|Their room at the old house.|
About a year ago we took the plunge; we put our girls together in one room and bunked them.
The eldest of our dynamic duo-o-ladies, was a few months shy of five-years old and Spiderman was a little over 3 when we decided to get bunks. They loved sleeping together in the queen bed in the little one's room prior to the bunking, but they.never.stopped.talking. My Little House on the Prairie dreams of them talking and chatting and bonding like Laura and Mary were squashed; the bunks were necessary.
So, the research commenced and with first-time-Mom-like intensity, I began trolling furniture websites in the same manner in which I had years ago researched cribs, baby swings, car seats, strollers:
I knew what I didn't want:
• A death trap. My [ir]rational fear of the top bunk falling on to the bottom bunk resident and crushing him/her was definitely the inspiration for this concern. (Have you seen Step Brothers? It can happen.)
And I knew what I did want:
• A secure railing on all sides that couldn't be rolled over by a sideways sleeper. Conversely, a railing that wouldn't allow for small heads to get stuck in.
• A stair-system that our clumsiest kid could navigate in the dark without falling.
• Wood. The metal bunk beds scared me.
• A low-profile lower bunk that when the little one rolled out of it, it wouldn't be that much of a drop to the floor
...and most importantly:
• Enough clearance between the upper and lower bunks to allow for all of us to cuddle and read books together.
Other things to consider before you buy:
• Ladder maneuverability: What is the distance between the stairs/rungs to the top bunk? Can your kid navigate it? In the dark?
• Mattress size: Do you want a twin-over-twin? Twin-over-full?
• Ladder style: Is the ladder attached flush against the bed, or does it come out at an angle? (We chose upright/attached to the bed so that our little lady didn't have another thing to run into in the middle of the night.)
• Extra organization/sleep options: Do you need drawers underneath? A trundle?
• Bed Separation: In the future do you want to separate the beds? Do you like how they look separated?
• Ceiling Clearance: Do you have enough space that when your child inevitably stands on the bed, she won't bang her head? (We had to take down a ceiling fan in our old house.) But we put up this flush mount jobby:
|From Pottery Barn Kids. Click for link.|
Before you buy, remember to measure a thousand times. Make SURE the bed will fit in the room.
We ended up not being able to get the bunk with stairs on the side because our old house had a wall full of closet doors and the room wasn't wide enough. And you wouldn't believe how many bunks offer less-than-sufficient space between the top and bottom bunks making it impossible for adults to sit with their kiddos -- think of the middle of the night when they're sick and you can't comfortably sit and rub their backs. Eek.
It's been a year now and we love the beds we chose. (Our decision is at the end of this post.)
I love that the girls are separated, but together. In full disclosure, our oldest fell off of the TOP BUNK on to the TILE FLOOR just THREE WEEKS after we got the bunk bed last year. There was vomiting and an ER visit and fear and we didn't sleep for the weekend; but the lesson was learned and all is fine now and there has not been another accident. (Read about it here.)
And in more full disclosure, she was leaning over the railing to talk to her sister on the bottom bunk. She leaned too far and... ka-boom... fell. On her head.
She hasn't leaned again. In fact she hasn't even TILTED her head over the rail.
This past weekend we also got to experience what it's like to have a barfer reside on the top bunk. I won't get into the details, but I will say that both the husband and I felt for the bottom-bunker...
Finally, and probably the simplest and most obvious thing I never considered before buying bunk beds:
Changing the top bunk sheets is next to impossible.
You nearly skin your fingers when changing the sheets. And you want to tuck in the quilt or cover blanket, too? GOOD LUCK?
Finally, though - a year later, I have a hack for this.
|The girls' current room.|
1. So here you are. STUFFING the sheet into the non-existent side of the bed. Best of luck not breaking your finger.
2. Then throw on another layer of fabric and try to stuff, stuff, stuff the sheet and quilt in.
3. Here's where the hack comes in. Grab a fat, board book...
4. Use that book to push the sheet and the quilt into place. Look! The tops of your fingers aren't red, chapped or bloodied!
5. And the sheet and quilt are tucked in and neat! Ready.to.go.
There you have it.
This is the bunk bed we ended up going with. We're very, very happy with. It's solid and safe and the top-bunker can get up and down easily without a problem.
Our bottom bunker is still too small and therefore not allowed on the top bunk. And get this: we've never, ever had an issue with her trying to venture up to the top. And she's fallen out of the bottom bunk at least 20 times, so the low-profile bottom bunk was a win/win for us.
Best of luck. Hope this helps.
NOTE: I'm was not at all compensated for this post. This is merely what I think and what works for us.