Choosing a crib is fun and exciting, especially if you are doing it for the first time. But spending on a crib is quite a hefty investment because your newborn is going to spend at least two years of their life in that crib. So you would have to consider different factors before going out for crib shopping. A crib is also supposed to be the safest place for your toddler, especially when taking a nap. Some parents often remain clueless during the initial months, and therefore they end up using a bedside sleeper and cradle. But neither these things can be trusted and nor are they worth your investment in the first place.
So why not stick to the decision of using a crib from the first day onwards by reading this crib buying guide?
What are the desirable qualities of the ideal crib?
First things first, so let us discuss a few basic features or parameters the crib should comprise. For starters, you should always go for a full-sized crib even if its size intimates you at first glance.
Although a crib with detailed work might look very appealing, it can put your infant in danger. Often clothing fabrics get caught in such intricate lines leading to accidents. Also, as per the Consumer Product Safety Commission regulations, a drop-side crib is a big no.
- Brand new
If you are buying cribs, make sure not to buy a second hand or accept it as a token of love, because it might not meet the safety guidelines. Cribs made before the year 2011 are claimed to have a few safety hazards, so be wise and don’t use those. Also, if you are getting the chance to inspect your cribs beforehand, then you should look for any loose openings. Also, touch all over the crib and sense if any sharp edges, loose screws, or nuts are present because your curious toddler might harm himself with these.
Often old cribs are weakened due to extensive use or due to being in storage for a long time, so it is better to avoid it.
- Built and frame
Does the crib you are checking out comprise a few stabilizer bars? Then it is designed in a way so to offer maximum support and safety to your little one. Furthermore, you can shake the crib to see if it is shaking or making a creaking noise. If it makes noises and shakes a bit, then you can assume that the frame is not sturdy enough.
- Pair the mattress
Although mattresses are sold separately in most of the stores, you should buy it with your crib. This will help you ensure that the mattresses will fit the crib like a glove. If you go by the calculations, then the ideal mattress of a full-sized crib should be about 6 inches thick and 27 inches long. It is also good to have the crib assembled beforehand to check any missing or loose parts. It is these parts that are responsible for accidents, so deal with the problem in the beginning. Also, mattresses comprise support hangers that support its weight and elevate it, so double check to see whether any of the hangers are defective.
- Mattress sheets
Often parents don’t pay any attention to the kind and the size of the sheets they are buying. However, if the sheets are ill-fitted, toddlers might pull it and get entangled in it ultimately. You can even use second-hand sheets only if the elastic at the sheet’s corners are still intact. To test the sheets’ strength, you can pull it to see whether it comes out of the mattresses. Furthermore, sheets come in a combo pack with bedding pads.
Parents of toddlers often struggle to assemble the cribs after being shipped to their homes because it takes time and effort. But one wrong move and you might compromise your toddler’s safety unintentionally. So it is always better to ask friends or even the store you are buying from for help in assembling. Besides saving your time, store personnel can also find flaws and fix them right away
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What are the types of cribs available?
Who said that you would have to stick to only the traditional crib designs? With so many options available, you would not have any trouble finding the best baby cribs for your little one.
- Standard cribs
These are the most basic types of cribs available, and there are nil chances of you not coming across this crib ever. Imagine a bulky wooden crib with static four sides, and you would get the visual representation of standard cribs. If you are tight on finances, then you can start with this crib. Even though these cribs are light on your pocket, their longevity is reliable. The best part about owning this crib is that you can install it in any room, and it will only merge with the interiors.
However, if you are looking for additional features in this crib, this might not appeal to your likings. The heavyweight might also be intimidating, but it will offer your toddler enhanced safety.
- Lifetime cribs
Also known as convertible cribs, these are designed so that it can support your baby while it grows. In other words, these cribs can come handy even when your kid reaches beyond the toddler phase. So when your kid reaches past that age, you can convert these cribs into other furniture types. For instance, you can create a single or a twin-sized bed for your child when he would not need a crib. By far, these cribs are the most cost-effective bedding for your kid on a long term basis. Also, if you end up buying the best model, you might not need to invest in your kid’s bedding solution within the next few years.
