By the time children have transitioned from their cot into a cot bed or normal-sized bed, they’re usually able to stay asleep for a bit longer at night (hurrah!). But one thing that doesn’t change much is their ability to do rhythmic gymnastics in their sleep. While it’s amusing to find your child in a position worthy of Tokyo 2020 when they’re safely behind cot rails, it’s not terribly encouraging when you have to take the big step to a proper bed.
Thankfully, there are a number of practical bed guards out there that should help prevent painful landings. With models to suit all bed types and budgets as well as some useful features including portability and the option to fold for better access, here are some of our favourites. Just be sure to check the exact specifications of each model to ensure it will be compatible with your child’s bed.
An alternative to the traditional railing-style bed guards, these foam-filled bumpers are softer to come up against during the night than wooden or metal bars. Invented at Stanford University, they are designed to trigger your child’s natural passive safety response to let them know they are close to danger, and to move away.
At 4ft 5in, the bumpers are a good length for most children and are simply secured by sliding them underneath a fitted bedsheet. The fact they are bumpers as opposed to taller railings means they may be better for older children rather than toddlers.
This cloth and mesh-style bed guard benefits from universal fit that makes it suitable for both divan and slatted bed bases. Conveniently, you can adjust it to suit different bed sizes, taking your child from cot bed to single bed; meanwhile, its uncomplicated assembly is a plus for time- and energy-poor parents.
The signature feature of the Summer Infant Rail, however, is the fact that you can fold it down, which gives you and your little one easy access, and makes it a less obtrusive choice.
The Safety 1st Portable Bed Rail is a cloth and mesh-style bed guard that offers two clear benefits. Not only does it slide together to become more compact for popping into your suitcase, but it also folds down, which means getting in and out of bed is easier for your children.
What’s nice about this rail is that, steering away from the neutral norm, it’s available in a range of colours, making it a more fun option for a child’s room. As this bed rail is designed for use with mattresses that are at least 156cm long, and cot beds are usually 140cm, this is one for children in full-size beds.
This is a cloth and mesh bed rail that’s designed for use with single beds only, making it a good option for parents with older children who are looking to make the transition from a cot bed to a standard single bed.
It features an easy-to-clean fabric and has an adjustable 16-inch side wall that can accommodate thicker mattresses. No tools are required to set up this bed guard, so the move to an adult-size bed is a little smoother.
Another example of the bumper style of bed guard. These are made from high-density memory foam that is soft to the touch, but firm enough to help your little one stay put.
Featuring waterproof and washable covers, the guards also have non-slip bottoms for added security. They fit all sizes of bed from a cot bed to a kingsize, and as set-up involves just sliding them under a sheet, they won’t be a hassle to get up and running.
One disadvantage of this product is that while it should run nearly the full length of a cot bed, if your kid is a mini Spiderman during the night, you might find they can get over the edge.