It may sound pretty straightforward to find the perfect bedding for your toddler. What more do you need than a mattress, pillow, sheets and a blanket? That’s what I thought too, when I first started thinking about this. But as it turns out, having the right bedding for your little one can make a big difference for both them and you.
Finding the Right Size
When it comes to toddler bed sizing there isn’t a ton you need to do beyond making sure what you’re purchasing is labeled for toddlers.
Especially with pillows it’s important that you get something that has been built to size for toddlers because of the health concerns with adult sized pillows in toddler beds. There is a greater chance of suffocation if a toddler uses an adult pillow that can be heavy and too soft for them to easily move. Also, if your toddler is under 24 months, opt out of getting them a pillow at all as the American Academy of Pediatrics does not recommend letting a toddler under the age of 2 years use a pillow. You should also avoid pillows or other bedding that has removable parts which can be a choking hazard.
Here you need to be careful. There are a lot of cheap memory foam pillows and mattresses on the market that could be bad for your toddlers health. Memory foam is a synthetic material that is derived from the same stuff as plastic. It also can go through a period of “off gassing” where toxic chemicals are slowly released into the environment months after the material has been produced. You definitely don’t want your toddler breathing those chemicals. Also chemical flame retardants can be added to some of these products which can similarly be deleterious to your toddlers health.
So check what material the mattress and pillow you’re purchasing is made out of and try to avoid memory foam or polyester based products.
I like bamboo or organic cotton as a material for sheets since both are comfortable and healthy. For your toddler’s mattress natural latex is a good option but it’s a little pricey so make sure to shop around. Natural down or wool are great options for a toddler pillow.
Easy to Clean
Toddlers, perhaps more than any other age group, are messy. It’s not a matter of if but a matter of when they will get their bedding dirty, so you should be prepared.
Make sure you get a washable mattress cover and a good pair of sheets that won’t fray after only a couple of runs through the wash. For their pillow, get a good cover that can be washed over and over and… over.
Allergies can come in a number of forms. Pollens can get stuck on the sheets or dust mites can build up inside of pillows or mattresses. If your little one is sneezing or rubbing their eyes after sleeping they might be reacting to something in their bed. Yikes!
Wool, natural latex, cotton, bamboo, and down are natural materials that are also hypoallergenic. You’ll also want to make sure that you’re regularly washing whatever materials you decide to use (see my point above).
Unfortunately, with so many options for toddler bedding it can be tough to wade through all the choices. But use this blog as a guide. Opt for natural, opt for washable, and opt for safe. These guiding principles will help you to make the best choice for your toddler.