All parents want to find the perfect baby crib that will keep their little ones well-rested, comfy, and safe. I have looked at so many crib alternatives for my newborn, so I know how overwhelming purchasing nursery items can be! I hope the following tips on how to find the best baby cribs will make your process just a little bit easier. I’ll start by discussing some of the key features to look for, then I’ll offer my top recommendations that check all the boxes. Enjoy, and congratulations!
How to Find the Best Baby Cribs – Tips and Guidelines
Features to Consider
When buying a baby crib, you must consider several elements to make sure that the product is both comfortable and safe for your child but also pleasant to look at, with a nice and appealing design.
Bedding and Mattress
A baby crib is much more than a simple bed. Its main purpose is to offer your child a cozy place to sleep. Here are some aspects you must keep in mind:
- You should buy a crib that allows you to reach your infant quickly and easily. In other words, the crib’s structure should be high enough so that it won’t require you to bend over every time you want to reach for your baby;
- You may need an adjustable crib if you want to save some money and use the bed for a longer period. In a blink of an eye, your newborn will grow and become a toddler which means he or she will be able to roll over and climb the rails. So, a lower crib is preferable in this situation.
Safety is always important, especially when it comes to newborns. They are fragile and vulnerable so for them, many things can become hazards. Therefore, you should purchase the best baby crib that is practical as well as safe. Nowadays, classic cribs that had drop-down sides are no longer recommended because they weren’t completely safe.
What I mean is that the things which worked for older generations aren’t suitable anymore. Here are the elements you must check when buying a new baby crib:
- Make sure that the crib’s slats are strong enough;
- The frame shouldn’t be very flexible because it may break;
- The crib’s bedding and mattress should remain intact without tilting when you place the baby on it;
- All four corners of the bedding structure must be perfectly square;
- Choose a crib that was made with safe and non-toxic paint and materials.
Try to avoid certain accessories like heavy blankets, pillows, sleep positioners, and crib bumpers because they are all risky and your child might suffocate with one of them. An extra tip that I want to share with you is to always check cribs recalls before buying this kind of product.
The ideal design of a baby crib is one that combines functionality with aesthetics. Most new moms tend to pick cribs that match the rest of the furniture that’s in the nursery or the room in which the bed is placed. While this is totally understandable, you should also rely on other aspects when purchasing a crib.
For instance, functionality is a key element to keep in mind. Is the crib practical yet safe? Does it have a proper size that fits in a condo or a small apartment (if that is the case)? What features does the crib have that are essential for your baby’s level of comfort and safety?
Think about the fact that, as they grow older, toddlers start to climb so make sure you invest in a safe and appropriate crib.
There is a wide variety of sizes when it comes to cribs and that comes as no surprise considering that babies’ development happens so quickly. Before you know it, they become toddlers who know how to stand up, roll over, and climb. For starters, there are portable cribs that have a compact size. They are suitable for parents who live in smaller houses. After all, a crib should fit in a room without making it feel cramped.
While some types of cribs are made specially to accommodate newborns, other models have a longer life cycle and they can still be safely used then the baby grows. Those parents, who can’t afford to spend too much money, should opt for a versatile or adjustable baby bed, a durable one that has a longer lifespan.
Types of Baby Cribs
These baby beds are both sturdy and long-lasting. They have simple designs and safe structures. All four sides are fixed and there are slats throughout. Standard cribs are the perfect choice for parents with multiple children.
Based on your personal preference and budget, you can opt for colorful finishes, mixed fabrics, or two color tones. In a permanent home, these cribs are a great sleeping solution. However, they might not be as practical for those who tend to move around a lot.
These cribs are 3-in-1 products. They are very popular because you can easily adjust it to suit every growth and development stage that your child goes through without spending extra money. With this kind of bed, you can make the transition from an infant bed to a toddler crib. If you don’t plan to have more kids, this might be the perfect alternative for your needs.
Usually, the design of these baby beds is a timeless one with subtle color schemes so this piece of furniture will never go out of style. Moreover, a convertible crib is the most cost-effective solution. Still, you must have or develop minor crafting skills because each time you convert the bed, it requires some kind of manual labor.
Parents who search for a versatile alternative should take a look at bassinets. These bedding settings are excellent for newborns because they are small and compact which makes it easier for you to keep an eye on your infant without the need to get up from your bed. Due to their compact structure, bassinets are ideal for smaller homes such as lofts and apartments.
A bassinet is easy to move around and some of them come with a back-and-forth rocking feature which will help your little one fall asleep quicker. On the other hand, bassinets represent a short-term solution so they don’t have a long lifespan. Once your baby starts rolling over, you must place your child in a more spacious crib.
Read More: Bassinets vs. Cribs: Which to Choose?
