Designing a nursery for your baby should be fun and exciting, not stressful, with the outcome being a safe place for your child to grow and learn. This is why we’ve compiled some expert tips for you to follow on choosing the perfect crib to make your experience as stress-free and easy as possible.
What type of crib should I buy?
Choosing the right type of crib for your baby is one of the most important decisions you’ll have to make. After all, this will be where they will be spending most of their nights for the next two years, so having a crib that suits your family perfectly is vital.
Planning on having multiple children? Standard Crib
- Standard cribs have a simple construction of 4 fixed sides with bars or slats throughout.
- They are sturdy and quite long-lasting, so are ideal for families planning to have multiple children – the crib can be used again and again without having to be replaced.
- These cribs are the most popular type available and usually come in a wide variety of designs including mixed materials and colorful finishes.
- A downside of standard cribs is their size – it makes them difficult to transport and store when not in use, so this may not be a good option for families that are often moving between locations.
Want something that will last for years? Convertible Crib
- Convertible cribs are also known as lifetime cribs or 3-in-1 in cribs as they can convert into a toddler bed and later into a daybed.
- They are ideal for parents who aren’t planning on more children but still want a long-term investment with more than 2 years of use.
- These cribs usually have a very simple and minimalistic design, coupled with a neutral color scheme to avoid them looking dated as years go by.
- Unfortunately, convertible cribs are often much more expensive than standard cribs and require some manual labor with each transition.
- It’s very important to make sure everything is installed correctly, especially in the crib phase, as your baby may accidentally hurt themselves if any moveable parts aren’t secured.
Have limited floor space? Bassinet
- Bassinets are ideal for the first 3 to 6 months of a baby’s life as they are much smaller than regular cribs.
- They are a wonderful solution for apartments or lofts with limited floor space and are usually cheaper than standard cribs.
- However, after about 6 months you will need to purchase a new crib as the bassinet will no longer be able to safely hold your baby, which may prove more expensive in the long run.
Spend a lot of time away from home? Travel Crib
- Travel cribs are very soft and lightweight, often featuring a mesh or aluminium construction.
- They are very quick to set up and pack, and the perfect solution for families that travel often.
- They are, however, not recommended as a permanent sleeping area for your baby as the material is very prone to wear and tear, and the mattress may not be firm enough.
Need something temporary and cheap? Mini Crib
- This type of crib is very popular among families with limited floor space as it is compact but still has several useful features.
- Many mini cribs have an adjustable mattress height and wheels to move the crib easily from room to room.
- However, like bassinets, these cribs have a very limited lifespan and will need to be replaced by a regular crib after about 6 months of use.
How do I choose a mattress for my crib?
Picking out the right mattress for your baby can be a little tricky, especially when you don’t know what factors to look out for. Things like the type of mattress, the firmness, and how well-protected the mattress is, should all be considered when shopping for one.
What types are there?
- As with adult mattresses, there are three main types: foam, spring and organic.
- Although many people would initially just choose the same type of mattress they already have in their homes, experts recommend picking an organic mattress over any other type.
- This is because organic mattresses can guarantee your child’s safety, while foam and spring mattresses cannot – for example, there may be some manufacturing chemicals left on foam or spring mattresses, which may aggravate existing medical conditions or cause new complications.
Does firmness matter?
- Many people are likely to choose a softer mattress in an attempt to make their baby more comfortable while in their crib.
- However, experts say that firmer mattresses are much better for infants, even if they may seem uncomfortable.
- This is because softer mattresses can create a suffocation hazard and can even increase the chances of sudden infant death syndrome.
- After purchasing a mattress, make sure to constantly monitor its condition as it may become dangerous for your baby once it starts losing its shape and original firmness.
What’s the best size?
- This may seem like an obvious factor, but you may be surprised that many parents don’t pay attention to the size of their baby’s mattress!
- The space between the edge of the mattress and the sides of the crib must be no larger than 2 fingers, or you run the risk of your baby getting stuck or even injured.
Do I need a mattress vent?
- Mattress vents are a great investment as they allow for increased airflow and let moisture escape the mattress, which prevents the build-up of mold and a foul odor.
- Most baby mattresses have these built-in already – the mattress will appear to have tiny holes along the side, and the more holes the better the ventilation!
Should it be water resistant?
- Babies have accidents all the time, so it’s super important to protect their mattress from any spills and leaks.
- Either purchase a waterproof sheet to place on top of the mattress or choose a mattress with a built-in nylon cover.
How do I make my baby’s crib safe?
A fancy crib means nothing if your baby will be unsafe while using it. Below are some precautions you need to follow to ensure that the crib you choose will not harm your baby in any way.
- The bars along the side of the crib should be spaced no more than 2 and 3/8 inches apart, to prevent the baby from slipping through.
- The crib shouldn’t have any cutouts on the headboard or footboard to prevent the baby from getting stuck.
- The top of the crib rail should be at least 26 inches from the top of the mattress, and the mattress should be periodically lowered to prevent the baby from falling or climbing out of the crib.
- The corner posts shouldn’t exceed 1/16th of an inch in height, as they may catch your baby’s clothing and cause injury.