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Is your child ready for a new bed?

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It is widely accepted that the early establishment of good sleep patterns is a major contribution to development, learning and growth – both physical and emotional. It is also a path to harmony and sanity in any household!! Choosing the right bed for children and teens can be daunting. With so many different types of beds on the market how do you decide which is best for your children?

Getting professional advice can help you through the bed-buying process. Simon Bambridge of Bed-e-Buys is a founder member of The Sleep Council and provides these tips to make it easier for you.

The age at which a child is ready to move out of a cot into a bed does vary but is generally between 18 months and 3 years. They may not yet be ready for an adult-sized bed so it might be better to bridge the gap with a cot bed or smaller-scale starter bed that does not make the child feel overwhelmed by a vast expanse.

As the child grows older, beds can and should be a fun exciting place to be, and parents have plenty of options to choose interesting, attractive and/or space saving options -bunk beds, themed beds, raised cabin beds with storage or activity areas beneath the sleeping surface.

Make sure your bunk bed is safe – there are safety standards (BS EN747) and regulations (entrapment hazards) in place which manufacturers and retailers should comply with but always check the bunk is thoroughly stable. Children under six years are not advised to use the top bunk.

It is generally recommended that a parent should aim to change the child's bed and/or mattress at significant growth periods. Depending on the child, this may require several bed changes – for example a teenager who's suddenly shot up to 6ft needs a bed that will enable his feet to stay on the mattress and not hang over the end!

Never give your child a second hand or hand me down mattress. It will not provide the support and comfort needed for growing children and could be a health or safety hazard.

As well as obvious wear and tear from body weight, it is estimated that we lose around 280ml (half a pint) of body moisture every night and shed 0.45 kilos (1lb) of skin particles in a year. This can create the perfect habitat for dust mites – which can aggravate both breathing and skin problems, such as asthma and eczema.

Check your mattress choice is suitable for use with the type of bed base you are buying.

Decide priorities and concerns in advance. For example are your priorities price, storage, access to bedroom or overall size?

You get what you pay for – both in product and service – so spend as much as you can afford.

Always ask your retailer if they offer free delivery, and free disposal of the old bed – this can save you time and money.

Remember, the average person spends 20,000 hours in their bed during its (seven year) lifespan so it’s worth taking a little time and effort in the beginning to make sure you make the right choice for your children.

This article was supplied by Bed-e-Buys a founder member of The Sleep Council.

More detailed information on children's sleep and beds can be found at www.sleepcouncil.org.uk

27th April 2013, 18:59
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Page updated 27th Apr 2013, 18:59
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