Wall Bunk Beds... The First Few Months
Checking in on having wall bunk beds (the Kalli Duo from Resource Furniture link here) for a few months now. It's safe to say we are really happy with the investment. And it's also safe to say I felt like throwing up when they were installed because I was so nervous that we had made the wrong decision. But now it seems like it was the most perfect choice to allow us to stay in our small space. I thought I would share some insights into what we've learned about these beds so far as their having already been some lessons for us.
Leaving the beds down.
I planned to fold the beds up everyday but turns out I am pretty lazy about it and some days I don't. Leaving our Queen size wall bed down is never an option in our space so it's nice to make a choice with the kids room. The beds are a few inches narrower than a twin and the construction of the wall bed means that even folded down the beds don't take up as much room as a traditional bunk bed. I love that if I leave them down it still allows for room for the kids to play and the beds as additional play area.
The Mini Crib
Mae has been successfully sleeping in the mini crib awkwardly shoved between new bunks and our closet. She took the transfer from the full size crib to the Babyletto Grayson (discontinued) surprisingly well.
Thanks to Em Morrice's tips we have been staggering bedtimes by about a half hour to an hour which has been going well. Though no one is loving Mae's 5:30am wake ups but that's not the wall bunks fault ;).
Bottom Bunk Only
We were definitely right to think that Theo should sleep on the bottom bunk. He has even fallen out of the bottom bunk a few times and we still sometimes line pillows along the floor if it feels like a falling out of bed night. He's just not ready to be on the top bunk so I'm really grateful for the flexibility and space gained from the wall bunks without having to use the top bunk yet.
Theo has still been playing on the top bunk alone to get some uninterrupted play without Mae. This has been such a gift of the bunk beds. I know it will be short-lived as Mae will eventually be able to climb up the ladder but for now it is magic.
What's Not Working...
I think I have mentioned before what a monkey our 4 year old is. I share this because I think in making decisions for bunk beds, especially before the recommended 6 years of age, you need to take your kid's personality into account. When we set up the bunk beds and leave the room, Theo will climb on top of the edge of Mae's mini crib to climb onto the top bunk rather than climb up the ladder. I don't share this to get messages about how unsafe this is. I know it's unsafe and when he gets caught doing this we put the top bunk away as a consequence. I wish he wouldn't find the most unsafe way to do everything and I wish he didn't love doing the opposite of everything I say, but he does. So I love that I have the option to remove the top bunk from the equation when needed.
This bullet point needs to keep going as his curiosity has no limit. I had a pendant light hanging in the centre of the room. Our ceilings are high (about 10') and the pendant was a bare oversized bulb that I had been meaning to update but didn't have the time (or budget). Well it took Theo about 2 weeks before we caught him hanging off the safety rail of the top bunk and trying to hit the bare bulb (and succeeding). Luckily nothing broke and I ran to Ikea the next day and added a paper lantern around the bulb and moved the fixture away from the bunk bed. The light is no longer centred in the room, which bothers me, but is far enough out of reach for Theo to leave it alone. Knowing Theo's monkey nature and his curiosity to understand how things work I don't think any of this was avoidable and only a mattress on the ground would keep him out of trouble.
Also I think it's worth mentioning that while our small space necessitates wall bunks it also means our kids are always nearby so we are able to see unsafe activities and deal with them.
I took advantage of the summer and only put white twin sheet sets on the two bunks and used a crib blanket for Theo's bed. But as fall is here I need to make a decision on twin comforters pretty quickly. I hope to do a round up of options here. I was happy to know that twin sheets fit totally fine on the slightly smaller beds so I don't have to hunt for European slim sheets.