Baby Crib: The Quest for Your Baby’s Perfect Sleep

Having a sturdy baby crib to keep your baby comfortable and safe is a must. Most of their days will be spent sleeping and playing in it. But before you think it will be a tedious task to scour all the stores for that, stop right there. There will be no need for that because we have just the right guide for you!
At a Glance
  • Buying the right baby crib or any other nursery furniture does not have to be expensive. The ideal baby crib should meet safety standards and must be bought from a reliable brand. As a parent, you need to be extra meticulous and do your research before buying one.
  • There are different types of baby cribs: (1) standard or classic crib, (2) bassinet crib or baby cradle, (3) convertible crib, (4) portable crib, (5) multi-functional cribs, and more.
  • There are several considerations when buying a baby crib: (1) cost-efficiency, (2) comfort, (3) safety, (4) functionality, and (5) durability. It is also very important to avoid cribs made from harmful chemicals or materials.
  • The spaces between each crib bar should NOT be more than 2 inches.
    Do not buy cribs with drop-sides!
  • Never use bulky pillows and blankets, or put plush toys in a baby crib, these may cause suffocation. Use baby sleeping bags instead. Moreover, baby cribs should be placed at least 3 feet away from curtains and furniture items.

What is a baby crib?

Most baby cribs are built with wood panels or hard plastic materials. It is designed to securely and comfortably contain a young child while sleeping or playing. Baby cribs should contain an ideal baby mattress that will fit all corners snugly. The mattress may either come with the crib or may be sold separately. Cribs that don’t come with a mattress allow parents to choose their own according to their preferred quality and cost. So if you see a baby crib that you like without a mattress, just think of all the freedom and potential savings you can get. Most of these are also convertible cribs that you can readjust into a toddler’s bed for future purposes.

Cute Baby in Crib

What you need to know before buying a baby crib

Choosing from hundreds of designs can be overwhelming. Similarly, it can be tempting to just buy either the most good-looking one or the cheapest one. This is often the case among new parents. However, if you want to have an informed decision when buying, you should at least be aware of the following:

  • Buying the right baby crib or any other nursery furniture does not have to be expensive.
  • Be extra meticulous with details when choosing to buy from online shops to avoid the hassle of returns.
  • Do some research first if you feel you need to know more about a certain product.
  • Bear in mind that there are safety standards for baby crib designs that products should meet.
  • Consider the effort required when choosing cribs with specific maintenance instructions.
  • Buy from reliable brands only.
  • Make sure you know all the details and specifications of the baby crib you are planning to buy.

Types of Baby Cribs

When you visit a large baby shop, the number of designs available just for a baby crib will probably surprise you. On the positive side, these will provide you with flexible options when it comes to both quality and price. To give you ideas of what to expect when you go shopping, here are some of the common crib types:

  • Standard or Classic Crib – this no-nonsense crib is so basic that it doesn’t contain any other functional elements – no drawers, no unique design to boast of and it even doesn’t fold up. However, it does serve its purpose – to provide your baby a place to sleep.
  • Bassinet Crib or Baby Cradle – Because bassinets are more compact, they offer portability, making them easier to move around. Furthermore, they are also inexpensive in comparison to classic cribs and can provide just as much comfort.
  • Convertible Crib – Convertibles are so versatile that you can turn them from a crib to daybed and to a headboard. For this versatility alone, it makes for a wise investment.
  • Portable Crib – This crib’s main and only additional feature is its portability. They are different from travel cribs in the sense that they are generally made of wood.
  • Specialty Crib – Specialty cribs can come in unique and non-standard designs. They are typically made of eco-friendly materials. Due to all of this, they tend to be more expensive than other types of cribs.
  • Multi-functional Crib – This crib can serve more than one function. They can come with plenty of storing space with drawers and can even have a changing table attached to them.
  • Travel Crib – Travel cribs are collapsible and light, making them easier to transport everywhere. However, due to this, they tend to not be sturdy enough.
  • Rollaway Crib – This is ideal for parents who want to sleep closer to their baby since it can be merged with a bed. Since it is made to be attached to a bed, it cannot be used on its own.

Purchase Criteria

If you now have a few options already from the types of cribs mentioned above, study the following criteria that you must consider to make a smart purchase for your baby.

  • Cost-efficiency

Having a baby comes with lots of costs, so it is only understandable when parents try to keep on a budget for any purchases. While cheaper prices are initially tempting, always consider cost-efficiency. In other words, value for money, which doesn’t necessarily mean cheap or expensive.

  • Comfort

Your baby’s comfort should be your number one priority. After all, a crib is supposed to be a comforting place for a baby to sleep in for as long as they want without feeling too warm or constricted. However, this may have to do more with the mattress. Make sure to get a mattress that is compatible with your crib.

  • Safety

This includes quality of material and sturdiness of all the baby crib parts. Wobbly, removable parts can pose a danger, so if choosing convertibles or foldable cribs, make sure all parts stay in place when adjusted. When it comes to materials, avoid cribs that smells of strong chemicals. Also, check for sharp or pointy edges.

  • Functionality

Cribs that offer more functionality can save you space. It may also be an excellent value for money if you can get an all in one crib that meets all the right standards.

  • Durability

Who doesn’t want an investment that can last for years? Whether you are planning to have only 1 child or more, a sturdy and durable crib will always go a long way. Durability also adds security and will keep you from having to buy costly replacements in case your crib turns out to be flimsy.

  • Materials

The type and quality of materials determine the biggest part of a crib’s safety, comfort, and quality. Choose natural materials if possible and keep away from cribs with toxic material-make.

