Your baby will spend a lot of time in their crib, so it’s important for you to decide what you want out of it.
Do you want a convertible crib you can use as a toddler bed later? Are you worried a crib will never fit in your cramped living quarters? Or are you concerned about the impact a crib will have on your limited budget?
No matter what your requirements are, there’s a crib out there that will meet your needs. When I went crib shopping with my first baby, I was amazed at the choices out there, not too mention the price range.
There’s something that will work for everyone — no matter how limiting your circumstances may seem. Keep reading to help you find the best crib for your baby.
Quick ComparisonOur Top Baby Crib Picks of 2019 Read Full Reviews
Different Types of Baby Cribs
Baby cribs come with many different features, in all shapes and sizes (source).
Here are some you’ll encounter as you search for that dream crib for your baby’s nursery.
- Standard cribs: These rectangle shaped cribs are the kind most people will get. They’ve been popular for decades because their shape and size fit well against a wall in a bedroom, just like a normal bed would. It’s easy to find a wide variety of sheets to fit these standard-sized cribs.
- Convertible cribs: This crib can transfer into a toddler bed and a day bed when your child gets too big for the crib. These can be a money saver because they’ll get you through years of your baby’s life, compared to the first two years a standard crib will be used for. It helps if you’re the handy sort because sometimes the assembly on the conversions can be a little puzzling.
- Round crib: These are becoming more popular, especially with moms who are looking for something completely different from the rectangular cribs that everyone has. While these will please people who want a unique look, they can be hard to buy sheets for because of their odd shape.
- A combo crib: These are affordable lifesavers for moms who are worried about their budget if they buy a crib, a changing table, and a dresser. Combo cribs are multi-functional and only require you to buy one piece of furniture. These are also a good choice for parents who have a small house or apartment and don’t have space for several new pieces of furniture.
- Portable cribs for traveling: If you’re always on the road and want to take your baby with you, you’ll want a portable travel crib. These aren’t as heavy duty as the real thing, so they’ll be easy to lug around from hotel to hotel. But they won’t hold up or last as long as stationary cribs will either. Although they’re often cheaper than stationary cribs, don’t be tempted to think you can get by with using a portable crib as a permanent crib to save some money — they don’t have the durability you’ll need.
- Folding cribs: If you have a really small place or you want to keep an eye on your baby in different rooms in your house, you may want a folding crib. These can be stored in the closet when not in use and they often come with wheels on each leg so you can wheel it around to different rooms.
While all these types of cribs come with their positives and negatives, which kind you choose is a personal matter. Don’t be talked into a crib selection by a well-meaning friend or relative. They’ll tend to steer you toward what they like rather than what’s right for your circumstances.
A friend of mine was talked into buying a round crib by her mother-in-law who loved their unique design. But my friend has regretted the purchase ever since. She said it doesn’t seem to be as roomy as a rectangular crib and she has a hard time finding sheets that will fit it. She wishes she’d stuck to her guns and picked out the one she’d wanted.
What Should I Look For?
Buying a crib is a significant investment so you’ll want to make sure you’re making the right decision.
Here are some features you should consider to help you find the best baby crib for your needs.
- Materials: Some cribs are more environmentally friendly than others, which can be attractive to parents who want to make sure they aren’t harming the environment or their child with their choice of materials. If you feel strongly about the environment, look for a crib without harmful wood finishes or companies that pledge to plant a tree when you buy a crib.
- Adjustable crib mattress level: After giving birth, your back may be sore for a few weeks. So you’ll want a crib that allows you to keep the mattress higher up so you won’t have to lean over and down to reach your baby. But as they grow and learn to stand up, you’ll want a crib that lets you lower the mattress support again, or you could have a mini prison break on your hands.
- Wheels: These can make cribs easier to move, which is nice if you like to rearrange the furniture in your house frequently. But they can also give your child the means to scoot their crib all over their nursery as they get older. If you have wooden floors that will make that easy to do, you should make sure the wheels have locks.
- Size: To make sure you don’t take up half your nursery space with the giant crib you’ve been drooling over, get out a tape measure and figure out what will realistically fit in your baby’s room. You don’t want any unwelcome surprises when you put together the crib you’ve ordered and realize it’s way too big.
The Best Baby Cribs of 2019
The right crib for you will not only be an adorable addition to your nursery, but a comfortable and safe place for your little one to slumber. Babies and toddlers seldom have predictable sleep patterns, but no matter how their needs change with time, you want a crib that will reliably keep them safe and cozy.
