Since he had a strong interest in cars and trucks, both my wife and I were looking at car themed kid beds that might be a nice fit, and we found many. There were fire engines, racecars and all types of trucks, but we were interested in the Little Tikes Lightning McQueen bed with all the great reviews. But at $225, it was beyond our budget for a transitional bed.
Instead, we decided to go with the Delta Disney Pixar Cars Wood Toddler Bed for just under $104 with free super saver shipping. In addition, we bought the matching Cars comforter, the Cars bedding set, the standard crib mattress and after our son rolled over onto the floor for the first couple of nights, a set of toddler bed guard rails.
I remember one afternoon installing the bed in about two hours at a leisurely pace, excited about putting it together for our boy. The kids bed is made of thin one inch wood panels in the shape of a car, but more prominently designed after the Cars movie to really translate the car theme of the bed. It is recommended by amazon for children 3 to 6, but the manufacturer more correctly recommends ages 2 to 4.
Once installed, we waited for several nights before we put our boy to sleep in it. When we did, he rolled over onto the floor the first night and every night until we bought the guard rails. As I re-examined other kid beds, all of them would have had similar problems as the mattresses are always flush with the bed.
After the guard rails, it has been a perfect little bed for him. He loves sleeping in it and more importantly loves the ritual of bedtime because of it. Now that he’s much older at 3 and a half, he’s developed his own nighttime rituals and asks for a complete set of items including a lighted seahorse, Cookie Monster, a small collection of books and some plastic blocks. Some nights he swirls around and burrows with all his toys before falling asleep, and other nights he asks me to stay. At 170 pounds, the bed holds both me and him, and I get to listen to him reflect on his day, talking about how he enjoyed petting the animals at the farm, picking pumpkins and driving in our Subaru that he calls blueberry moon until he finally falls asleep.