Up in tha Crib
Most parents keep their munchkin in a crib well into the second year (2 years old, or even 3) before transitioning to a “big kid” bed. The majority of cribs on the market are regular, non-morphing cribs, while others can transition from a baby crib to a “railed” toddler crib to a regular bed, which means you can use it well into your little one’s childhood.
Without getting too bogged down in furniture, I’ll mention a few crowd favorites in the “regular” and then the mini-crib categories:
Best Standard Baby Cribs
IKEA Gulliver Crib ~$99
If money is tight, this crib is safe and simple. It also comes with a conversion kit so you can keep using it into toddlerhood. Parents love the IKEA Gulliver for its value and simplicity.
DaVinci 4-in-1 crib ~$199
A very well-liked, sturdy convertible crib with several nice color options. This option has more of a classic aesthetic. Note that the conversion kits are technically sold separately — if you want the whole toddler kit and caboodle, make sure to get the crib/conversion kit bundle ($229).
If you’re looking for more of a vintage-looking piece, the DaVinci Jenny Crib is another super popular nursery pick.
For those more keen to a modern aesthetic. The Babyletto Hudson is a well-made crib with a clean-cut look. (You can also check out Stokke cribs, but the price is higher — $699.)
A pretty, high-quality (and durable) crib with a vintage look. It can convert to a toddler bed later on (with separate conversion kit), and is made from sustainably-sourced wood.
Oeuf Sparrow Crib ~$820
For those looking for a sleek design from an eco-conscious company (and a heavy price tag, LOL):
Best Baby Mini Cribs
You might also opt for a mini crib, which are becoming increasingly popular. The idea is that “regular-sized” cribs are way bigger than they need to be, and most kids transition to a big kid bed by the time they outgrow the mini-crib.
Many parents love mini-cribs because they’re small enough to use as an in-room bassinet (they’re almost the exact same size as a pack ‘n play, in terms of the footprint), but sturdy enough to move into the baby’s room and use as a full-time crib until around 1-2 years (depending on your child’s height and climbing tendencies, hah), when most children tend to transition to a toddler bed.
In the economy department, there are two solid options, both of which can also convert to a twin (with a simple headboard) down the road:
If you’re looking for something a little more sleek, or with wheels, you have two (pricier) options that both fold up for convenient storage — a very nice feature if you are tight on space:
Easy to assemble and easy to fold, the Babyletto is a great space-saving option. Comes in a variety of cute colors.
Bloom Alma Mini Crib ~$340
This mini crib takes about 5 minutes to assemble, no tool required. Some parents report chipped paint after 1+ year of use, but many families use this happily through multiple children and get years of great use from it.
Stokke Sleepi Mini Crib ~$499
If you like a unique look, the Sleepi Mini Crib is a fun choice from the renowned Norwegian company Stokke — all of its products are top notch in terms of quality. And given that the Sleepi Mini can convert from bedside bassinet, to a crib, to a toddler bed, to a kid-sized bed suited for children up to 10 (*with optional extension kits, sold separately), you’re definitely going to want that stellar craftsmanship! One last thing to note on this one — the Stokke comes with an oval mini mattress, but buying sheets can be $$$ with it.
*In 2011, the CPSC instituted a whole new set of crib regulations to address safety hazards. Of note, it banned drop-sided cribs, set new standards for sturdiness and slat gaps, and mandated that every crib manufactured in the US pass rigorous tests designed to simulate everyday use.
If you are considering using a hand-me-down crib, make sure to check the quality of the hardware and wood (and/or the year of manufacture). If it’s cheap, plasticky stuff, just say no (of course, if you’re buying a new crib, this is all a moot point). The same idea goes for buying a used crib/bassinet/cradle of any kind. In particular, many “vintage” or “antique” products, though beautiful, don’t meet the current safety standards, so just be on the lookout for that.