1. Babyletto Hudson 3-in-1 Convertible Crib
Best Eco-Friendly Crib
Sometimes you have to do things as cheaply as possible. There’s no shame in that. Since your baby will only use a crib for a few years, it makes sense to be as economical as you can with your choice.
A crib should be a safe space for your baby. With this eco-friendly crib from Bablyetto, you can rest assured your nursery is good for your baby and the environment.
Each crib is made from sustainable New Zealand pine wood and is Greenguard Gold certified. This means it has passed rigorous testing, including a screen for over 10,000 chemicals, as a product that contributes to a safe environment for children and parents.
Because this is a 3-in-1 crib, you’ll be able to use it as your child grows. A transition kit, which is included, turns this crib into a toddler bed and finally into a big kid bed. This saves you money and helps protect the environment from unnecessary waste.
Moms will love the stylish modern design with simple charm. It also has four mattress support settings, though it’s important to note a mattress is not included with the crib.
2. Delta Children Canton 4-in-1 Convertible Crib
Best Convertible Crib
If you’re looking for a crib that will pull double duty after your baby outgrows it, you should be looking at convertible styles. These can transform into toddler beds and even day beds when your baby gets too big for the crib portion, which will save you money in the long run.
This multi-purpose crib fits a variety of the needs you’ll have coming up for your child. In addition to a crib, it can be used as a toddler bed, a day bed and even a full-size bed, complete with a headboard and a footboard. You won’t have to spend extra money to buy a bed for your child because this one will last you.
The crib portion comes with three different mattress positions you can use to ensure your comfort and your baby’s safety.
It’s carefully made with a non-toxic finish so you won’t have to worry about your baby ingesting lead or other harmful chemicals. There is no drop side, either, so you don’t have to worry about any harm coming to little fingers.
It comes in five different color choices so you’ll be able to find one to complement the nursery colors you’ve selected.
During hotter months, your baby will get plenty of circulation in this because there are slats on each side. Plus, the sleigh style is a modern design that most moms should love.
Overall, this is a good sturdy choice if you don’t want anything flimsy or lightweight for your baby.
- The directions are easy to follow.
- Having three different mattress positions is a nice perk.
- It’s a beautiful, stylish crib.
- JPMA certified to meet all required safety standards.
- You may need help assembling this because the wooden pieces are pretty heavy.
- It’s a bit pricier upfront than some others, but you’ll regain that money by not buying a toddler bed later on.
3. BabyBjorn Travel Light
Most Portable Crib
Moms who want the option of having their baby’s crib in whatever room they're working in should go for a portable crib. That way if you’re doing some chores in one room, you can just drag it in with you. You’ll never have to have your baby away from your watchful eye.
If you want a portable crib you can move from room to room in your house with ease, the BabyBjorn Travel Light might be right for you. At just 13 pounds, it’s easy to move around your house. Because it’s so simple to set up and pack away, it’s also good for traveling or for taking to your daycare provider’s house.
Unlike some other cribs, it does come with a thin mattress. The sides are all mesh so your child will get air circulation and you’ll be able to check in on them without having to peek over the top.
In seven different color option, this is one stylish-looking crib with modern flair. Your baby will get a lot of use out of this, both as a crib and as a playard. At two feet in height, your baby will be able to use it even as a toddler.
Unlike some other portable cribs that can also be used for travel, this one feels durable and doesn’t seem to sag from the weight of your baby after extended use.
- You can buy an organic fitted sheet sold separately that fits this mattress perfectly.
- It’s easy to carry around, both inside and outside your house.
- It’s beautiful and has nice color selections.
- JPMA Certified to meet safety standards.
- Pretty expensive for a portable crib.
- It might be hard for short moms to reach their babies.
4. Dream On Me 2-in-1 Folding Crib
Best Folding Crib
Folding cribs can be a great option for people who watch your baby regularly while you're at work. Whether it's stored at a grandparent’s house or with a babysitter, it gives your baby a safe place to sleep while they're away from home. Because a folding crib packs away so easily, it won’t require a permanent space at their house.
This folds totally flat, so you never have to worry about finding a place to store it. It only takes a couple of minutes to get it completely folded up. Once it is, it fits in any closet and sits right against the wall. It’s a good option for traveling — your baby will always have a place to sleep when you stay overnight in hotels.
It comes with wheels so you can roll it around and the wheels lock so you don’t have to worry about your baby getting into mischief when they’re old enough to push off from the wall.
You can also turn this into a playpen easily — and you only need one hand to do it.
It’s made out of birch, which is an excellent hardwood that doesn’t scratch easily. It comes with a one-inch mattress pad and every tool you’ll need to put the crib together. Unlike some other models, this is simple to assemble.
