Pros: A fun bed for pretend play and safe sleeping
Cons: Big and expensive
It was time to move the baby from our Pack N Play to our regular crib. That meant evicting the crib’s previous occupant into a toddler bed, specifically the Little Tikes Thomas & Friends Train Bed
This is a large plastic train shaped bed based on the Thomas the Train line of merchandise. The bed is mostly blue and black and resembles Thomas the Tank Engine. Once assembled the bed is about 71” long, 40” wide and 36” high. At the foot of the bed is a small toy box and the head of the bed resembles the driver’s compartment, complete with roof. The bed accepts a standard crib sized mattress, which is not included. You will also need to supply a piece of plywood or use the crib mattress support in the bed. The bed is recommended for children 15 months to 5 years and has a weight limit of 50 lbs.
The bed comes in two boxes, making it easier to transport home, but you will still probably need a van or truck to get it home. Once home assembly should take about half an hour and will require a Philips screwdriver. It took my husband about 45 minutes to get the bed together, but he did have two little “helpers.” Since our crib is still in use my husband used a piece of ¾” plywood cut to 26 ½” X 50 ¾” as a mattress support, but you can use crib slats instead. The instructions are pictorial, with warranty information provided in English and French.
Although we did not go to the store with the intention of purchasing this specific bed, once our 2 ½ year old saw it there was no doubt this was the bed coming home with us. The transition from crib to bed was completely painless so I have no doubt that we made the right choice.
I like that this bed is only about 12” off the floor. It makes it easy for even very small visitors to climb in on their own. Since the rails along the sides of the bed are only an inch or so higher than the mattress any falls from the bed are not serious, even onto our hardwood floor. The semi-enclosed engine compartment at the head of the bed does seem to do a good job of keeping even our restless sleeper in bed.
Although the roof of the engine compartment is supposedly designed for books, I wouldn’t recommend putting books 2 feet over your child’s head. We instead use the roof to display some of our many stuffed animals. The toy box at the foot of the bed is deep but it has a narrow opening. It would make a great place for more stuffed animals or even pajamas, but we use it to store any extra pieces from our train set.
A Gender Neutral Bed?
Most of the “fun” toddler beds are definitely geared for either boys or girls, not both. Our 4 year old is still sleeping in her castle bed which is without a doubt a little girl’s bed. And now we have a Thomas the Train bed. With it’s black and blue train theme, it would certainly seem to be a bed designed with little boys in mind.
However, if you have read my other reviews, you probably know that the child sleeping in this bed is a girl. Yes, the bed clashes with the pink and yellow princess theme otherwise going on in the room she shares with her older sister. Yes, the bed looks hideous with the purple and pink Dora the Explorer blanket and sheet set. It does however look OK next to our train table. She loves it so who am I to complain?
Should You Buy a Thomas the Train Toddler Bed?
If you have a child who is a Thomas fan, I have no doubt they will love this bed - boy or girl. I know many people balk at the idea of spending $200 on a big chunk of plastic, but when I think about how much money I’ve spent on toys that never seem to get played with, $200 seems like a great bargain for an item that gets used 10-12 hours a day for 3 years. And of course this bed is not just for sleep. Both girls enjoy pretending they are driving Thomas on some great adventure. If you have the space and the money this bed would the centerpiece of a Thomas the Train themed bedroom (or even a princess one!)
And Four Year Later...
My nearly five year old son, the bed's second occupant, has finally outgrown our Thomas the Train toddler bed and moved into a twin size bed. The bed held up incredibly well with all of the jumping, playing and sleeping the bed has seen on a daily basis for four years. Even the stickers are still in good condition. Definitely worth every penny!