Baby Cribs: The Ultimate Buying Guide


Your baby crib is one of the most important purchases you will make before welcoming your new baby home. After all, your baby will be spending most of its time in the crib, which is why safety and comfort are of the utmost importance. Not only is choosing the right crib important for your baby’s wellbeing, but it is also essential to give you peace of mind knowing that your baby is safe and comfortable.

So how do you know which crib is the ‘right’ crib? Do you even know what you’re looking for in a crib? Because I know I sure didn’t as a first-time mom. Have no fear – this buying guide is going to walk you through the criteria to look out for when purchasing a crib. I will also explain what types of cribs there are to choose from and the top-rated cribs for 2019.

Baby Crib Safety Issues

From your crib’s mattress to the safety regulations, there are numerous matters to consider when shopping for your baby crib. The following criteria should definitely be followed while you browse through the many cribs out there:

  1. JPMA Certified

First and foremost, don’t even bother looking at a product if it is not certified by the Juvenile Product Manufacturers Association (JPMA). This certification not only protects your baby – the most important thing – but also protects you against liability issues if anything were to happen.

  1. Firm Mattress

When it comes to my sleeping arrangements, I’m a big fan of any mattress that I can sink into. But for my baby, it’s a different story. Make sure that you choose a crib mattress that is firm and will not sink under your baby’s weight. The mattress should also touch every corner of the space so that there’s no chance of your baby slipping through.

  1. Adjustable Mattress Height

Look for an adjustable mattress that allows you to change the height to keep up with your growing baby. You’re most likely going to spend a decent amount of cash on your baby’s crib, so why not make it last as long as possible? From infant years to the standing up on his own stage, ensure that your crib has an adjustable mattress to prevent your little one from falling out.

  1. Solid Headboards

I know that the elaborate, decorative headboards are pretty. But when it comes to your baby’s crib, the aesthetically pleasing takes a backseat behind practical and safe. Avoid headboards with any cutouts so that your baby’s clothing doesn’t get caught.

  1. Crib Slats 2 3/8” Apart

When it comes to the distance between crib bars, the general rule of thumb is that if you can fit a soda can through it, it’s too far apart. I’m assuming you won’t be shopping with a soda can in your hand for a measuring reference, so just remember that your bars should be 2 3/8 inches apart.

  1. Stable

Once you have your crib assembled, it is important to test its stability before entrusting it to hold your sleeping baby. Give your crib a good shake to ensure that it is sturdy and doesn’t wobble. This is a great indicator to if you have assembled it correctly – trust me, it may take one or two tries your first time around.

  1. No Bumpers

This rule is simple: ditch the bumpers inside the crib. The American Academy of Pediatrics established guidelines in 2011 stating that bumpers in cribs do not actually prevent injury but rather risk suffocation, entrapment, and other sleep-related deaths. When it comes to what goes in your crib, remember that less is more.

  1. No Drop Sides

Drop-side cribs are known to cause injury and even death, which is why the JPMA banned them in 2011. Avoid drop sides to ensure that your baby crib meets the JPMA standards that are intended to keep your baby safe.

  1. Convertible

Convertible cribs are great if you want a crib that will last from when your child is an infant and even through to adulthood. If this sounds right up your alley, make sure that you see how the crib looks when converted into a toddler or full-size bed.

  1. Locked Wheels

As a mother who is constantly on the go, I know how convenient it is to be able to move my baby’s crib from one room to the next. If you opt for a portable crib, ensure that it is both lightweight, sturdy, and has wheels that can lock – you don’t need a rollaway baby on the loose!

Crib Buying Guide

Now that you know what things to look out for when selecting your crib, it’s time to start shopping!

Types of Cribs

That’s right – cribs come in all shapes and sizes, which can be a bit overwhelming when sifting through all the options. Allow me to simplify it for you!

Below are the three basic types of cribs that just about every crib product falls under:

  1. The Classic (Standard Crib)

The first type of crib you can choose from is the standard crib, or what I like to call ‘The Classic.’ The standard crib is a traditional first bed for a baby and is a great option if you plan to have more children and reuse the crib. While this crib cannot convert to a toddler bed, it is sturdy and safe, making it a crowd favorite among moms who want to use it over and over again.

  1. Ole’ Faithful (Convertible Crib)

The convertible crib certainly is the Ole’ Faithful of baby cribs in that it lasts for years to come. This is a great option for moms who are done having children and want a crib that will last from the infant years to toddler and even into the teen years. The convertible crib is definitely a keeper so make sure you choose wisely if you want one since it will be around for quite a long time!

  1. The On-the-Goer (Portable Crib)

Whether I am working in my study, cooking dinner in the kitchen, or making a break for the TV room, having the ability to wheel my baby crib from room-to-room is truly a godsend, which you will understand soon enough. While portable cribs are usually on the small side and cannot adjust as your baby grows, they are a wonderful option if you are constantly on the go or traveling.

Browse the Cribs

Check out these highly-rated cribs for 2019 that countless other mothers swear by:

DaVinci Kalani 4-in-1 Convertible Crib

Made of 100% sustainable New Zealand pinewood, this eco-friendly crib converts to a toddler bed, daybed, and full-size bed to keep up with your growing child. This is a great option if you are looking for a long-lasting crib of high quality that meets all safety standards.

Union 2-in-1 Convertible Crib

union 2 in 1 crib

This convertible crib boasts four adjustable mattress levels and surpasses all safety regulations to keep your baby secure and comfortable. It is a basic, easy-to-assemble crib that is both strong and sturdy – and won’t break the bank!

Babyletto Hudson 3-in-1 Convertible Crib

This beautiful yet simply-designed crib is a wonderful option that is sturdy and converts into a child bed for when your baby outgrows the crib. Practical and simple, this highly-rated crib is certainly worth considering.

IKEA Gulliver Crib

This crib by IKEA is an affordable option that provides your baby with the utmost safety and comfort. The bottom part of the crib allows for good air circulation and the material has been tested to ensure body support for your baby’s comfort. With beautiful white finishing, this crib is a top choice among mothers who value high-quality at an affordable price.

Graco Charleston 4 in 1 Convertible Crib

This amazing crib converts from a crib to a toddler bed, as well as a day bed and a full-size bed, providing your child with amazing comfort and support through every growth stage. If you are looking for one crib to last from infancy to adulthood, this is a prime option to consider.

Putting it All Together

Knowing what to look for in a crib can be a time-consuming, intimidating task – trust me, I know! But I hope that this guide serves as a road map of sorts to help you navigate your first baby crib purchase.

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