Finally, this is on the smaller side at 40 x 26 x 38 inches.
- Shorter moms will be able to reach their babies in this crib.
- This is a heavy duty crib that will hold up well to a lot of use.
- The wheels lock for added safety.
- Meets the CPSC and ASTM safety standards.
- It only has two mattress height settings, not three like some other cribs.
- It’s smaller than a full-size crib.
5. Lotus Travel and Portable Playard
Best for Travel
If you’re a travel fanatic and you don’t plan to stop just because you have your baby, you should look into getting a portable crib. You’ll be able to take it with you in the trunk of your car and into hotel rooms with ease.
When you’re hitting the road and you need something that won’t be a problem to lug around and set up, this crib that doubles as a playard could be just what you’re looking for.
It only takes a few seconds to set this up and it folds into a carrying case you can cart around like a duffel bag or a backpack. It only weighs 13 pounds so you don’t have to be super strong to carry it.
The side zips up, which gives you a way to reach your baby if bending over that far isn’t an option for you. And when your baby grows into the toddler phase, they’ll be able to zip themselves in and out of the playard.
The sides of the crib are all mesh, which means your baby will get the breathability they need when sleeping. Plus, you’ll be able to see through the mesh and keep close watch over your baby whether you’re camping or in a hotel room.
Potentially harmful flame retardants haven’t been used for this crib. You also won’t have to worry about other unwanted chemicals like PVC, phthalates, and lead.
- Carrying around is easy.
- At 25 inches deep, this will be big enough to hold your toddler, too.
- The zippered side door is a feature toddlers will like.
- It’s pretty expensive for a travel crib.
- Wrestling this back into its carrying bag can be hard.
6. DaVinci Alpha Mini Rocking Crib
Best for Small Spaces
When you have a tiny room, you want to find a smaller-sized crib that won’t take up all your available space. One good option for a small home is a crib that comes with some storage drawers and shelves. That can take away the need to have a dresser in your child’s room.
This crib has a whopping four different mattress support positions, which means you’ll always find one that works for both you and your baby. The lowest setting is 25 inches from the top of the rail.
It comes with wheels, but you don’t have to use them. If you don’t want them, you just take them off — they’re easy to snap in and out.
Made of New Zealand pine wood using a non-toxic painting process, this also doesn’t contain lead or phthalate.
This comes with a one-inch waterproof pad. When you take off the wheels, you have the option of using it as a rocking crib — you have to supply the manpower to make it rock though.
The assembly for this one isn’t tough — even people who are not mechanically inclined should be able to figure it out — and the final product measures 40 x 28 x 34 inches.
If you have a small space, this mini crib should work just fine and even if you assemble it in another room, it will fit through standard-sized doorways.
- Easy to assemble.
- It’s affordable.
- Easy to move from room to room.
- Lightweight so you may want to anchor it to the wall.
- The wood scratches easily when your baby starts teething.
7. Graco Pack ‘n Play Travel Lite
Best for Newborns
When you have a newborn, you may want to choose a crib that has an adjustable mattress height. That way when your baby is an infant, you can set the mattress up higher so you can reach it easier. As they grow, you can set the mattress lower to lessen the risk of them falling out.
When you bring your baby home from the hospital, you’ll feel like you never want to let them out of your sight. But this can be difficult when you’re trying to get things done during nap time. This crib is a great solution to that problem.
You can set it up in your living room and it won’t hog all the space because it’s smaller than a standard playard and crib combination. The wheels make it easy to drag into any room you like, so you never have to let your baby out of your view.
Because it weighs less than 20 pounds, you’ll be able to take it with you if you’re traveling or visiting a grandparent’s house. It’s simple to convert into the playard as your baby grows, and has a canopy with soft toys attached.
The crib portion should only be used for babies that are 15 pounds or under, though. Once they’re able to get into the crawling position, you should stop using the crib part.
- You can always keep your sleeping baby in your line of sight with this.
- Your toddler will enjoy the pack ‘n play long after they’ve outgrown the crib.
- It’s very affordable.
- You won’t be able to use the crib part of this unit for very long.
- The wheels don’t come with brakes.
8. Stork Craft Rosland 3-in-1
Best on a Budget
Sometimes you have to do things as cheaply as possible. There’s no shame in that. Since your baby will only use a crib for a few years, it makes sense to be as economical as you can with your choice.
This option is cheap enough that you won’t feel much sting in your wallet when you buy it. The price is even more of a bargain because it’s a 3-in-1 convertible crib. When your baby outgrows it, you can reconfigure this into a toddler bed. Once they outgrow that, you can change it into a daybed.
