.
Another benefit that many parents have discovered when they opt for a floor bed is that their children become more independent. When they can get in and out of bed vs. being confined, they develop a sense of responsibility, and they learn how to use it at a younger age. When your baby is not allowed to make choices, such as whether or not to stay in bed, they take longer to learn how to make appropriate choices.
Parents that enjoy co-sleeping love floor beds. These beds give you the option to sleep in bed with your baby, which is not going to happen in a crib. After breastfeeding, you can curl up to take a nap without worrying that your baby is going to fall out of the bed or being cramped in a bed that is too small for both of you.
Things To Consider Before Switching to a Montessori Bed
As soon as you hear about a floor bed or catch a glimpse of a Montessori nursery it can be tempting to plop a mattress on the floor, but there are a few things that you need to keep in mind before moving your baby to a Montessori bed.
Pick A Safe Mattress
A mattress that is too plush can be dangerous for smaller babies. Their face can push down into the mattress and they can suffocate. Instead, opt for a firm mattress.
Baby Gates Are Okay
Some parents think of a Montessori nursery where a child can get up on their own and instantly envision the entire house destroyed or their baby playing with dangerous things. This is where a baby gate comes in handy. Encourage your little one to explore safely by putting up a baby gate to make sure that you know when they are awake.
Child Proof The Entire Room
When your little one starts to get out of bed on their own, they will want to explore everything around them. That is why it’s important to make sure that their bedroom is safe for them to play in. Keep electrical cords out of the nursery, use plugs in electrical outlets, etc. and then let them have fun as they learn and grow in a safe environment.
You Don’t Have To Do Everything Montessori Style
There are a lot of people that appreciate the Montessori theories and implement as much of them into their home as possible. Then, there are people on the other end of the spectrum that do not agree with them. In between are the people that will incorporate specific aspects of the Montessori style into their home while forgoing others. This may be where you will fall into. If a Montessori bed sounds appealing, give it a shot. That doesn’t mean that you have to adopt every possible Montessori method that you can, though. Stick with what you are comfortable with.
Toddler beds can take on any form that you would like when you take the time to transform pieces of wood or old furniture into a masterpiece. These awesome ideas are cost effective, create more space, and will instantly give you a feeling of satisfaction. If a DIY project doesn’t sound like something that is up your alley, you can always try a Montessori bed with just a mattress.