Health and Safety Issues

Babies are way too delicate and sensitive to just be put in any substandard crib.  Here are a few reminders to keep your baby safe at all times:

Before Purchase

  • Choose cribs with baby-safe materials. If there is a hint of chemical smell, leave the crib out in open air for a few hours or days before use. Always ask to make sure there are no toxic chemicals or materials in it.
  • Check for gaps between the mattress and the side of the crib. If there is any space, make sure it won’t fit more than two fingers. The snugger it is, the better to keep your baby’s legs or arms from getting stuck in between. The same goes for the spaces between the bars, which should not be more than 6.5cm.
  • Do not buy cribs with drop-sides. Some countries are banning this type of cribs for many years now for safety reasons.
  • Always look for Consumer Safety Certificates on brands so you don’t end up with a poorly built crib.

After Purchase

  • Take time to read manuals especially when assembling the crib. This way you won’t miss on any parts that you may end up attaching loosely and dangerously.
  • After assembly, double check all parts for any loose materials, defects, and sharp edges. Do not forget to test all functionalities before actual use.

During Use

  • Avoid using bulky pillows and blankets. Do not put too many pillows or plush toys on the crib as well. This can cause suffocation when your baby moves and accidentally throws a pillow on their face. If you want to keep them warm, have them wear pajamas or coveralls instead. One pillow on the head is enough for a baby to be comfortable. This will also help to provide a good ventilation around the baby. For similar reasons, make sure mattress sheets are always snug and tight.
  • When using cushions on the sides of the crib, make sure that they are securely tied to the bars to keep them from slipping off.
  • Keep cribs away from curtains, blinds, and any other dangling materials that might get caught in it.
  • If reusing a crib, check every part for security. Older cribs may have parts that may be loose or broken already and may no longer be safe to use.

Care and Cleaning Tips

Prolong the lifespan of your baby crib by keeping it clean. Your manual should come with basic instructions for maintaining the crib, otherwise, you can do the following:

  • Tip#1: Use a clean, damp cloth to clean dirt and stains.
  • Tip#2: Avoid using bleach and other harsh cleaning chemicals that may ruin the material and surface of the crib. Harsh chemicals will also leave odors that are often dangerous for babies.
  • Tip#3: When using a second-hand crib, make sure to clean and disinfect it thoroughly before use.
  • Tip#4: Change linens at least every week. Remove and wash soiled linens as soon as possible to avoid stains.
  • Tip#5: Always do a routine check so you can clean when necessary and keep the crib neat at all times.

Useful Accessories

Make your crib more useful, entertaining, and interesting for babies as they grow up with these accessories:

  • Side Cushions/Bumpers – Soft pads with strings you can attach at the bottom of the bars inside the crib. These provide a cushion for babies when they move towards the sides and corners.
  • Rail Guards – Similar to bumpers but covers the top of crib rails to provide a cushion for babies who can already stand on their own. It covers all sharp and hard edges that a baby can come in contact with.
  • Crib Skirts – These extra fabrics add more design to make a bare crib look more appealing.
  • Night Lights/Baby Projectors – These can entertain your little ones with moving lights while they lin on their crib. This may also help them fall asleep more easily.
  • Musical Mobiles – These are basically toys that attach to the crib rail with parts that move around to catch your baby’s attention and can stimulate and entertain as well. There are also educational baby mobiles that you can buy to familiarize your baby early on with animals or alphabets.
  • Baby Sound Machines – Also known as soothers. These little speakers play soothing music for babies to calm them down especially during bedtime.

Popular Brands

Baby brands aren’t just popular for nothing. Over the years, these are the brands that have good reputation through high-quality products that parents can entrust their babies with. Below is a list of some of the most reliable brands for baby cribs:

  • GracoOne of the brands that carry a huge range of baby products. With over 60 years in the market and a focus on safety and durability, Graco is perhaps the most popular baby brand in the world.
  • Babyletto – Popular for their lines of nursery furniture, Babyletto offers affordable eco-friendly products.
  • DaVinciKnown for their convertible cribs with value-driven designs.
  • Dream on MeOne of the most widely available brands, Dream on Me has been featured countless times in TV shows. The brand prides themselves on their tough standards in quality.
  • BabyHome – A multi-awarded brand with baby products that can adapt to other brands so compatibility will not be an issue.
  • Pottery Barn Kids – A huge store that especially sells products for babies, kids, and teens from beddings and furniture to accessories.

All of these brands have an online shop, although they are also available in different physical stores and online retailers. Most of their online shops also offer free shipping promos.

Q & A

When is the best time to convert a crib into a bed?

In most cases, children can manage to be on their own bed by the age of 3 or when they are at least 35 inches tall. However, this can be earlier or later depending on the child’s development. If you notice they can consistently sleep on your bed without falling off, then it is probably the right time to convert their crib into a bed.

What is the proper height for a baby crib?

When raised, the top rail should be at least 26 inches from the bottom of the mattress to prevent falls. If it needs to be in a lower position, keep the level to at least 9 inches from the mattress support.

When should I adjust the crib mattress height?

You can lower the height once your baby can sit by himself. When they begin to stand up with stability, you can adjust the height to its lowest position.

Where should I put my baby crib?

Cribs should be away from windows, furniture items, cords, and draperies like curtains. Keep a distance of at least 3 feet between the crib and these items to prevent babies from climbing out or getting caught in curtains. Also, make sure to put your crib in a room with proper ventilation.

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