The Best Cribs for Growing Babies
Your baby can spend a lot of their time in their crib. You need to make sure the crib you use offers the comfort your baby needs, while also suiting the layout of your home. This means you have to think carefully about the type of crib that you want.
Some cribs convert into beds, which means you don’t have to buy anything else as your baby grows into a toddler. Others are ideal for smaller spaces, which you may prefer if you wish to co-sleep with your baby.
Happily, there’s a crib for all occasions. You can find cribs that are free from the toxic materials that could harm your baby. Or, you can ensure your crib has a suitable mattress, which lowers the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).
Ensuring Your Baby’s Comfort – The Best Cribs
You may need help in finding the right crib, and that’s where I come in. I tried a bunch of different cribs as a parent, plus I’ve spoken to plenty of other parents on the subject. Drawing on my experiences and their recommendations, I’ve created a list of 10 great cribs. Better yet, each of these cribs serves a different need. After going through my list, you’ll hopefully be able to find the right crib for your baby.
Table of Contents
- The Best Convertible Crib
- The Best Co-Sleeping Crib
- The Best Newborn Crib
- The Best Portable Crib
- The Best Travel Crib
- The Best Twin Crib
- The Best Folding Crib
- The Best Crib for Small Spaces
- The Best Cost-Effective Crib
- The Best Crib for Shorter Moms
- Choosing the Right Crib
- Basic Crib Types
- The Crib Must-Have Features
The Best Convertible Crib
If your budget needs to stretch, you don’t want to buy a crib that you know you’ll have to replace in a year or two. You can use a convertible crib to give your child somewhere comfortable to sleep through the baby and toddler years.
This may be the most versatile convertible crib available. Not only does it convert from a crib into a toddler’s bed, but it also changes into a day bed and a full-size children’s bed. With proper care, it should last your child right into their teenage years. It even comes with a headboard.
You can adjust the mattress into one of three positions, allowing your baby to feel comfortable in any situation. This is ideal for helping your baby sit up when they don’t have the ability to hold themselves up yet.
I particularly like the non-toxic finish. Delta has taken parents’ concerns into account, so you don’t have to worry about lead or other chemicals in the paint. You even get a choice of five colors, so you can match the crib to your baby’s room.
The slats are great, too. They allow air to circulate freely throughout the crib, which will benefit your baby during the warmer months of the year. However, the slats do have a lot of weight to them.
While this means the crib is nice and sturdy, it also makes it difficult to move between rooms. This lack of portability may make this a bad choice if you want to move your baby from the bedroom to the living room and back again.
Then there’s also the cost. This crib requires quite a substantial investment. However, you must remember what you’re getting in return. It’s a four-in-one crib, and you’ll save money over time.
In the end I should note that while the crib comes with simple instructions, assembly can still present some problems. The weight of the pieces makes putting the crib together on your own a difficult job.
What's Great About It: Delta’s crib has a stylish look, which blends classic crib design with a touch of modernism. However, its longevity really stands out. Take good care of it and you’ll have a crib and bed combination that will last until your child hits a double-digits age.
The Best Co-Sleeping Crib
Co-sleeping has a lot of benefits. It offers more immediate access to your child, and helps the two of you bond. However, I don’t recommend having your child sleep in the same bed as you. Instead, you could opt for a co-sleeping crib.
The D-shape is what makes this an eye-catching crib. It latches nicely onto the side of your bed, while offering your baby plenty of space. I also like how stylish it appears when compared to the blockier co-sleeping cribs that other manufacturers offer.
The D-shape design also means that it doesn’t have support legs that stick out from the crib. You won’t have to struggle to slot any legs under your bed, plus there’s no tripping hazard around the crib.
The bed portion of the crib starts at the 20-inch mark of the crib’s 37-inch height. This offers you ample storage space for diapers and other essentials underneath the crib. However, you don’t get easy access like you would with a crib that has a dedicated storage shelf.
I do like the use of non-toxic materials in the crib and finish. Babybay uses water-based finishes, which ensure their cribs are practically free of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC). It also carries ASTM Certification for safety.
With this crib, you get a wooden guardrail that you can pop in front of the crib’s open portion. However, it’s fairly small. It may not be suitable for babies who have started walking and climbing. You may have to buy a guardrail separately, along with a mattress (preferably organic).
What's Great About It: The lack of legs makes this ideal for small spaces, plus it lowers the possibility of you tripping over the crib. Babybay’s crib is also non-toxic, fits snugly to the side of your bed, and offers plenty of storage space.
