The purpose of this project was to design and build a bed that is both safe and calming for a 20-month-old. The child has trouble sleeping, and was injuring himself at night; so, the bed was designed to tackle this problem in a way that would be fun for a child.
Specifically, we needed to design a bedframe with enough extra protection to support the area around the head. To fulfill such a need, our team approached the bed from the position of built-in walls that prevent falling off, and slots for sliding padding onto said walls. In addition, the extra sensory add-ons were decided to be wheel- and monster-truck-related, so to make the child happy the going plan is to design their bed to look like a monster truck. Fun!
Required background research included delving into children’s bed designs, and how to make one safer and/or more durable. A crib with more sensory features was desired, so research into beds that rock was done. Rocking children’s bedframes do exist, however combining such a bed with extra padding would be new territory. In addition, a bed that uses mesh padding to create walls and a ceiling around the bed – to muffle sound and light for easier sleep – was also looked into. Such examples, at this time, are likely to be incorporated into the bed in order to make the most soothing toddler bed possible.
Using the decision matrix, design 3 became the primary design used in future production.
Based on the initial meeting with our child’s family, we plan to build our sensory bed to the specifications of the mother (she says her child LOVES monster trucks).
The design that we created and presented to the family is shown here. It includes a detachable board in the shape of a truck frame, per Sutton’s request. There are 18″ wheels on the inside frame of the bed that are able to be spun from the outside of the bed. The padding will cover the inside of the bed, eliminating any physical harm that could be had from the metal rod.
The bed was successfully completed with no loose ends remaining. Based on the original design parameters we had to meet: the bed has padding to make it safer for our kid; it has a steering wheel and buttons he can press with truck noises, to give him things to play with while in bed; it also has a monster truck design on the outside, along with 3d truck wheels and an authentic paint job with flame decals. Overall, the bed appears to meet the specifications of the design: padded and smooth, while also looking like a monster truck. It will be harder to fall out due to the bed walls, and also comes with its own mattress.