10 Golden Rules About Bed-Shopping With Children
Is there anything more difficult than dragging an unwilling child around the shops? Quite possibly not.
And even when you’re out there trawling the stores for something special for them, it’s hard to get them to focus on exactly what they want and then have them understand how that also has to fit into your own expectations for what you’re willing to buy – after all, it is your money!
Beds can be a particularly tricky proposition – it can be a relatively major purchase, it needs to last, but it’s also going to be in your child’s bedroom: somewhere where they feel as if they have a small amount of autonomy.
So, in order to make the process as painless as possible, we challenged our Bedpost store managers to come up with their golden rules to make bed-shopping child’s play.
- Be prepared: Before you get any small people involved in the process, get online. The Bedpost blog has all the info you need on bed sizes, as well as specific tips for decorating a child’s room and which beds are right for which children. You’ll also be able to check out practical things like where your nearest Bedpost store is (so maybe you can combine the shopping trip with something more up their street) and what range of prices you’re going to be looking at.
- Scope out your Bedpost sleep expert: You can also call the Bedpost store ahead of time to find out what they have in stock and how they deal with having children in the store. A lot of our store managers and assistants are parents too and understand exactly what shopping with children is like as well as what’s most important when it comes to choosing a bed to fit a specific type of child.
- Know your budget: Once you’re in the store, the last thing you want is having your child determined on their favourite bed only to find it’s outside your budget. So before they get the chance to go wandering around the top-of-the-range collections, let your store assistant know the size and budget constrictions you’re working within and they’ll help you find something which suits.
- If young, divert with toys: If you’re child’s younger than 10, chances are they’re not going to be a huge amount of help anyway. They’re much more likely to be interested in a pretty duvet than whether a mattress is soft enough or there’s the right amount of space underneath for storage. Most Bedpost stores will have a toybox which they can ferret around in to keep them occupied while you and the Bedpost expert can make the right choices.
- Then get them interested in accessories: Even the youngsters will want to feel excited about their new bed – so once you’ve got the choice sorted in store, then you can let them loose on their favourite colour and design for the duvet and pillowcover set.
- If not-so young, get them talking: For the over-10s, you’re going to have to box a little clever to get to the “right” decision. They’ll want to have buy-in in the final choice, so have them describe their bedroom to the Bedpost bed expert: are they sporty (then they might need a bit of extra support to aid those growing muscles), do they read in bed, how big is the bedroom, are they messy, do they need more storage, do they do their study in the bedroom, do they have friends over for sleepovers? All this information will help your Bedpost bed expert narrow down the choices, so your child can decide they’re getting the bed they really want.
- Don’t fall for a passing fad: It’s all very well getting a bed in the shape of a princess’s crown or a Formula One racing car, but it’s an expensive purchase when, 18 months later, you’re princess discovers she’s really into horses and your petrolhead discovers a love of rugby! Remember that it’s a great deal more efficient and kinder on your pocket to invest in a good quality bed – whether it’s slat or a mattress and base – and then buy a few accessories such as duvet covers or toys to get that final themed effect.
- Come to a compromise over what type of bedroom you want and they need: The big one here is storage – it’s probably not worth surrendering the space for a roll-away Lego container which can slip easily under the bed if you haven’t already got a lot of cupboard space in the bedroom. It’s also worth remembering that the ideal image of a child playing peacefully in their room is as big a fairy story as the books on their shelves – kids are far more likely to end up playing in your main room, so you don’t necessarily need huge amounts of space in the bedrooms: space which can be better utilised by a bed into which they’ll grow over coming years.
- Realise you probably share your taste in beds with your kids: If your children have been sneaking into your bed since they were able to crawl out of their own, then they’ve probably developed a similar taste in how soft or hard they like their mattress. If they’re young, you’ll never get them to give an honest answer over which type of mattress they like in a store – they’re much more likely to be swayed by the butterfly design on the duvet or the blue stripes on the pillowcase! It’s also worth remembering that if you’re buying for a young child, you might end up spending a fair amount of time in their bed as well getting them to fall asleep – don’t be afraid to pull rank here and choose something you’ll be comfortable with.
- Surrender a little control: Buying a bed can be quite a major thing for children moving into their teens – after all their bedroom is pretty much the only place in the world which they can call their own. So let them make a couple of decisions over a style of bed or type of duvet (providing it’s in the right price range and fulfils the practical side of the purchase). Remember, just because they’ve got a big black duvet that you can’t stand, doesn’t mean you can’t just shut the door on it!