The Best Newborn Crib
Sleeping space isn’t so much of a factor when buying a crib for a newborn. Instead, you need something portable that also offers comfort for your baby.
If you’re like me, you want to keep your newborn baby with you at all times. I did plenty of co-sleeping a while back, and also made sure I had a portable crib that allowed me to take my baby with me wherever I went. Portability is exactly what Graco’s Travel Crib offers.
Despite being a combination of a crib and a playard, this crib has a surprisingly light weight. You don’t have to carry it, either. Two of the legs have wheels, so you can easily drag it along the floor. Unfortunately, Graco hasn’t built brakes onto the wheels. This won’t usually present a problem. However, you must be wary of slops and the hands of hyperactive older children.
It’s also quite small. While this may make it a less ideal choice for babies older than six months, it’s great for newborns who won’t move around a lot inside the crib.
The low weight and small size makes it fit easily into your car. As a result, this is a great crib choice if you need to shuttle your baby to your parents’ or babysitter’s house regularly.
However, this crib’s suitability for newborns also creates its biggest flaw. Once your baby gets heavier than 15 pounds, you’ll have to switch to a bigger crib. However, you can still use the playard as storage space for toys or essentials.
What's Great About It: This crib and playard combination offers plenty of storage space. It’s also easy to move from one room to another, so you can always keep your baby with you.
The Best Portable Crib
You may not want a bulky, rigid crib for the bedroom. Some moms want to be able to bring their baby with them wherever they go. Whether you’re going on a vacation, or just into the next room, portability is an important feature for any crib.
Light weight is crucial for portability. Baby Bjorn’s travel crib weighs just 13 pounds, so it’s light enough for practically anyone. The secret is in the base. Instead of being elevated on a set of legs, the crib’s base lies on the floor. Think of it like a tent, only with a comfortable mattress at the bottom.
This also allows the crib to fold up easily. It compresses into a handy travel bag, and it only takes a couple of seconds to pop the bag open and have the crib ready to use. No additional assembly is required.
I also like the focus on safety. The crib carries full certification from the Juvenile Products Manufacturer’s Association (JPMA). This means the crib has passed several stringent tests that ensure its suitability for young children.
The mesh materials make it breathable, which will suit your baby on hot and humid days. It’s also very stable. The lack of legs means that the mattress and its base keep the crib in place. You won’t have to worry about toppling.
The strong lip is another big plus. As your baby gets older, they’ll start wanting to stand up. The lip offers them something to grab onto and support themselves with. The crib is also short enough for standing babies and young toddlers to peek over the top and snatch a peek of mom and dad.
What's Great About It: This may be one of the best cribs for parents who want to be able to pack up as quickly as possible. Assembly won’t be an issue, plus it has JVMA certification.
The Best Travel Crib
Travel cribs must offer more than just portability. Ideally, they’ll have enough space for your baby to play around, while being capable of fending off the bugs and other issues that nature presents.
Driving around with a full-sized crib isn’t the most practical thing in the world. You’ll have to break it down into parts, which means some assembly is required when you reach your destination. The Lotus Travel Crib eliminates that issue.
Much like the Baby Bjorn crib, this one folds into a handy travel case. This makes it easy to pack into the car, and means you can carry it with you over longer distances. You can even wear it as a backpack.
I really like the crib’s zipped wall. It makes this ideal for parents who have back problems and don’t want to bend over the top of the crib constantly. Furthermore, it adds a fun element for older children. A toddler can happily zip the wall up and spend hours playing inside the playard and crib.
It also has mesh walls. While this helps with breathability, it also means you can see your baby at all times. This is great for when you’re out camping and your little one is sleeping. A quick glance is all you’ll need to ensure everything is okay.
My only issue is the amount of wrestling required to get the crib back into its case. Though it only takes a couple of seconds to unpack, you’ll spend a few minutes struggling to fold it back up again.
What's Great About It: The light design means you can take this crib almost anywhere. It’s also suitable for babies and toddlers, which adds a nice touch of longevity to an otherwise reliable product.
The Best Twin Crib
Having twins is both a joy and a costly endeavor. You have two little babies to dote on, but you also have to buy two of everything. A good twin crib can save you a considerable amount of money during your twins’ first years of life.
Size is key with any twin crib, and the Dream on Me delivers in spades. Its 58-inch length and 29-inch width means you can fit your twins inside while leaving them with enough room for play.
