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.
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.
This crib converts right into a twin bed, which can be a smart choice if you want to skip the toddler bed option altogether. Like other cribs from this brand, it's GREENGUARD Gold-certified for having low VOCs. The dimensions are 39.75 x 26 x 35 inches.
If you prefer something with a vintage feel and a smaller footprint, here's a crib that's smaller in size but big on functionality. 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 39.88 x 28.63 x 38 inches.
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.
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.
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