Are you looking for a smaller crib for your newborn, but want something sturdier than a bassinet? If so, a mini crib might be a great option for you.
When my first child was born, we lived in a tiny studio apartment. There was no way a traditional, full-sized crib was going to fit. A mini crib gave us a safe sleeping option for our baby until we found a bigger place.
Whatever your reasons for choosing a mini crib, the available options on the market have grown exponentially. We’ll help you sort through the different features and find the right choice for you and your child.
What Are Mini Cribs?
A miniature crib is exactly what it sounds like — a crib that is smaller than the standard full size. Crib sizes are standardized by law, through the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission (1).
Most mini cribs are considered non-full-size cribs, which means they are less than 25.375 inches wide or 49.75 inches long (2).
Most people often associate mini cribs with portable cribs, and they have many similarities. You will often see cribs advertised as both mini and portable.
Typical mini cribs are sturdy, non-foldable, small cribs. A portable crib is usually the same size as a mini crib, but it can be folded and easily moved to another part of the house or taken to Grandma’s. Portable cribs also typically have wheels.
That said, mini cribs are changing and assuming more variability nowadays. There are even mini Pack n’ Plays now, which are starting to blur the lines between portable cribs, mini cribs, and Pack n’ Plays.
Even with all of this change, one thing remains the same. Mini cribs are defined by their size — which is always smaller than a full-sized, traditional crib.
Why Consider a Mini Crib?
The most obvious disadvantage of a small crib is that children quickly outgrow them. It is a sad, but real, fact of parenting that your newborn will become a full-blown toddler in what seems like the blink of an eye. But your little one may outgrow a bassinet before you’re ready to move the baby into their own room and crib. So a mini crib maybe a good option to continue room sharing with your little one.
Mini cribs will usually only safely hold a child for approximately 18 months to two years (3). This means you may need to buy two cribs for your child, which can be more costly than starting with a traditional crib from the beginning.
Aside from that, they can come in handy in certain situations. What are a few of them?
1. Square Footage
Many people live in dense, urban centers these days. In most cases, this means living in compact apartments with smaller bedrooms.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends sleeping in the same room as your baby for the first year, or at least six months (4). It helps you keep an eye on them while they aren’t strong enough to roll over, and it can also make breastfeeding easier for moms.
The problem for urban dwellers is that traditional cribs won’t fit in many small apartment master bedrooms. Mini cribs are the obvious solution to that problem.
2. Sensitive Babies
By the time your child arrives, he or she has been sleeping in a small, warm place for nine months. Babies feel safe in confined spaces, and a traditional crib may seem like a palace for a newborn.
A mini crib can be comforting to babies who are more sensitive to space. If you notice your newborn isn’t sleeping well in a standard crib, it might be a good idea to try a mini until they get older.
Mini cribs, even if they aren’t a formal portable crib, are generally much easier to move around the house. Some babies nap in certain rooms, while sleeping at night in other rooms.
If you want the flexibility of moving your crib around the house, this option can give that kind of freedom more easily than a traditional crib.
The Best Mini Crib Reviews of 2020
If you’ve decided this kind of crib is right for you, there are several factors to consider that can help make it work best for your situation.
Here is a review of the seven best mini cribs that are all amazing in their own ways!
1. Babyletto Origami Mini Crib
The biggest benefit of a small crib is its ability to fit almost anywhere. If the baby sleeps in your room at night, but you need the baby to sleep elsewhere during the day, you can easily move this crib to another part of the house. Portability means your child can sleep in a familiar sleep environment, no matter where they go!
This crib has a super trendy design and comes in black, white or in two pretty, pastel colors. It’s foldable and has wheels, making it easy to transport. It’s also several inches smaller than other mini cribs, making it even more adaptable to small spaces.
It comes with a 1-inch mattress pad and has two adjustable mattress levels to adapt as your baby grows. The crib’s finish is lead and phthalate-free, limiting your child’s exposure to harmful compounds.
- Trendy design.
- Has wheels.
- Smaller than other mini cribs.
- On the more expensive side.
2. DaVinci Kalani Mini Crib
Just because a mini crib is smaller, it doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice on quality. They should save space and still meet all of your safety and aesthetic needs.
This sturdy crib has a classic, sleek design that helps reduce its size. It also has three adjustable mattress positions. For breastfeeding mommas keeping the mini crib next to their bed, it can make nighttime feedings less disruptive for everyone.
It is also GreenGuard Gold certified. Compliance with this standard ensures your product has fewer chemical emissions. It also comes with a 1-inch waterproof pad.