I also like the classic look of this crib. It has a solid pine finish, and the curved guardrails give it an interesting style. It’s an odd blend of traditional and modern designs, and a lot of parents find that appealing.
The crib also converts into a full-sized bed. However, I don’t think the bed is large enough for two kids who have outgrown their toddler years. You’ll also need to buy separately all of the accessories, including the mattress.
Some assembly is required, as you’d expect from a convertible crib. The instructions you receive are easy to follow, plus the crib comes with all of the tools needed to put it together. That’s a nice touch, especially if you don’t have any screwdrivers handy.
It also comes with ASTM certification and has been tested extensively for harmful chemicals. Furthermore, the crib had passed the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s (CPSC) series of tests.
What's Great About It: Size matters when it comes to twin cribs, and the Dream on Me has plenty of it. It’s convertible too, so it lasts longer than many comparable cribs. The various safety certifications will also put your mind at ease.
The Best Folding Crib
You may need somebody to watch over your baby while you’re at work. If that’s the case, you don’t want to have to cart a crib back and forth every day. A good folding crib allows your babysitter or relative to keep a crib at home, without it getting in the way.
Dream On Me return with another great crib. This crib folds completely flat when it’s not in use. After a couple of minutes, you’ll have it in perfect position for storing against a wall or in a closet. It’s even small enough to fit into most cars, though you may prefer a dedicated traveling crib for that purpose.
Of course, that would mean little if the crib itself wasn’t any good. This folding crib comes with wheels which can lock in place. As a result, you don’t have to worry about how the crib will react to uneven surfaces.
You can also convert the crib into a playpen. It’s just a one-hand motion, though you should ensure that your baby isn’t inside the crib when you convert it. I also like the birch wood used in its construction. Scratches aren’t really a problem, plus it gives the crib a classic look.
However, easy foldability requires a sacrifice. In this case, size. The crib is a touch on the smaller side. That’s not a problem for newborns and young babies. But the crib becomes unsuitable as your baby grows into a toddler.
What's Great About It: Easy storage is key with this crib. Folding is quick and easy, plus the crib is practically flat when folded. It’s also sturdy, and the wheels make it easy to move from room to room.
The Best Crib for Small Spaces
Space is an issue for a lot of parents. You may have a small home, which means you can’t dedicate as much space to the crib as you’d like. Or, you may want your baby to sleep in the same room as you, especially during the first few months of their life.
This may be one of the cleverest cribs available. I love how easily it folds. The top part of the crib folds completely flat, but the wheels stay upright. This means you can fold it and move it without any pesky carrying. It’s really great for mothers who have had C-Sections and can’t carry cribs around. It also means you can free up space when the crib isn’t in use.
When it’s opened up, you’ll be stunned at how much it packs into a small package. I don’t think that the crib has even an inch of wasted space. It looks great too, plus the wheels have locks to ensure stability at all times.
Babyletto’s crib meets the standards of both the CPSC and ASTM, which means you don’t have to worry about toxic products. Phthalates aren’t an issue, and the finish uses no lead at all.
You’ll receive a one-inch thick mattress as part of the package, and a one-year warranty. You really don’t need more, as a small crib like this isn’t really suitable for a child above the age of one.
What's Great About It: The folding and wheel mechanisms make this a great crib if you need to quickly move from room to room. It’s compact enough to fit into really small spaces, plus it’s made using non-toxic materials.
The Best Cost-Effective Crib
Money is almost always an issue for new parents. You need to get the most out of every investment you make. Your baby’s crib is no different. It has to last, and offer the reliability needed to ensure you won’t have to buy a replacement in a few months’ time.
There are plenty of cheaper cribs on the market, but you don’t always get value for your money. That can’t be said of Stork Craft’s 3-in-1 crib. Not only does it stand up to the rigors of busy family life, but it also converts into a small bed for when your baby outgrows it.
I think the materials used play a big part in this crib’s reliability. A combination of pine and a composite material gives it a strength that is not easy to find among other cribs in this price range. Being able to choose from a range of colors is a nice bonus.
You also get some features that you might not have expected from such a crib. The mattress is particularly impressive. You can adjust it in three ways, meaning you can ensure your baby is comfortable in any position.
It’s a fairly large crib, though, so it may not be the best choice if room size is an issue. It’s also lacking wheels. I wouldn’t recommend this crib if you’re looking for portability. This is best used as a permanent fixture for your baby’s bedroom.
What's Great About It: The price is an obvious plus point, but you also get a lot in return for your money. The crib lasts for several years and is very sturdy. The adjustable mattress positions are a nice touch that I wasn’t expecting.
