Why buy it when you can make it! #2: My daughter asked "Daddy I sleep on floor?"

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Blog entry by paxorion posted 05-18-2014 01:11 AM 1864 reads 2 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: My woodworking goal: to never have to (default on) buying furniture again... Part 2 of Why buy it when you can make it! series Part 3: "Sleep on floor" Update - Toddler-resistant and the journey to limbo »

My wife and I were recently (forced to) transition our daughter’s crib to a toddler bed. I say forced to because one day, she decided to go on a diaper protest and fully potty train herself. Unfortunately, her potty training regiment did not include training to stay in her bed. She is absolutely horrible in her sleep and rolls around everywhere! As a result, there wasn’t a single night where we didn’t hear a thud, from the poor girl falling out of her bed (6 inches is a pretty far drop at that age).

Fast forward a month, our daughter has decided that she prefers sleeping on the floor, because it means she won’t fall out of bed. My wife and I talked about procuring a bed rail to keep her in bed, but have dawdled on it. Good thing we dawdled, because I certainly didn’t want to spend money on something that I would have to modify to fit the Craigslist crib/toddler bed we picked up back in December. So today, I (with the help of a good friend) whipped up this (with absolutely no plan or idea what I was making), using lots of scrap MDF that I had lying around.

My wife and daughter were quite pleased with the project progress (which still needs to be sanded and painted). To quote them:
  • Wife – It looks great! I didn’t expect you to make something as fancy. I expected a few boards screwed together
  • Daughter – Daddy, put back on my bed? Daddy made it for me!

To my surprise, they requested a bedtime debut tonight. So I doubled down and did a quick sanding of the entire surface and broke the edges. So far, we have a sleeping toddler and no thuds.

-- paxorion

8 comments so far

View BTimmons's profile


2303 posts in 2634 days

#1 posted 05-18-2014 01:44 AM

Well done, dad.

-- Brian Timmons -

View derosa's profile


1577 posts in 2985 days

#2 posted 05-18-2014 03:47 AM

Now is she gonna make you crawl in to read the bedtime story? That was my only reason for not getting around to doing the same was trying to lay on the bed at story time. Instead I folded up a large thick blanket to pad the landing area. Semi bad thing was the dog thought the blanket was for her to lay on though she did provide extra crash pad for the kid to lay on.

-- --Rev. Russ in NY-- A posse ad esse

View NormG's profile


6253 posts in 3153 days

#3 posted 05-18-2014 04:39 AM

Great solution and love it covers the area beneath

-- Norman - I never never make a mistake, I just change the design.

View JoeinGa's profile


7739 posts in 2156 days

#4 posted 05-18-2014 12:42 PM

Way to go Dad! The hero of the day! I’m sure she loves it.

-- Perform A Random Act Of Kindness Today ... Pay It Forward

View oldnovice's profile


7205 posts in 3517 days

#5 posted 05-18-2014 08:40 PM

Super dad to the rescue! Nice job indeed and a happy camper … sleeping daughter!

-- "I never met a board I didn't like!"

View Woodknack's profile


12373 posts in 2529 days

#6 posted 05-19-2014 01:13 AM

She’ll love it even more when figures out how to make a cave with a blanket, perfect bed for that.

-- Rick M,

View paxorion's profile


1107 posts in 2195 days

#7 posted 05-19-2014 02:33 AM

I sized the opening so that both my wife and I can sneak in to tuck the little girl in at night. Escaping however, takes a bit of persuasion (of the little one that is).

-- paxorion

View paxorion's profile


1107 posts in 2195 days

#8 posted 05-19-2014 02:35 AM

I also “designed” (a.k.a it sounded like a good idea at the time) the unit to have about and inch and a half of extra length behind the rail. That way the bed rail just tucks in behind the bed frame, with no fasteners needed to keep it in place. It works surprisingly well. All I need to do is slide in the bed rail to the left side toddler bed, and then lift the right side of the bed to tuck the bed rail behind the right foot.

-- paxorion

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