Seeing your baby sleep peacefully in a mini crib takes a lot of effort. It is not that easy to train your baby for a mini crib when all he does is crying and resistance. After going through several articles on how to put him sleep in a mini crib, you finally make it happen. When he gets used to it, you start wondering that how long can baby stay in mini crib. Babies grow fast in their first year, so you must know when to transition to a toddler bed. Here, we will be discussing the mini crib age, how big is a mini crib, and how long a baby can sleep in a mini crib.
Mini Crib vs Standard Crib
The name says it all. A mini crib is much smaller than a standard crib. It is low-priced and appropriate for apartments with limited space.
Most mini cribs have wheels and a foldable design making them easy to maneuver between rooms. You can also store them when not required. The mini crib mattress is 24” x 38”. The thickness varies between 1-4 inches. For a standard crib, the average dimensions are 28” x 52”. These dimensions differ by model and brand. You need to see that you are buying the right mattress sheets that fit well.
Mini cribs are ideal for babies less than 2 years old. They have thin padding as they are meant to hold lighter babies. When your baby outgrows it, you will need to get a toddler bed.
The full-size cribs are multifunctional. They can be converted into a toddler bed, daybed, or a full-size bed. They also come with drawers or shelves for space-saving storage. Offering a mattress thickness of 5 to 6 inches, they are designed to accommodate heavier babies. They are well-built but expensive than mini cribs.
Mini Crib vs Bassinet
Mini cribs and bassinets are not the same. A bassinet is smaller in size and more portable. You can use it when you take your baby to his grandma’s. Designed for newborns, it can be used for up to 4 months. It depends on you whether you want to get a bassinet or a mini crib for the initial months.
Is Mini Crib Good for a Newborn?
Although standard cribs come with more features, a mini crib will be more comfortable for a newborn. Some parents prefer to keep their newborn with them, so a mini crib can stay close to the mommy’s bed. He will feel safe and more covered in it. It is also portable to be moved in any room.
If you have a small apartment or the baby room is small, then going with a mini crib is a good idea. It is useful when you have a stayover at grandma’s or need to share a room.
There are some limitations to a mini crib. If you are tight on budget, getting a mini crib is not a reasonable option. You will have to purchase a new toddler bed after 2 years whereas, the standard crib could be used up to 3. If the standard crib is for multi-use, then it grows with your baby.
Full-size cribs come in a standard size, but mini cribs do not. Only a few companies offer mini cribs, and all have their own designs. As there is no one size for sheets, you might find it difficult and expensive to get them.
How Fast Does Your Baby Grow?
The World Health Organization has provided a “Child Growth Standards” chart to get an idea.
The average height of male babies will be 29.75” when they reach 1 while the girls will be 29.25”. This shows that they will grow by 10 inches. At this rate, your baby will outgrow the mini crib when he reaches 2. You will then need to transition to a toddler bed. This transition will be expensive, but you have no other option if you do not have a 5-inch space for a standard crib.
How Long Can a Baby Sleep in a Mini Crib?
There are two factors that determine the duration your baby can stay in a mini crib.
Weight of Your Baby
The American Society of Testing and Materials (ASTM) performs quality and safety tests for products. All the mini cribs are tested for 45 pounds. If they withstand it, they are recommended to use for babies up to 35 pounds. Babies vary in weight. An average 2-year old is estimated to weigh between 25-32 pounds. Active kids might be able to climb out of the crib.
Height of Your Baby
The next factor is your baby’s height. Mini cribs can be used for height up to 35 inches. This height limit is recommended by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). Your 2-year old would be 32-38 inches tall. Therefore, the mini crib age limit is 2 years.
Things to Consider When Buying a Mini Crib
If you are opting for a mini crib, here are some points that you need to know.
Whatever crib you decide to go with, make sure it meets the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) standards. They do not allow using drop-side rails. Conducting several tests, they make sure that the crib has proper mattress support and is built using high-quality materials. The locking mechanism should work well, and the removable bases should be secure.
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), parents should keep their babies with them for a minimum of six months. When you do not have the option of a regular crib, the mini crib fits fine. You can fit it close to your bed to keep him safe.
As we have mentioned most mini cribs come in 24 x 38 inches, some are slimmer than other models. The narrow ones are good to go for tight spaces, but they can make your baby feel constricted. You need to be careful while selecting the perfect mini crib for your little one. If he is staying for long in the crib, then the standard cribs would go well.
Most mini cribs are portable, unlike regular cribs. Newborns need to stay close to their moms so portable mini cribs will make this easier. Not only in the bedroom, but you can also drag it to the living room when you want to chill around and keep the baby close at the same time. These lightweight cribs come with wheels that have locks so that they cannot be moved.
With the foldable design, you can collapse it to keep it in your car trunk. You need to remove the mattress to fold flat. This is a great option if you often visit his granny and to store for your second baby.
Removing the rails, some mini cribs become mini daybeds. Convertible mini cribs can be used for up to two years. Some models also have a toddler rail to convert to a twin bed. If you are not going for a bassinet then a multifunctional mini crib is a good option for you.
When deciding on a convertible mini crib, make sure it has mattress level adjustments. For a newborn, you need to keep it at the highest position. Later you can lower when your baby sits or stands.
As you will be using a mini crib for 2 years, make sure to purchase a quality built. The solid wood frame and mattress support will add durability. Most cribs come with a 1” mattress, but you will need to purchase a thicker one.
How Can You Transition Your Baby from Mini Crib to Regular Crib?
You have already experienced putting your baby to sleep in a mini crib. It takes a few nights to make him comfortable. Now that you know there is a restriction to how long can baby stay in mini crib, you will have to move him to a regular crib. This time it would not be that hard as he is already used to sleeping alone in a crib.
Start slowly. Put your baby in the new crib for a few minutes a day. You can stay around and play with the baby. Give him a toy and tell him that he has become a big boy. This will make the transition process a lot easier as he becomes familiar with his new space.
Mini cribs are smaller, so they give a warm feeling. When you put your baby in the standard crib, you need to maintain the room temperature between 68-72oF. This inviting environment will make him settle down easily.
What your baby needs is all that matters. Mini cribs are best for small apartments and tight spaces. Also, they are a great option to keep your baby near you all the time. The estimated mini crib age limit is up to 2 years. Then you will need to switch to a regular crib for more space and comfort. Hopefully, this article will help you decide on what is best for your new arrival right now.