Last updated: August 19, 2021

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This time we want to talk to you about cribs, these small beds with bars that, for more than two centuries, have become an essential accessory to guarantee the comfortable and safe rest of your baby.

In recent years, the variety and range of this product has grown considerably, to such an extent that it is difficult to choose the perfect crib among so many models, sizes, formats, materials and designs. For this reason, we will provide you with the information you need to choose the right crib.

Throughout the article you will receive all the content you need about this article, so that you know its characteristics, including costs, brands and styles of cribs. We will also mention certain factors that you should take into account before making your purchase.




Summary

  • Cribs are small beds for babies, whose main advantage is the safety and comfort they provide for the little ones while they sleep, as they are fitted with bars or mesh to prevent falls and bumps.
  • There are different types of cribs, adapted to each stage of the baby's life. The most common are the classic, co-sleeping, convertible and travel cribs, which offer different variants of use, according to the needs of the little ones and their parents.
  • Among so much variety and assortment of cribs, it is necessary to take into account certain factors before buying, such as the materials, the corresponding sizes for each age and the safety measures that must be respected, among other aspects.

The Best Baby Crib: Our Picks

Buying guide

The aim of this buying guide is for you to get to know all the particularities of this product, including its main benefits and advantages. We will also discuss other aspects to take into account before making your purchase, so that you can choose the perfect crib for your child.

Cribs offer a pleasant and safe rest for babies. (Photo: David Pereiras Villagrá / 123rf.com)

What are the advantages of baby cribs?

There is a great variety of models, sizes, formats and materials of cribs. The most modern ones usually come with additional accessories such as a nappy changer, a bag for storing toys, side pockets for bottles, baby powder, dummies, etc.; and with music, vibrator and lights.

There are also fixed and folding cribs, with and without wheels, with accessories included and basic, made of wood, plastic, metal or iron, co-sleeping, classic, travel or convertible; there is also a wide variety of designs, colours, styles, prices and brands. An endless number of options for a single product.

The greatest benefit of cribs is the safety they provide for the baby while sleeping. Then, among so many models, we could point out the advantages of each type but, basically, they all offer your child the possibility of having a comfortable and pleasant sleep without running the risk of falling out.

Advantages
  • They are safe for the baby
  • Some can be folded and stored easily
  • Some have wheels to move them around
  • There are models designed to be taken on trips
  • Some (co-sleeping) adapt to the double bed
  • The most modern ones have compartments
Disadvantages
  • Co-sleeping cribs are used for a short time
  • Some can take up a lot of space
  • The baby can get stuck between the bars
  • Modern cribs are very expensive

Classic, co-sleeping, convertible or travel crib - what should you pay attention to?

Cribs can be divided into four types: classic, co-sleeping, convertible and travel cribs. Below, we will tell you the main characteristics of each of them so that you can compare them and choose the most suitable one for you, according to your needs.

Classic. Classic cribs are rectangular or oval with safety bars; they have always been used in babies' bedrooms. Originally they were quite basic, but the more modern ones have been incorporating accessories such as wheels and folding sides.

Some of these cribs also have drawers at the bottom for storing clothes, toys and baby accessories, which makes them very practical and functional. One of their main advantages is that, due to their size, children can use them until they are two or three years old.

Co-sleeping cribs. These cribs are designed to adapt to the double bed, so they generally have only three rails to attach their structure to the parents' bed, which is very practical for the mother in the first months because she does not need to get up to breastfeed the baby.

They usually have adjustable height and adjustable legs to integrate them into different types of bed, and some also have more rails to use them later as independent cribs. Their main benefit is that they provide a space of their own for the baby, but close to the parents.

Convertible. These cribs are more modern and expensive, but they have certain benefits that, in many cases, amortize their cost, since they adapt to the baby's growth and then transform into a normal bed. They also usually come with a drawer unit, which is very practical.