On the contrary, these cribs are expensive, owing to the versatility it offers. Also, you would need a conversion kit and some elbow grease to convert it into other furniture.
- Portable crib
If you think that to own cribs you need to have considerable space, then think again! Grab this portable crib, and you would never complain about a lack of space again. These cribs are super mobile, and you can shift it from your bedroom to your kitchen without any hassle. Now, you would complete all your pending chores without being worried about your kid’s safety. As these cribs come with wheels, you can push the crib to your desired location and have your kid beside you at all times.
The only downside is that you need to monitor the brakes regularly to prevent any unfortunate event. Moreover, you would not get many options in terms of design for this type of crib.
- Versatile crib
What if you come across a crib that would store in more furniture pieces and unfold it when needed? Yes, you would not have to buy shelf storage or a dresser for your newborn separately, because this crib comes with all of it! Although it is a lot to take in, the additional piece of furniture attached to the crib makes it possible. You would not even need a conversion kit because all you have to do is to unfold the furniture and voila!
The only issue with this is the space it occupies because of its extra functions and is also bulky. The most commonly found multipurpose crib would involve a changing table, and you can even buy it individually to assemble it all later.
- Travel cribs
Parents willing to go for movies and vacations with their little ones would forever be indebted to this crib. It is probably the lightest crib you will find ever, and it neatly packs into baggage so that you can carry it effortlessly. You can even carry your infant on the crib by placing him on this crib, which needs minimal setup.
On the contrary, these cribs are only a temporary bedding solution for your little one. The design does not allow it to be sturdy enough, so you need to be super careful about it.
- Round-shaped crib
If you have an eye for unique and quirky pieces and cribs do not make an exception for this, then here you go! The cribs have a canopy- like appearance almost similar to those you will find in some medieval age artifacts. This is an excellent option if you are a fan of unusual crib designs.
These cribs come at a cost, and you can struggle to find mattresses and sheets for it. Also, round cribs are smaller in size than the other cribs, mostly rectangular, so you would eventually replace it. Another downside is that you might have to tweak your modern décor and make it more medieval if you wish to score full interior decoration points.
- Eco-friendly cribs
These cribs are made from environmentally friendly materials, so no toxic components and chemicals are being used. Most eco crib makers will source the raw materials from the forest and plant another tree to replace it.
Contrary to popular belief, eco-friendly cribs can be sturdy and robust if the manufacturing process is ecologically and scientifically sound.
Although it is not called a crib, it looks and functions similar to that of a crib. This is one of the safest baby cribs you can get when your infant is just a few months old. Due to their compact size, they can fit even in the tiniest of rooms. Bassinets usually don’t occupy much floor space and allow the parents to move it effortlessly. Also, if you place your infant in it, you can keep a check on him even if you are lying in your bed.
The only downside of a bassinet is that you have to replace it with a crib as your baby starts growing.
Baby crib FAQS
To ease your shopping process for cribs for your little one, let answer some of the most common questions.
When should you buy a crib?
Most mothers start looking for cribs even before they have given birth, approximately from the 3rd trimester. But it is recommended to start planning after knowing the sex of your little one.
How long will your infant sleep in the crib?
Most infants use the cribs till they turn two years old, and then they are shifted to bed. But it depends on the size of your newborn. When you see that your newborn has grown bigger and can escape the crib, you should consider shifting them to bed.
Do you need to assemble the crib?
It is highly likely that the crib you have ordered will reach you unassembled. It is a common tactic most crib manufacturers follow to cut down the shipping costs. Since it is essential to assemble your crib in the right way, you should not hesitate to ask for help.
Should you buy mattresses with adjustable heights?
While adjustable mattresses are not a must-have for the cribs, you can go for its convenience purposes. When your infant is just a few days old, you can raise the mattresses to feed them effortlessly. With time as your baby will learn to sit and throw their hands, you can lower the mattresses.
So which type of crib are you getting for your bundle of joy? You can buy any design only if it is the best and safest crib. While shopping, prioritize your infant’s safety above all, and you would ace the choosing process.