It’s made of solid pine and composite in five different color choices, so you’ll be able to find one that goes with any nursery decorating scheme.
The mattress adjusts into three different positions so you’ll find a comfortable setting no matter what stage your baby is in. With a maximum recommended height of 35 inches and 50 pounds, this will last your baby well into their toddler years.
If you aren’t great at putting things together, you’ll like this crib with its easy assembly; it finishes at 55 x 30.5 x 34 inches. You won’t be scratching your head wondering where all the parts go with this one.
- It’s super affordable.
- Easy to assemble.
- It will last for years.
- It doesn’t have wheels.
- Some parents found the stickers on the wood pieces were hard to remove.
9. Stork Craft Tuscany 4-in-1 Convertible Crib
Best for Short Moms
Women who are vertically challenged often have trouble reaching into tall, deep cribs to pick up their babies. You’ll want to find one that accommodates your height so that you can quickly get to your crying baby when they need you.
This crib has three adjustable mattress positions so you’ll be able to use the highest setting until your baby can pull themselves into the crawling position. Then as they get bigger, you can use the lower settings. By then, your baby will be capable of reaching up to you, so your height won’t be as much of an issue.
After your baby outgrows their crib, it can convert to a toddler bed. After that, it can be changed into a daybed and, later, a full-size bed.
It’s made of solid wood that meets all the safety requirements for U.S. cribs, and it’s a classic sleigh design with clean lines that’ll look good in any nursery.
If you want all of your baby’s nursery furniture to have a complementary, similar look, this company also makes matching pieces like a changing table, dresser, and a glider.
- It’s pretty affordable considering it’s a convertible crib.
- You’ll get five colors to choose from.
- It has three different mattress heights.
- Some parents complained the instructions weren’t detailed enough.
- Some felt the wood scratched fairly easily.
10. Delta Children Crib
Best for Co-Sleeping
For co-sleeping, you’ll want one that's low enough to sit level with the top of your bed. That way, you’ll be able to peek in at your baby in the middle of the night without having to sit up and strain your neck or get out of bed.
The height of this mini crib lets you easily see your baby from your bed. With a simple glance, you’ll be able to tell that they’re still breathing and check whether they’re sleeping or awake.
Plus, it’s small enough that you should be able to find space to put it right next to your bed.
As a bonus, you can wheel it to other rooms during the day so your baby will always be in reach. It’s lightweight so it won’t be too difficult to move it where you want it. Or, if you need more space in your bedroom, you can easily fold it flat and store it in a closet.
Because it’s so lightweight and folds so well, this is a good crib for travel purposes as well.
It comes in five different colors and has slats around each side, including the ends so that nothing will block your view of your baby.
To make sure it remains safe as your child grows, you can set the mattress height lower, since it has two different positions.
- It’s affordable.
- This can easily be stored when not in use.
- It sits low enough that you can see your baby even when you’re lying in bed.
- Some parents have complained about difficult assembly.
- Some parents said this isn’t very durable.
11. DaVinci Emily 2-in-1
Best Baby Crib For Twins
When you have to find cribs for twins, it’s best to keep them smaller so you’ll have room in a nursery for both. It’s easier to put both babies in the same nursery so you can check on both of them when one wakes up. Plus, you’ll be able to listen to the two of them with a single baby monitor.
This mini crib is a perfect alternative to a full-sized version. For moms of twins, it can be a great space saver. You’ll be able to fit two into one nursery so your babes can be together like they were in the womb.
It also sits lower to the ground than many others do, which is great for moms recovering from C-sections or who have bad backs. You won’t have to lift you baby as high as moms using traditional size cribs will, and since there are two different mattress positions, you can adjust the height as your baby grows.
When your babies outgrow it, it can be converted into a twin bed, which will save you money because your child will be able to use it instead of you having to buy another bed.
Moms who are worried about wood finishes should be relieved to know that this is made of New Zealand pine and uses a non-toxic painting process. That means there won’t be any lead concerns if your baby decides to use the top of the crib as a chew toy once they start teething. It’s also phthalate safe.
- This option is a space saver.
- You save money because it converts to a twin bed.
- It has adjustable mattress positions.
- Some parents say the crib isn’t easy to assemble.
- If you expect to have a tall child, this may not be long enough for you.
Crib Safety 101
As a parent, you hear a lot of horror stories. While any injury or death of a child disturbs me, the ones where a child gets hurt or dies in their crib is particularly awful to me. A crib is supposed to be a place where your baby is safe, tucked away and dreaming of whatever it is babies dream of.