The Kalani mini crib is convertible to a toddler bed, a daybed and twin-sized bed. This feature quadruples your investment, as you can use the crib again later on in life.
- Three adjustable mattress positions.
- Multiple color options.
- Converts to a toddler bed, daybed and twin-sized bed.
- Conversion kit must be bought separately.
- The assembly instructions aren’t easy to understand.
3. DaVinci Alpha Mini Rocking Crib
Your mini crib will most likely spend a lot of its time next to your bed. During the first months, babies wake up often for feedings and comfort and it can be difficult to get them back to sleep. A rocking crib can help you soothe them while laying in your bed!
This crib includes wheels, which makes it easy to move around the room or the house. It has three mattress positions, allowing you to move the baby further down as they get bigger. It also has the rocking feature, allowing you to soothe your baby back to sleep without being carried.
GreenGuard Gold certified, the crib has been tested for thousands of chemicals. At 25 pounds, it is on the lighter side, which is ideal for portability.
- Has wheels.
- Comes with a 1-year warranty.
- Works for newborns up to 18 months.
- Not foldable.
- Some parents complained that the crib has an off putting smell at first.
4. Graco Travel Lite Mini Crib
Many parents buy a Pack 'n Play as well as a crib. Pack 'n Plays keep a baby confined to play safely, while mom or dad is making dinner or doing the laundry. A smaller Pack 'n Play can act as a mini crib and a play area, keeping you from buying one more piece of baby gear.
This item is both a crib and a play yard. It has an adjustable height setting for the mattress, which is moved to the bottom when being used as a play area.
At less than 20 pounds, this crib is simple to carry around. It comes with a bag for easy storage and transportation. It also has wheels, which help you avoid packing up just to move it somewhere else in the house.
The crib has mesh sides, so you can easily keep an eye on your child when he or she is playing.
- Super lightweight.
- Lockable wheels.
- Not as sturdy as a normal mini crib.
- It’s a two-person job to get the sides to lock into place.
- Only holds babies up to 20lbs
5. Delta Children Mini Crib
Because a mini crib may mean buying a second crib, it is often thought of as being a financial burden. However, that doesn’t have to be the case! There are affordable options out there for parents on a tight budget.
The Delta mini crib has the durable construction of a standard mini crib, while also being foldable for easy storage and portability. It folds flat to 6 inches thick, which makes it easy to set up and take down, and means it can also fit in most car trunks.
This crib also includes a mattress, helping your wallet even further. The mattress stays in the crib while folded, so you don’t have to worry about another bulky item when traveling or storing.
At 34 pounds, this isn’t the lightest crib around. However, it does come with wheels, so you don’t have to carry it everywhere.
- Has wheels.
- Eight colors to choose from.
- Comes with mattress.
- On the heavier side.
- Gives off a paint smell that airs out over time.
6. Dream on Me Convertible Mini
When it comes to traditional cribs, there are a host of convertible options that allow you to continue using the crib even after your baby grows up. These days, mini cribs are also starting to offer that option.
This crib can be converted from a mini crib to a daybed, to a twin-sized bed with a headboard and/or footboard. It also comes in five different colors to adapt to any room design.
It has three different mattress positions, allowing you to change the height of the mattress depending on what is more comfortable for you and safest for baby. It also includes a 1-inch mattress pad.
- Convertible to daybed and twin-sized bed.
- Sturdy wood construction.
- Does not come with wheels.
- Parents have complained they’ve had to drill holes to make the assembly work.
7. Casco Mini Crib and Dressing Table
Apartment dwelling parents may be worried about space in their child’s room. Luckily, several mini cribs come with a shelf attachment to minimize the amount of furniture in the room.
This mini crib comes with a three-shelf and changing table attachment. This not only maximizes your space, but it also makes late night diaper changes easier.
The bed can also convert to a daybed and a twin bed. If used as a twin-sized bed, the changing table is removable and can be used as a nightstand.
It has three different mattress positions and comes in five different colors. This allows you to adapt it to whatever room you need it in.
- Changing table attachment.
- All the tools for assembly come with the crib.
- It’s a nice-looking crib.
- Not portable with shelf attachment.
- The crib seems to scratch fairly easily.
Mini cribs are a great way to save space and keep your baby close. In today’s market, they have evolved to offer many options to grow with your baby. These cribs can give you flexibility and quality.
Our top pick for the best mini crib has to be the Babyletto Origami. It’s super stylish and portable, making it a great addition to any room without taking up too much space.
Have you used a mini crib before? How long did your baby sleep in it? Let us know your recommendations and thoughts in the comment section below.