If you travel a lot, have a nomad kind of lifestyle, or you’re simply away from home most of the time, then travel cribs should be an awesome choice that you should consider. These products are amazing during vacations because you can pack them and then take them with you on the plane. Travel cribs have lightweight and soft designs. The structure is normally manufactured from aluminum and mesh.
Most of these cribs feature a storage bag which boosts the product’s convenience. It doesn’t take much time to set them up so, once you purchase them, they will be ready for use in only 20-30 seconds. Just like bassinets, these beds aren’t permanent sleeping solutions because they tend to wear or tear after a while.
- The 9 Best Travel Cribs for 2020 You Need
- Baby Crib and Mattress Recalls for 2020[Updated]
- Best Mini Crib Mattresses
Mini cribs are another popular choice for parents who live in crowded or small living areas. Don’t be fooled by the compact size of this crib because, despite its size, it comes with approximately the same characteristics as those of its larger counterparts.
They even have an adjustable baby mattress which means you can change its height. Still, your little one will outgrow this bed pretty quickly which means you will have to invest in a new bed to transition towards a toddler crib.
When Should You Buy a Baby Crib?
You might not need a crib right from the very moment in which your infant comes into this world. Some parents prefer to sleep right by their infants’ side. Other people place their little ones in co-sleepers or bassinets. Nevertheless, starting with the age of 5 or 6 months, the baby might need a more exclusive alternative like a dedicated crib.
Some of the reasons why your baby is safer and more comfortable in a full-size crib are the following ones:
- The baby is safer in a crib because the structure prevents him or her from falling;
- A growing baby feels more comfortable when sleeping in a spacious crib;
- Normally, these products are created with safety in mind, hence the lower the risk of suffocation;
- With a crib, it will be easy for you to keep track of what your baby is doing by placing a baby monitor right above the bed.
The Best Baby Cribs on the Market – Top 10 Options
*The following items were selected and listed in no particular order. I have chosen them based on customer ratings, popularity, and features.
1. Benton Convertible Crib by Graco
Graco’s Benton baby crib is a 4-in-1 product that can be adjusted to your specific needs. For instance, it can become a daybed, a full-size baby crib, or a toddler bed.
The height of the mattress can also be modified and the design is a universal one. This crib is marketed in 5 different finishes, all of which are non-toxic: white, driftwood, espresso, whitewash, and pebble gray. Moreover, the company that designed it is a world-leading manufacturer.
- This convertible baby crib is highly versatile while also being durable;
- It comes with three settings of its adjustable mattress;
- You can choose from 5 available colors;
- It is a safe and comfy crib that has received several certifications from CPSC, ASTM, and JPMA.
- If you want to modify the crib and make it a full-size bed, you will need to buy the conversion kit which is sold separately, hence it costs extra;
- It is a bit hard to move it around or transport it because it lacks wheels.
2. Hudson 3-in-1 Crib by Babyletto
The Babyletto convertible baby crib has a more modern style and has received a gold certification from Greenguard. It has a simple and straightforward design and the product is long-lasting. The modern smooth lines of this product match almost any type of furniture. The conversion kit that comes with the item is easy to follow and the bed features all the safety requirements a crib should have.
- It was created for long-term use;
- The style and aesthetics are great, modern, chic, and sleek;
- It was manufactured with non-toxic fabrics so there’s no health risk when using it;
- It isn’t very tall. Therefore, it suits parents who are a bit shorter;
- Due to its design, it will be easy to fit a couple of these cribs in the same room if you have twins.
- The crib is a tad on the pricey side;
- According to a few buyers, it appears that holes don’t line up during assembly.
3. 2-in-1 Convertible Crib by Union
This convertible baby crib from Union is a versatile model while also being an inexpensive crib. Still, for some of you, this bed might have a plain design. It comes with an adjustment feature which represents a useful addition for all parents. Even though it has a simple design, this crib can be easily placed in any kind of interior décor. It is a practical baby bed that can also become a daybed. The pinewood used to manufacture this product is sourced from New Zealand.
- It has a lightweight structure;
- This baby crib is very affordable;
- You can choose from several available mattresses that have different heights;
- It has a convertible style that lasts for years at a time;
- You can choose from a wide range of available colors: Lagoon (which is my favorite one), Espresso, Natural, Ebony, Grey, White, and Sunshine.
- A minor eyesore might be the hardware which is easily visible;
- Every time you want to adjust the height of the mattress, you will need to remove some bolts.
Bentley S Series Convertible Baby Crib by Delta Children
This 4-in-1 baby crib can be transformed from a baby bed to a daybed or a toddler bed. There are three available colors: white, black cherry, and chocolate, all of which look pretty good and stylish. It has a sturdy structure. In other words, it was built to last. Moreover, this product received a safety certificate from JPMA. It provides a very good level of functionality.
- It is manufactured with premium high-quality materials;
- It has a stylish and elegant design;
- This baby crib is durable and lasts a long time;
- It can easily convert into a toddler bed or even a full-size bed;
- It is JPMA-certified.
