Toddler Bed Bolster - Or How to Keep a Toddler in a Toddler Bed

March 6, 2012

Last fall, we moved Kid 2 out of his crib in anticipation of the birth of our baby girl.  I realize I'm a little slow in sharing this with you, but I forgot to post about it when I made it, and I was reminded of it today when I took Kid 2 upstairs for his nap.  Kid 1 went straight onto a twin sized bed when he was two, so we were new to the toddler bed situation.  Thanks to a tip from my friend Jaime, who spied it by the dumpsters at her apartment, I got an awesome toddler bed for free.  Well, it was almost free.  The only cost was that some girl stepped on and broke my glasses while I was taking the bed apart and loading it into my car.

The first night he fell out of bed.  Luckily it wasn't very far to fall.  Even though his new bed has a partial rail, since he moves a lot in his sleep, he wiggled out through the end.  My best idea was to make a bolster to help him stay in.  I didn't want something too high, he still needed to be able to climb over it to get in and out of bed, and I also wanted it to be soft.  Oh, and free.  I didn't want to buy anything new.  I really wanted to get by using what I had at home.

What I ended up doing was cutting a pool noodle slightly shorter than his mattress (I used a bread knife for this), rolling it up in some polyester quilt batting, and sewing a quick removable and washable cover.

My cover was made with a big piece of quilted cotton I mysteriously had in my stash.  I bound the ends with handmade double-fold bias tape (again, it was just lying around), and added matching blue plastic snaps to keep it securely on.  I have a snap press, and I love it.  In the past I've used it to make cloth diapers, but I use it every chance I can because it's just so awesome.

Obviously the removable cover isn't necessary.  I just made it to protect the batting and foam noddle from 'accidents' and from getting picked apart by tiny hands.  If you don't feel like sewing, wrapping a foam pool noodle in batting, or even a blanket, would also do the job.  And since it goes under the sheets, it really doesn't matter. 

To use the bolster, I slid it in between the mattress and the mattress pad after the sheets were on.  If you are like me, it's a major battle to get crib sheets on, (I know you want them snug for safety reasons, but I almost rip them every time I put them on) so it's much easier to do this after the bed is made.  

Here is our free toddler bed with the bolster in place.  Like I said, it isn't very high, but it's just enough to keep my wild sleeper of a toddler in his bed at night instead of on the floor.  Notice the awesome quilt on his bed?  It was made by my good friend, the talented Heather Larsen.  I helped make one of the wonky log cabin blocks, but she did all the rest of the work.  I would show you the front of the quilt, because I love it so, but the blocks spell his name, and I've decided to not share my kids names on this blog.  But just so you know, it's pretty cute.


Katie and Van said...

First of all--why would ANYONE chuck that perfectly good and cute toddler bed in the dumpster!? My sister is always rescuing treasures from the dumpster. I love the noodle idea. I can't even fathom Daphne in a real bed with how much she clunks around at night in her crib, so this is a great idea for the future. Thanks!

Becca said...

Totally doing this for Nathan's big boy bed later....great tip!

kitchenexpert said...

Did you ever experience something like you want to travel but cannot do that due to the worry about where and how your baby will sleep while traveling? This is the common problem for the parents who have infants or rising toddlers. Just for this reason, most of the parents completely change their lifestyle and stop traveling outside when they’re blessed with children. But, this is not an expected incident for anybody. Instead, they deserve to enjoy every moment of their time with the newborn babies or toddlers. Taking help from a portable bed like Regalo My Cot Portable Toddler Bed can be a brilliant solution in this regard.

Peter Ndagi said...

Great article. I love it. Kindly check on my review on the best toddler bed on the market

Alex de Miguel said...

Excellent information. Thank you very much.
I'm really looking for the best mattress for kids, it's one of those needs we have and don't realize.


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