The Best Crib for Shorter Moms
It’s so annoying dealing with tall cribs when you’re on the shorter side. Leaning over and reaching into a deep crib may be more than you can manage. You need a crib that offers easy access to your baby.
Don’t let the pictures fool you – this is a great crib for shorter moms. It’s all down to the adjustable mattress heights. You have three heights to choose from, with the highest ensuring you don’t have to bend over too far to reach your baby. Even at the lowest setting, the crib’s smallest wall stands less than three feet off the ground.
It also looks the part. I particularly like the little headboard section, which gives the crib an elegant look. As the 4-in-1 name implies, you’ll also use this section when the time comes for your baby to start using the crib as a full-blown bed.
Safety is also a major issue for most parents, and this crib stands out as one of the best choices in that respect. It has passed ASTM and JPMA testing. It’s free of toxins and certified as safe for developing babies.
Assembly isn’t too much of a problem, but be warned that the crib doesn’t come with wheels. It may not be the most inspired choice if you’re looking for portability.
Unfortunately, this also means it might not be a great choice for moms who have had C-Sections. Of course, this assumes you’d want to move it from room to room. If you’re happy to keep it in one place, then this crib may be a good choice even if you’ve had a C-Section, thanks to its low height.
What's Great About It: The low height ensures easier access to your baby. It has an attractive traditional style, plus you can convert it into a bed as your baby grows.
Choosing the Right Crib
My list has highlighted what I think are some of the best cribs that are currently available. Think about what you need the most out of your crib before making your choice.
Some may prefer cribs that allow them to co-sleep without putting their babies in danger. Others may want something that they can cart around the house. Perhaps you just want something large and comfortable. The choice is yours, but consider carefully your baby’s needs first.
There are some other things you need to know before choosing a crib. Pay attention to them to make sure you choose the most appropriate crib for your baby.
Basic Crib Types
Generally speaking, cribs fall into one of three main categories:
Either square or round, these cribs tend to stay in one room. They often don’t have wheels, and they’re usually on the larger side of things.
Square cribs, in particular, tend to be quite popular. They fit easily against walls, plus there are fewer problems in securing mattresses and other accessories. Round cribs may look nicer, but you’ll have to find specialist suppliers for the accessories.
These are the cribs of choice for those who want some longevity. Converting cribs essentially change with your baby. As your baby outgrows the crib, you can convert it into a bed.
Most stop at toddler-sized beds. However, a few combination cribs convert into full-sized beds. These usually require you to buy some extra accessories, plus they’ll usually be larger than regular combination cribs.
These come in all shapes and sizes. Some have wheels and fold up for easy storage. Others are more like bassinets than cribs. The key is that you can move them from place to place without much trouble. Expect a light weight, usually in the sub-20-pound range. Portability usually means a smaller size. However, that may be a plus if you don’t have much room to begin with.
The Crib Must-Have Features
Every crib on this list has a certain strength in one area. However, being good at one thing isn’t enough to make a great crib. The best cribs usually have all, or most, of the below:
Today, we know more about the sorts of materials and chemicals that can affect the health of our babies than ever before. Crib manufacturers have taken note, too. Most of the best cribs avoid using harmful plastics and chemicals. Look for certification from a reputable organization, such as ASTM.
Multiple Mattress Positions
Your baby will develop quickly during their first year. A crib with several mattress positions allows you to keep your child comfortable as they grow. Adjustable heights also help short moms, and those who’ve had C-Sections. They allow you to reach for your baby with less bending.
A Suitable Size
Note that I said “suitable” instead of stating a particular size. Some moms like large cribs, whereas others prefer small. You know your baby better than anyone. You also know how much room you have at home.
Cribs come in a huge range of sizes, so make sure the one you buy suits your needs from the get go, or else buy one that can at least be easily adjusted to meet your requirements.
You don’t want to spend hours fiddling around with your crib. Complicated instructions make things harder than they need to be. Any crib that includes the tools needed for its assembly tend to be good choices.
The Final Word
When you want to ensure your baby has a comfortable place to sleep in, a crib could be a good solution. Any old crib just won’t do the job. Instead, you must think about your baby’s individual needs when searching.
The best cribs offer stability, safety certification, and can adapt to your needs. My list showcases a few that I think fit particular circumstances better than others. Nevertheless, each is at the higher end of the scale when it comes to general quality.
Create a priority list of features before making your final decision. This will help you to narrow this list down further until you find the ideal crib for your baby.