When it comes time to outfit your child’s nursery, the crib is often the focal point of the room. It’s the place where your baby will spend the majority of its time sleeping and it’s a place where sleep training battles are hopefully won by adults. As with all baby products, the laundry list of safety factors to consider is extensive. That’s why we’ve put together a list of important items to note when looking for a crib and several recommendations for the best cribs available, all of which adhere to these safety items and more.
When looking for a crib, there are several important features to note:
- A mini crib is a smaller crib that is ideal for small spaces. It can typically be used up to 18 or 24 months and often folds easily for compact storage, making it a great option for second homes (hi grandma and grandpa!).
- Three-in-one and four-in-one cribs refer to the number of beds that can be made from the crib. These models typically start as a crib and can be converted into a toddler bed, day bed, and full-sized bed. When looking at convertible cribs, make note of whether the conversion kits are included or must be purchased separately. It’s a good idea to buy the conversion kit when the crib is bought in case the manufacturer stops making the kit in a few years when you’re ready to move onto the next stage.
- Using a mattress that fits snugly in your crib is imperative for your child’s safety. You should not be able to fit a finger between the side of the mattress and the crib. Also, ensure you’re using the correct side of the mattress for your child’s current age (babies use the firmer side of the mattress while toddlers can use the softer side).
- Slats should be no more than 2 3/8” apart to ensure heads and body parts don’t get stuck.
- The location of your baby’s crib is also important. Stay away from windows, since coverings can pose serious risks.
- While there are many items that are great to receive as hand-me-downs for your little one, cribs should be recently made and not include any chipping paint, missing pieces, or have drop-down side rails. For babies under 12 months, cribs should only house the mattress with a properly fitted sheet and your baby (no blankets, stuffed animals, or bumpers).
Thankfully, there are several cribs that meet all these safety requirements and are available in several styles and budgets to fit your nursery.
1. DaVinci Kalani 4-in-1 Convertible Crib
For a crib that is affordable, safe, and will last from toddlerhood to the teen years, it’s tough to beat the DaVinci Kalani 4-in-1 Convertible Crib. Available in seven finishes to match just about any nursery, the DaVinci is made from Greenguard Gold Certified and sustainable New Zealand Pine that is gentle on the environment, free from toxins, including lead and phthalates, and safe for use with babies. The crib features four mattress positions that take your little one from newborn to toddler and beyond and fit a standard crib mattress (DaVinci also sells its own line of mattresses). Using a conversion kit, the DaVinci Kalani can be converted into a toddler bed, daybed, and a full-sized bed complete with a headboard and footboard (conversion kit must be bought separately). For parents who want a matching nursery, DaVinci also sells a matching dresser and changing table.
2. Kendall Convertible Crib by Pottery Barn
If you plan on having several children and want a crib that will last through all the (hopefully not) sleepless nights, check out the Kendall Convertible Crib by Pottery Barn. Available in white, grey, and a soft weathered navy and weathered white, the Greenguard Gold Certified crib is crafted from solid poplar wood, which doesn’t easily scratch or dent. Three mattress height positions are available and the crib is constructed with tongue-and-groove joinery to create a reinforced and sturdy structure that is built to last. For added security, the crib comes with anti-tip hardware. Pottery Barn sells several matching furniture pieces, as well as a toddler conversion kit and a mesh teething cover that parents may want to invest in as their baby grows.
3. Babyletto Hudson 3-in-1 Convertible Crib
BEST FOR SHORTER PARENTS
The Babyletto Hudson 3-in-1 Convertible Crib is one of the most popular cribs available and for several reasons. Unlike most cribs, the Hudson comes with the necessary kit for converting the crib into a toddler bed or daybed. Four height adjustments for the mattress allow parents to go from the newborn to the toddler stage with ease. A great option for shorter parents, the Hudson has a lower profile of 35” in height. Available in seven colors, the Hudson is Greenguard Gold Certified and made from 100% sustainable New Zealand pinewood that hasn’t been treated with lead or any other toxins. A sleek, modern-looking crib, the Hudson can be matched with several furniture pieces from Babyletto.
