The 10 Best Kids Beds
10. Broyhill Kids Marco Island
9. Storkcraft Caribou
8. Bedz King Stairway
7. Discovery World Furniture
6. DHP Junior
5. Donco Kids Low Study Loft
4. Disc-O-Bed Kid-O-Bunk
3. Zinus Easy Assembly Bunk
2. Delta Children Frozen
1. Coaster Home Furnishings Loft
Sleeping Their Way To Better Health
Ask any parent and they will tell you that a well-rested child is a good child. It is a well-known fact that tired children are moody, short-tempered, and just generally not that much fun to be around. It turns out it isn't just behavior that is improved when a child gets enough sleep, but their health, too. Pediatric research indicates that getting the right amount of restful sleep is as essential to a child's good health as nutrition and exercise.
If you've ever felt like your child sprung up an inch overnight, you may actually be right. Sleep has a direct effect on growth. When a child sleeps, their body secretes somatotropin, commonly referred to as the human growth hormone. This means that a child does the majority of their growing at night, while they sleep. Researchers in Italy studied a number of children with deficient levels of somatotropin and found the common link to be inadequate sleep.
Sleep also helps protect a child's heart from vascular damage. Children who have trouble sleeping have excessive levels of the glucose and cortisol circulating through their system. This is due to their body triggering the fight-or-flight response hundreds of times during the night. High levels of glucose and cortisol are linked to higher rates of obesity, heart disease, and diabetes.
There is another reason that sleep deprivation can lead to obesity besides just higher levels of glucose and cortisol. The human body secretes the hormone leptin when we have eaten enough to satiate our hunger. This signals to the body that we are full and should stop eating. Researchers have found that lack of sleep impacts the production of leptin, resulting in children continuing to eat long past the point at which their body is full. Even one or two hours less than the required amount of sleep can be enough to inhibit the production of leptin.
Why Kids Really Need Their Own Bed
There are numerous reasons why children should sleep in their own bed rather than yours, and not just for the benefit of the child, but also for the benefit of your relationship with your significant other. Children must learn boundaries. They must also learn that their parents share an intimacy that they are not a part of, and that this is natural and healthy. Children who grow up seeing their parents involved in a happy, intimate relationship are more likely to create happy and healthy relationships for themselves later in life.
Children have different sleep needs than adults, as well. As we covered in the previous section, getting the adequate amount of sleep is vital to a child's physical health. A three- to five-year-old child requires an average of 10 to 13 hours of sleep a night. If you are like most adults, between work, running errands, and raising your children, you are lucky to get seven hours of sleep. Each time you enter your bedroom or climb into or out of the bed, you will be disrupting your child's sleep, potentially waking them up and increasing the chances of them experiencing sleep deprivation.
It is also important that children learn to be responsible for their own behavior during the night. They must learn to calm themselves, whether after waking from night terrors or quieting their mind before initially falling asleep. Allowing your child to sleep in your bed because they are afraid of the dark or monsters in the closet makes it harder for them to overcome their fears. Children who learn to overcome their fears at a young age grow up to be more confident adults.
Tips For Choosing A Bed For Your Kid
Buying a child's bed can be intimidating, especially if it is your child's first big kid bed. One of the most important factors to consider is mattress size. You don't want to purchase a bed that is too big for your child's room and takes up the majority of the floor space, leaving them with nowhere left to play. Yet it is just as important to buy one big enough that your child won't outgrow it too quickly. If you buy a mattress that perfectly fits your child's current height, there is a good chance you will replace it within a year. Ideally, you should choose a model that is between two and four feet longer than your child is tall. This provides enough space for pillows, while leaving them with enough room for growth.
Most kids will use their bed as another surface to play on. For this reason, it is vital that you choose a bed with a sturdy frame that can stand up to all kinds of monkey business and horsing around. After all, what child doesn't want to jump on their bed?
Buying a bunk bed or trundle bed is often a smart choice for young kids. Most children like to start having sleepovers between the ages of seven and 10. Bunk and trundle beds provide a place for their friend to sleep, without taking up any extra floor space when not in use. With bunk beds, there is always the risk of a child rolling off in the middle of the night and injuring themselves, so make sure to choose one with high guard rails to minimize that possibility. Trundle beds don't offer the same risk of falling, but they do require a lot of extra floor space, since the second bed extends out from under the primary bed.
Loft beds are another smart choice for a kid's room. They are similar to bunk beds, in that they have an elevated bed, but instead of having a second bed on the bottom, they have a desk area or drawers. These are a great choice if your child's bedroom is on the small side. A themed bed can also make nice addition to a child's room. Having a bed that your kid loves can make putting them to sleep easier.