While most kids swap out the crib for a bed between 18 months and 2.5 years of age, not all are ready to stay put all night long. If you find yourself worried about your little one tumbling onto the floor, you could purchase pricey bed rails -- or try a foam pool noodle or roller as a cheap and simple alternative. Not only does this work in your little one's bedroom, but it's genius when you're traveling and sleeping in unfamiliar beds.
Find a clean, unused pool noodle or the type of foam roller use for exercise. You definitely don't want a used noodle that smells like chlorine or sweat. Here's a tip: Look for noodles on sale at the end of the summer and stock up for pool play and for cheap bed rails.
Assess your child's need for nighttime protection. If she's new to the whole "big-girl bed" thing, you might want to use the whole noodle or roller. If she only needs a little help staying in bed, use a craft knife to slice the noodle in half lengthwise.
Remove your child's bedding and place the whole or half noodle on the outer side of the bed, a few inches from the edge. If your child's bed is open on both sides, grab another and repeat. If you're using a cut noodle, place it flat-side down.
Replace the fitted sheet over the top of the noodle and tuck the sheet in tightly all the way around. Replace the flat sheet and comforter, and don't forget the favorite blanket or stuffed animal!
Sub in a rolled-up beach towel or blanket if you don't have a noodle handy. Just roll the towel tightly, and remember to place it underneath the fitted sheet for the best protection for your high roller.
Ensure that the sheet is tucked in tightly over top of the foam roller or noodle to avoid shifting during the night.