How To Convert Crib To Full-size Bed? A-Z Guides

Your baby has outgrown the crib and then here comes the need to expand their sleeping space. Lucky you if you bought a convertible crib as now it won’t be abandoned and no more money to be spent.

If it is time for you to roll up your sleeves to alter the crib, here is your guideline on how to convert crib to full size bed!

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Is your baby ready for a crib-to-bed transition?

Safety is of the top concerns from parents when it comes to their baby’s transition from crib to bed. In fact, when to make this transition varies from baby to baby, generally anything between 18 to 42 months of age.

Despite that variation, if possible, we advise you to wait until your baby is mature enough (usually when he is getting close to 3 years old) to transfer him to a full-size bed. This will help your baby develop the independence they need to sleep on their own on a bed.

If the main reason you want to rush this process is that your toddler keeps climbing out of crib at night, then try lowering your crib mattress. If this doesn’t improve the situation, still, then it is time for moving to bed as clearly you don’t want your baby to fall over and get injured.

Make sure that your crib is convertible

how to turn crib into full size bed

Unless you have another baby coming, in the past, we only used cribs solely as a crib until your baby grew up and you had to abandon it.

Nowadays, manufacturers have come up with a solution for this – to convert cribs into toddler beds. By using parts of the crib with an added conversion kit, you can now stop wasting a crib and instead, expand their time of functioning.

Manufacturers want to make this task easy for parents, as it will be done by themselves, they will include clear instruction with the crib from when you purchase it.

For the convertible crib to be transformed into a toddler bed, usually, you only have to lower the mattress to the lowest position then remove the front rail of the crib.

It is better to add a toddler rail, which will prevent your baby from rolling over and falling out. Chances are toddler rail is sold separately from the crib as an accessory, so it’s best that you get this from the get-go.

Converting a crib to a full-size, teenager bed, on the other hand, is a much more complicated task.

As only one or two sides of the crib are going to be used in their transformation to bed, you will need more pieces like bed frames or more stats. Same with the previous stage, purchasing these kits from the beginning will be wiser to not get yourself stuffed up.

How to convert crib to full-size bed?

Generally speaking, follow through with the instruction that comes along with the convertible crib from your purchase when you are not sure how to do it. For this reason, different crib models can have different directions.

1- You will have to disassemble the crib first. This process often involves unscrewing and unbolting to remove the front and back rails of the crib and the mattress base, too.

2- The rail can be used as a headboard now, so put it where you want it to be.

3- Secure the brackets, then add the conversion rails to the brackets. You will need the supporting brackets for the footboard as well, which was originally the front rail of the crib.

4- Follow the same process to add conversion rails to the footboard.

5- Place the complete full-size bed frame where you want it to be. Then place the suitable size box spring and mattress on top.

The bed for your loved one is now ready!

If this whole labor work is too much for you then it is better to ask for help from your man. Also, put the bed in the right position from the beginning before adding the box spring and the mattress as when completely assembled, it will be hard to move around.

Can you convert a crib without a conversion kit?

can you convert a crib without conversion kit

Without a conversion kit, you can hardly convert a crib into a full-size bed. Although you can easily find conversion kits with metal frames, chances are they won’t work at all.

Given that the kits did not come from the crib manufacturer, it will be risky for you and especially your child to figure it out all by yourself, not to mention the look of the final output.

If this raises up a sudden thought in you: “what about those 3-1 or 4-1 convertible cribs available out there in the market?”. Don’t be fooled by the marketer.

All 3 or 4 configurations require their own added conversion kits to be able to transform from crib to toddler bed, daybed, and full-size bed. In fact, they are not cheap, too. But in the end, it is a worthwhile investment and it is better made from the beginning, because:

  1. Your crib model can be discontinued and it is hard to find its conversion kits later on.
  2. You forget the name or model of your crib. Yes, indeed, it is highly likely that this will happen. And when it does, you will find it impossible to find kits as there are millions of crib names and models under a brand.
  3. The one-size-fit-all, universal kits that can be used for all cribs can surely be your saver. But they are expensive, in fact, they can be as expensive as half of the whole crib itself.

Is a box spring required for the conversion?

The short answer is NO, you don’t necessarily need a box spring for the crib conversion. It is not much of a worry if you wish to use it, but you will likely end up with a little too high bed for your baby to climb into.

Usually, the conversion kits will have stats or a wood board for the mattress to sit on and that should be at appropriate height and you don’t need to add a box string.

But, it can be the case if you conversion kits don’t have them at all, especially the universal ones.

Therefore, for adding more support to the mattress, making sure you feel safe joining the bed with your child, then we highly suggest you to come and get slats or pre-made slats from your local lumber store. This will be way better than using a spring box.

Choosing universal conversion rails

What if you didn’t prepare for these long-term transformations from the beginning and you can’t find your crib’s conversion kits at the time you need it, universal conversion kits can be a good alternative.

Just as the name has shown, these special kits are made to be used for all standard-sized cribs. However, incompatibility can still happen. Here is how you can ensure this kit can match your crib conversion rails:

  1. Check to see if the rails fit with the crib or the bed and whether or not the hardware is included.
  2. Check if it has safety strap mechanism that makes the kit secured in the mainframe of the bed.
  3. Do the kits have enough components for all 4 configurations or just 2 or 3 of them?
  4. Check if it can ensure the required safety for your baby at different stages of their development.


What is a Lifetime crib?

Just another way to call convertible crib, a lifetime crib is one that can be transformed to toddler bed, daybed, and full-size bed by adding additional guardrail and conversion kit.

What is a conversion kit for a crib?

Conversion kit for the crib includes extra pieces of furniture (like toddler rail, stats,…) to allow you to convert your crib to different configurations (toddler bed, full-size bed,…) to match the needs of your baby at each stage of their development.

Usually, a conversion kit is not included in your crib purchase from the beginning, but manufacturers do sell them as added accessories and it is highly recommended you make this investment at this point.

Can you use any conversion kit for a crib?

Usually, each crib model has its own conversion kits and direction for conversion from the manufacturer that is best to be purchased from the beginning.

You can still find universal conversion kits in the market, which are said to be used for any standard crib, but it doesn’t mean they are all 100% compatible.

Can I convert the crib to a toddler bed myself?

Yes, in fact, you can do all the conversions to any form yourself, which is what the manufacturers expect, too. They allow this to happen and strive to make it an easy task for parents through clear conversion instruction included with the crib. The direction can vary from model to model, so make sure you follow it through.

Bottom line

A convertible crib is such an invention that allows parents to save money. Converting a crib to its new forms should be easy, too. We hope that our guide on how to turn crib into full size bed has made it easier for you to pull things off. Do share your own experience or speak up or raise any concerns if you have!

Last Updated on April 16, 2021 by