Babies sleep. A lot. So one of the biggest purchases (both in actual size and price) parents will make will be a crib, otherwise known as your baby’s sleep throne. If you want to get the most for your money, you should go for a convertible crib, which becomes a toddler bed.
Now, to a large extent, 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:
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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.
Hardy and durable, Graco's crib converts from crib to toddler bed, daybed, and full-size bed with headboard. So that's a huge bonus. The mattress can be adjusted to three different levels. As for the crib, it measures 56.7 inches long by 29.8 inches wide by 42 inches tall. It's made of pine wood and composites and comes in a variety of finishes.
If you prefer something mobile with a vintage feel, here's a crib with wheels, which can also be locked into place. Like others on this list, it converts to a toddler bed and daybed. It has four adjustable mattress positions and is made from sustainable New Zealand pine. It's also GREENGUARD Gold certified as being free of certain harmful chemicals. The dimensions are 54.6 x 30.4 x 41.1 inches.
This retro-modern crib, from an upscale Australian baby brand, converts to a daybed and toddler bed. The mattress has four adjustable levels. It's made from American Poplar hardwood, walnut wood veneer, and engineered wood. The crib is 35.5 inches tall by 54.38 inches wide and 31.63 inches deep.
This clean-cut crib transitions into a toddler bed and daybed. It's made from solid New Zealand pine wood, and has four adjustable mattress positions. For parents who care about these things, this crib is GREENGUARD Gold certified and made with non-toxic materials. The dimensions are 53.75 x 30.25 x 35.25 inches.
A cross between what you'd see on Mad Men and the Jetsons, this crib has clear acrylic sides with small cut-outs, and two adjustable mattress levels. Because of its offbeat shape, this crib includes a custom-fitted mattress, a toddler bed conversion kit, and has two adjustable mattress positions. The dimensions are 55.5 x 27.6 x 39.7 inches, and the best part is, you can gaze at your miraculous offspring for hours without having to bend over.
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