Let’s be clear: the crib you choose is a question of aesthetics, because of tighter regulations enacted in 2010. That’s when drop-side rail cribs were banned, so any new crib you buy today will conform to those safety standards. Plus, whatever crib you get, per the Consumer Product Safety Commission, will have wood slats that are much more solid than in older iterations. Crib hardware also has anti-loosening devices to keep it from getting loose or falling off.
“A firm mattress should be the only thing in the crib. A baby can’t appreciate a fancy crib. The vast majority of people buy new cribs and they’re all kind of the same because they have to follow regulations,” concurs Dr. Sumit Bhargava, a pediatric pulmonary and sleep medicine doctor at Stanford Children’s Health.
The American Academy of Pediatrics has a few other common-sense guidelines when choosing cribs:
Get a crib with slats that are no more than 2 3/8 inches apart so a child’s head won’t become trapped.
Get a crib without any oversized cutouts, because again, your child’s head or limbs could get trapped.
All screws, bolts, nuts, plastic parts, and other hardware should be in the box and part of the original equipment; meaning, don’t order cheap replacements online.
Now, you can go the Kanye West route and spring for an egregiously clear crib, like this one. Or, you can save your pennies and pick something that’s safe, easy to assemble, and easy on the eyes, with an adjustable mattress that you can lower as your baby grows up and can stand up in the crib.
Let's be clear: This isn't a crib per se. But we'd be remiss not to include this absolute hero of sleep products. This is a responsive baby bassinet that improves a baby’s sleep by combining rocking with white noise and swaddling. When your baby cries, the SNOO responds by increasing both the motion and sound to calm the infant. In all, parents are meant to get an extra hour or two of sleep per night. You can use this from birth until six months (or when your baby can get on their hands and knees).
We like the bottom drawer, because there's no such thing as too much storage space with kids. This crib, with four mattress positions, converts to a toddler bed and daybed. It's GREENGUARD Gold-certified for low emissions and made from New Zealand pine wood.
If you're absolutely done with having blonde wood all over your nursery, this is a breath of fresh air. Made from steel with a powder-coated finish, this crib has four adjustable mattress positions and converts to a toddler bed followed by a daybed. It clocks in at 77 pounds, so it's a solid piece of furniture, to be sure. The dimensions are 53.89 x 29.52 x 43.89.
Designed for smaller spaces, especially in apartments, this crib is on wheels, which makes it eminently portable. It has a foldable frame and removable locking caster wheels. It has two adjustable mattress positions and can be used until your child is 18 months old. Note that is not a convertible crib but is a smarter alternative to a bassinet. The dimensions are 39.2 x 25.7 x 36 inches.
We totally dig this ultra-modern crib, which has acrylic slats so you can always see your baby. Its clean, simple lines are an added bonus. The mattress platform is crafted of metal and has two height options. And it converts into one of the coolest toddler beds we've ever seen. The dimensions are 30 x 54 x 36.5.
For those who dig the minimalism of Scandinavian style, this airy and modern crib is made from solid birch and Baltic birch plywood. It has three adjustable mattress positions, and is made with finishes that are non-toxic, water-based and free of VOC health hazards. It's from the family-run Oeuf NYC, known for furniture that lasts and lasts and lasts. The dimensions are 54 x 30 x 36.
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