- Unlike other similar cribs, this one is a bit on the heavy side, being bulky;
- Some conversions require the user to buy separate parts that have extra costs.
5. Charleston Convertible Crib by Graco
The Graco’s Charlestone baby crib has a 4-in-1 convertible design. It can become a daybed, a toddler’s bed, and even a full bed. The height of the mattress is adjustable and the crib matches lots of bedroom furniture types and models. It has a simple yet elegant style. You can pick your favorite color but the most popular and well-sold ones are white and brown. This Graco baby bed is highly functional.
- It is a very good investment in the long run;
- It features a clever combination of both modern and classic finishes;
- The crib’s hardware is not visible and it doesn’t present any safety issues;
- It is made of very good materials.
- For some parents, this crib is hard to assemble;
- The height of the mattress is adjustable but there are only three available levels.
6. Alma Urban Mini Crib by Bloom
The Bloom mini folding baby crib was specially designed to fit in small urban places and it works great when you take your baby to his or her grandparents’ house, for example. The designer had the following aspects in mind when designing this product: mobility, style, and easy storage.
Its structure is sleek and compact. You can even use it in hotels due to the item’s lightweight feature which makes it easy to transport. On the other hand, this is significantly smaller compared to many other cribs.
- The design is very compact and lightweight;
- The setup is easy to do and it’s also easy to fold and unfold the crib;
- You can choose from the following colors: white, natural, grey, and oak;
- It comes with caster wheels which boost the crib’s mobility.
- You cannot use it for toddlers because the crib is small;
- There are only two mattress settings;
- Considering the fact that this crib can only be used for approximately one year, it is a bit expensive.
7. Sullivan Convertible Baby Crib from Million Dollar Baby Classic
This 4-in-1 baby crib has an original and elegant design. There’s an added headboard that not many other cribs provide. If you’re looking for the ideal mix of practicality and style, this might be the product you were searching for. It has a beautiful structure that can be converted into a toddler bed or even a daybed. It comes with a conversion kit and the crib meets all the necessary safety requirements.
- This baby crib is made from non-toxic materials;
- It is a durable and long-lasting baby crib so it represents a good investment;
- There are four available mattress settings.
- It weighs almost 100 lbs. which makes this crib very heavy;
- It is an expensive product.
8. Valentia Convertible Crib by Storkcraft
Although the Storkcraft baby crib is an expensive item, I still like it because it is a convertible product with a design that’s simply breathtaking.
So, if you can afford it, this crib is totally worth it. It is also a very good long-term investment due to the fact that you can transform it into a full-size bed. The crib is made of solid wood. However, if you’re looking for a more portable alternative, this product might not be the perfect solution because it is heavy and bulky.
- You can opt for the following finishes: white, black, oak, espresso, cognac, or cherry;
- It has a stunning design that is easily associated with luxury;
- The product meets all the required safety certifications and guidelines;
- It is an adjustable product so you can use it for a long time;
- There are plenty of mattress adjustment settings;
- It is safe for both infants and toddlers.
- This baby crib is an expensive one;
- It isn’t very portable because it has a bulky structure;
- Although it has received two safety certifications, it doesn’t have one from GreenGuard.
9. Carson Classic Convertible Crib by Dream on Me
The Dream on Me convertible baby crib is a multi-functional product. Compared to many other similar cribs, this one is an affordable alternative. Not only is this a budget-friendly crib but it also has a classic appearance and it allows airflow. The product is made of pinewood and it is completely non-toxic. You can safely use this crib for several years, even when your baby grows and becomes a toddler.
- This product is affordable;
- The crib has a lightweight structure without sacrificing the design;
- It is a 3-in-1 convertible baby crib;
- You can add wheels to it for easier transportation.
- You will need help to assemble this crib;
- Although the material is quite good, it can be a tad on the cheap side in a couple of aspects.
10. Jenny Lind Portable Crib by DaVinci
The DaVinci portable baby crib combines a classic pattern with modern protection. It features plenty of safety functions and it also looks stylish. You can transform it into a daybed, an infant’s crib, or a toddler’s bed. Clients can choose from all the available colors: navy, fog grey, cherry, emerald, ebony, lagoon, white, slate, and blush pink.
- This crib is quite affordable;
- It is a convertible baby bed so it can be used for a long time;
- It has lightweight built so you can easily move it around;
- There are many available finishing options and colors to choose from.
- It doesn’t come with the mattress. You will have to purchase it separately;
- You cannot lock the wheels into place.
How to Find the Best Baby Cribs – Drawing to a Close
Finding the best and safest crib for your child is an essential part of being a parent. Each and every one of the options presented above can be a cozy and safe resting environment for your little one. All these products are worth a look. The final decision is all yours, based on your budget, needs, and preferences.