Here is my story...I hope it helps someone who is considering the cot that converts to toddler bed scenario.
So a few weeks ago, we decided it was time to convert our daughter's cot to a toddler bed. She was just over 18 months at the time. We really had no reason to convert, she wasn't climbing out or anything. I think part of it was me mentally preparing as we are TTC #2 through IVF.
I purchased a side safety rail to use alongside it. I just felt the cot/bed was so small width ways and that she needed something so she didn't fall out. I figured this was a good stepping-stone between cot to full blown kid size bed.
So my husband spent a good few hours taking the sides off, then assembling this darn safety rail. Now, I don't know if they all work the same way, but we purchased this one from Aldi and it has long extendable arms that you can place under the mattress and that is what actually holds the rail in place. Once it was assembled we read the box - convertible for single, double and queen size beds. So it extended to a larger size but wouldn't extend to a smaller size. FAIL. Grrr this really upset me because we had no way of keeping her from falling. The cot came with side wooden rails that were only a couple of inches high and we figured they were pointless and would cause more injury as she would have to climb over wooden bars to get in and out of the cot!
So after all of this our only solution was to place rolled up towels under her mattress hoping that the angle would stop her falling out. For extra safety, we placed an extremely large (almost life size!) teddy bear on the ground that she could land on if she fell.
Fast-foward two weeks and guess what happens. Yep - middle of the night, she falls out. Guess where the teddy bear was? put away. Yep. It was one of those nights where we forgot to lay the teddy on the floor.
So middle of the night, we hear a massive scream, DD's fallen out of the bed, hit her head on the side of the wall. Arghh I was SO upset. I am one of the safest mums around. Heck, I even purchased TWO of those darn safety rails at the time thinking she could have one on each side of the bed if we end up putting her bed in the middle of the room at some point in the future.
So yesterday, DH put the rails back up and she is back to a cot. We are about to do another round of IVF and can't afford to buy her a bedroom suite yet, but mid-year that is the plan. We are going straight to a low-line bedroom suit. Then those bl00dy rails can actually fit on the bed!
Thanks if you have read this far. It's been a great vent for me, that whole incident still upsets me...I really think it's something that can be avoided and I think the whole cot that converts to toddler bed idea is utter crap unless you purchase one that has a rail that is specifically designed for when it converts to a toddler bed.
So my advice to anyone that has a similar cot/toddler bed combo, DON'T DO IT! Just go straight to a decent single/twin whatever size bed and get the safety rail...