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Which baby cribs are best?

A baby crib is the safest place for your baby to sleep. Because babies grow so quickly, a crib that grows along with them is a popular choice among today’s parents. All materials that go into the construction of the frame and mattress should be certified free of harmful chemicals. 

If you are looking for a crib with an attached changing station that has three drawers and two spacious shelves, take a good look at the Carter’s by DaVinci Dakota 4-in-1 Crib and Changer Combo. It is safe, sturdy and stylish. 

What to know before you buy a baby crib

Types of cribs

Traditional cribs

These are full-sized cribs with four sides. You may hear them referred to as standard cribs.

Convertible cribs

Also called 3-in-1 and 4-in-1 beds, this type of crib changes configurations to accommodate children as they grow. Many convertible cribs require conversion kits to morph from one setup to the next. If you buy a convertible crib that does not include a conversion kit, it is best to buy the kit when you buy your crib so you are not stranded if a manufacturer discontinues a product line.

Mini cribs

These are just what they sound like — miniature versions of full-sized modern baby cribs. They occupy the space between traditional cribs and bassinets. Most can handle newborns to children aged two or three. Some can be folded flat for storage and some have wheels. These small baby cribs are great choices for people who have limited space or want to have a crib that’s easy to move around.

Travel cribs

This type of crib is lighter in weight to make it more easily portable for when you travel or are away from home overnight. Make sure you choose one that is easy to set up, fold down, carry and store.

Drop-side cribs

These were once very popular until it was discovered their design was dangerous. Since 2012, it has been illegal to manufacture or sell a drop-sided crib. If someone tries to give you one as a hand-me-down, do not accept it. 

What to look for in a quality baby crib

Adjustable mattress height

When you set your baby crib’s mattress on its highest setting, it is the easiest position for you to bend down to lift your baby from the crib. But as babies begin to pull themselves up and stand in their cribs, it becomes too dangerous to have the mattress up so high that your baby could fall out and be harmed. As your baby grows, lower the mattress height.

Size and shape 

The dimensions of baby cribs should snugly fit a standard baby crib mattress which is 27¼ inches wide and 51⅝ inches long. Some trendy designs use non-standard sizes and shapes like circles and ovals. You are better off with a standard-sized, rectangular crib so you can easily buy a snug-fitting mattress.

Construction quality

You want a sturdy and well-made baby crib to keep your baby safe. Make sure the materials and craftsmanship of the baby crib you chose are of the finest quality.

How much you can expect to spend on baby crib

The range of prices of baby cribs is from $100 or so to $500 or more. When it comes to baby cribs, there just aren’t many differences in features between inexpensive and expensive ones. The price differences are mainly the materials and build quality. Top-of-the-line cribs are made from quality woods and are more sturdily put together.

Baby crib FAQ

When do I need a baby crib?

A. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends your baby sleep in the same room with you, close to your bed, but on a separate sleep surface. This situation should last somewhere between six months and a year.

What should I do when my new crib arrives?

A. Check all the components before and after assembly to make sure everything is there, intact and in good working order. Contact the manufacturer immediately if there are any missing, broken or loose parts. Make sure the mattress is a good snug fit by putting two fingers between the mattress and the crib frame. If the gap is more than two fingers, you don’t have a snug enough fit.

What’s the best baby crib to buy?

Top baby crib

Carter’s by DaVinci Dakota 4-in-1 Crib and Changer Combo

Carter’s by DaVinci Dakota 4-in-1 Crib and Changer Combo

What you need to know: This crib has an attached changing station that sits atop a compact unit with three drawers and two spacious shelves. 

What you’ll love: This crib is made of solid sustainable New Zealand pine and TSCA compliant engineered wood. It is treated with a non-toxic, multi-step painting process and is Greenguard Gold Certified. This crib grows with your baby from a full-sized crib to a toddler bed to a daybed to a full-sized bed.

What you should consider: The mattress, toddler and full-size conversion rails are sold separately.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top baby crib for the money

Graco Travel Lite Crib with Stages

Graco Travel Lite Crib with Stages

What you need to know: This baby crib folds compactly and includes a carry bag to make travel easy with infants and toddlers.

What you’ll love: As your baby grows, this crib changes from a bassinet to a crib and a playard, once known as a playpen. The airy mesh sides provide maximum visibility and ventilation. The canopy shields your baby from direct sun and light and includes removable soft toys for playing. The integrated wheels make this baby crib easy to move.

What you should consider: The wheels are okay but could be bigger and better.

Where to buy: Sold by Bed Bath & Beyond

Worth checking out

Delta Children Emery Deluxe 4-in-1 Convertible Baby Crib

Delta Children Emery Deluxe 4-in-1 Convertible Baby Crib

What you need to know: The mattress height of this award-winning baby crib adjusts to accommodate growing babies: baby crib, toddler bed, daybed and full-sized bed.

What you’ll love: This baby crib is Greenguard Gold Certified to meet or exceed the most stringent chemical emissions standards to make your baby’s home healthier. It is also certified to meet or exceed all safety standards set by the Juvenile Product Manufacturers Association. The frame is made of sustainable, high-quality, dense New Zealand pine. 

What you should consider: This crib weighs 60 pounds.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

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David Allan Van writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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