But far too many children are injured in their cribs. By using a few simple precautions, you can make sure your baby’s crib isn’t a threat. Instead, it’ll be just what it should be — a safe haven for your child.
To make sure you’re not purchasing a death trap for your baby, here are some safety tips to follow.
- Check the bar space: The bars on the crib shouldn’t have more than 2 and three-eighths inches of space between them (source). You don’t want your baby getting their head, legs or feet stuck between the slats.
- Skip any cutouts: Decorative cutouts can be cute at the foot or head of the bed, but they are also dangerous. They give your baby another place they could get stuck (source).
- Check the height: Make sure the top rail reaches up 26 inches or more from the mattress, to lessen the chance of your baby falling out as they get taller and better at climbing.
- Don’t buy secondhand: Secondhand cribs can come with a whole host of problems. Old cribs, including family heirlooms, can have lead paint that could harm your baby if they start chewing on the rails while teething. Older cribs also may have a drop side rail, which can be dangerous for a child, especially if it drops on its own and hurts your baby (source).
- Make sure the mattress fits well: No mattress should leave any gaps. If you can fit more than two fingers between the side of the crib and your mattress, you should pick a different crib to avoid any part of your baby from getting trapped in that space (source).
- Watch out for corner posts: If your crib has a corner post instead of angled, sloping sides, you should make sure the post isn’t more than one-sixteenth of an inch high. When your baby begins standing, their clothes could get caught on a post with even a small elevation. Your baby’s safety is worth way more than any decorative part of a crib.
How To Transition Baby to Crib
Getting your baby to adjust to their crib and sleep in it at night can be a daunting task. Some babies have already formed sleeping habits that can be difficult to break.
The good news is most habits won’t last forever. Eventually, your baby will learn to prefer their own bed and the sleep-inducing environment that awaits.
There are several different tips and tricks that can help encourage your baby to sleep in its crib.
1. Consistency Is Key
Your baby will thrive on routine. If you only try to have your baby sleep in the crib a couple of nights a week, it probably isn’t going to work.
If you are prepared to make this transition for your baby, then you need to follow through with it. You should put your baby to bed in the crib every night. There will probably be many tears shed, but your baby will learn to love the crib.
2. Normalize The Crib
Your baby prefers sleeping in other places because they have become familiar. It would be no surprise that your baby misses being close to momma, so cuddle up with the crib sheets a couple of times before placing them in the crib — this way they acquire your scent. Also make sure the sheets aren’t too cold because that can be an instant waker-upper.
3. Help Your Baby Become Accustomed
Your baby isn’t going to immediately love this foreign environment. It is a new area it hasn’t been able to decide on quite yet.
Your baby will likely not be able to settle in an unknown environment, so try to make it more inviting.
- Move the crib into your room and have your baby sleep in it. This will help your baby adjust to the new sleeping quarters in a familiar environment, still close to mom.
- Hang out in your baby’s room in a rocking chair until they fall asleep in their crib, then sneak out.
- You can start small with naptime. If your baby can become used to napping in the crib, bedtime should become a breeze.
4. Don’t Be A Runner
When you place your baby in the crib and walk away, give them some time to try to settle down alone. Many parents choose to run right in to the rescue, and this only hinders the process.
You don’t have to leave your baby in there forever, but try to gradually increase the amount of time before you run in. Your baby may be able to fall asleep on their own faster than you think.
5. Step Away
The transition into a crib can be harder on the parent than the child sometimes. Your patience will be tested and you probably will become frustrated.
As long as your baby has a safe environment in his or her crib, don’t feel guilty about giving yourself time to cool down. Take 15 to 20 minutes to shower or listen to music. It is much better for you and your baby if you allow yourself time to recompose rather than lose your temper.
Babies are tough, and there is no shame in needing a minute to walk away.
6. Be Flexible
What works for some babies might not work for yours. You know your baby best.
Some parents resort to some pretty crazy things to get their baby to sleep independently. There is no shame in your bizarre method if it is safe and effective. There is no right or wrong way.
7. Non-Sleep Time
If you only go into your baby’s room when it is time to sleep, chances are your baby will fuss every time. You should try to have some play time in the bedroom so your baby can actually enjoy being in the room with you. It is important your baby has more than just negative emotions to associate with its bedroom (source).
The transition will not be completely successful in one night. It is important you gradually make the change and implement the crib into the daily routine. You should try to implement some type of noise machine into your baby’s room for soothing purposes if the transition is overly difficult.