4. Delta Children Cambridge 4-in-1 Convertible Crib
Whether you’re only planning on one child or need a crib for your last child, a four-in-one convertible crib is one of the easiest and most economical ways to buy a bed that will be around for years. The Delta Children Cambridge 4-in-1 Convertible Crib is one of the best baby-to-teen beds thanks to its solid back that makes an attractive headboard. The crib is made from Greenguard Gold Certified New Zealand pine wood and is free from any toxins that could harm your little one. While in crib mode, the mattress has three height adjustments available and fits a standard size crib. It’s important to note that while the Cambridge can grow into a full-sized bed, parents will still need to purchase a guardrail, platform bed kit, and full-sized metal bed frame separately.
5. Convertible Sleepi Crib & Toddler Bed by Stokke
For an eye-catching design, we like the Convertible Sleepi Crib & Toddler Bed by Stokke. The oval design of the crib takes up less space than a traditional crib while still giving little ones plenty of room to snooze. Thanks to its lockable wheel casters, it’s easy for parents to move the crib from room to room if necessary. When the baby gets bigger, the wheels can be removed, and the included kit turns the crib into a toddler bed for sleepers up to 3-years-old. Available in three finishes, the Scandinavian-style crib does require the Stokke-specific mattress for the oval shape.
6. Babyletto Origami Portable Mini Crib
BEST FOR SMALL SPACES
Whether you’re short on space or only need a crib for a limited amount of time, the Babyletto Origami Portable Mini Crib is a great option for little ones. Sized for small rooms or to be used as a backup crib at grandma’s house, the Origami can be used as a bassinet and crib for little ones up to 18 months old. At 35” tall, the Origami is another great option for shorter parents and it has locking wheel casters and a foldable design for easy movement and storage. Suitable for all mini-crib mattresses, the Origami comes in several colors and is made from sustainably sourced solid New Zealand pine wood.
7. West Storage Baby Crib
INCLUDES BUILT-IN STORAGE
If you have a large space or simply want to combine two furniture pieces in one, there are several cribs that feature built-in storage or even a changing table. For a high-end option that will last, there’s the West Storage Baby Crib from Crate and Barrel. The crib features built-in drawers with an adjustable open-air shelf on the end. Featuring a modern, clean design, the crib is made with ash and low emission engineered wood and can be converted into a toddler bed with a kit.
8. The Wave Crib by Nestig
BEST FOR NEWBORNS
Going from a full-sized crib to a toddler bed is pretty standard with most pieces of baby furniture, but The Wave Crib by Nestig starts at the bassinet stage by first being used as a mini crib, then a full crib, and finally a toddler bed. The design of the bed is inspired by the ocean, hence the tranquil name, and has lockable wheels for easy movement from room to room. Available in natural wood or white, the frame is made with sustainably harvested solid Brazilian pine and free from toxins. While the Wave does have a high price point, it’s important to note that it comes with the mini crib mattress, the conversion kit to a full crib, and a conversion kit to a toddler bed.
9. Ikea Sundvik
For an affordable crib that still comes with all the safety features any parent would want for their baby, it’s tough to beat Ikea’s lineup. The furniture giant offers several styles and price points for cribs, but our top pick is the Sundvik thanks to typically high availability and overall affordability. The basic crib has two mattress heights and can be converted into a toddler bed with the extra purchase of a toddler rail. Ikea uses beech wood for its crib, which is highly durable and does not include any toxins. The closed ends are ideal for parents who want to be able to sneak out of their little one’s room without being detected.
10. BabyBjörn Travel Crib
BEST TRAVEL CRIB
While play yards can be used as travel cribs, their mattresses typically aren’t uber-supportive and they can still take up a lot of space when folded. For a lightweight, truly portable option that comes with a quality mattress, it’s tough to beat the BabyBjörn Travel Crib. Available in three colors, the travel crib weighs only 13 pounds and is made with breathable, washable mesh walls. Designed for babies weighing between 8 and 33 pounds, the soft, supportive mattress fits into the travel bag with the crib and can be used as a carry-on when flying.
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