When the crib is too small for the baby, the drawer can be removed, allowing the length to be extended. In addition, the bars can be removed to facilitate the transition from a conventional crib to a child's bed. There are models that also include a nappy changing table.

Travel crib. Also known as crib cribs, they are lighter and foldable, which makes it easier to take them out of the home. They usually have an aluminium shell and a tulle or net to protect the baby from insects and bumps when it is turned over.

They are ideal both for travelling and for keeping at home, as they can be stored away when not in use, making it possible to optimise space. It is important that they have a good mattress, as some of them have a thin base that does not provide a good rest for the baby.

Classic Colecho Convertible Travel
Dimensions 120 x 60 cm and 140 x 70 cm (standard) 60 x 80 cm approx. 140 x 70 cm and 150 x 79 cm (then extended) 120 x 60 cm (standard)
Pieces or folding Pieces Pieces and Folding Pieces Folding
Design Rectangular or oval Rectangular Rectangular Rectangular or oval

How much do baby cribs cost?

The prices of cribs vary considerably depending on the models, designs, formats, sizes and, fundamentally, the brands. Below we will comment on the estimated prices according to these characteristics, so that you have a reference of the values.

In the market you can get cribs from 40 GBP to 540 GBP (and even more), depending on their characteristics. There are also more sophisticated or exclusive cribs that can exceed 10 000 GBP, but these are not the ones that are normally used.

Buying criteria: factors that allow you to compare and rate different baby crib models

In this section we will discuss the main factors you should consider before buying a crib for your baby. It is important that you pay attention to every detail, as it will help you to make a final evaluation and choose the perfect crib according to your needs.

  • Ages
  • Sizes
  • Materials
  • Safety
  • Design

Ages

Although the ages are estimates, because it also depends on the physical build and weight of each child, each type of crib is recommended for a specific stage. We will give you some reference ranges so that you can select the right crib for your child.

Up to 6 months. The co-sleeping crib is designed for the first months of a baby's life, as it has a structure that adapts to the double bed so that the baby is closer to the parents, but sleeps in its own bed. It is very practical for the mother during the breastfeeding stage.

Up to 2 or 3 years old. The standard 120 x 60 cm and 140 x 70 cm cribs are designed for children up to the age of 2 years. Convertible cribs usually measure up to 150 x 79 cm, which extends the age of use a little more. The drawer can also be removed and converted into a child's bed.

There are crib designs to suit all tastes and styles. (Photo: niekverlaan / 123rf.com)

Sizes

As mentioned above, the standard crib sizes are 120 x 60 cm, 140 x 70 cm and 150 x 79 cm (usually convertible cribs). The co-sleeping cribs are smaller (approx. 60 x 80 cm), as they are only used for the first few months of a baby's life.

If you have little space at home and you cannot reduce the size of the crib because of your child's age, a good alternative is a travel crib that folds up and can be moved from one place to another. They are also light and manoeuvrable, so you can easily store them when not in use.

Materials

Most travel cribs are made of wood. It is the material most used throughout history for the manufacture of this furniture, and it is still the most chosen today, as wood provides solidity, stability and beauty to this product, as well as being very resistant.

Obviously it will also depend on the type of wood used, as a crib made with pine will not give the same results as a crib made with oak or cedar. As you can imagine, the costs are not the same either, and it is not a product that will be used for many years.

One recommendation, if you want to buy a good crib and use it for several years, is to invest in a convertible crib, which will later become a child's bed. They are more expensive, but they will pay for themselves, especially if you opt for good quality wood.

The most classic cribs are made of carob or other hardwoods, but they are quite heavy, dark and old-fashioned. The most modern ones are available in different colours, and have matt, semi-matt, glossy, satin, etc. finishes, which give them a very attractive and personal look.

There are also plastic and iron cradles, but these are not the ones that are usually marketed. Aluminium with mesh or netting, on the other hand, is widely used for folding travel cribs, as it is lightweight and easy to handle. It all depends on your taste and needs.

There are different types of cribs, adapted to each baby's stage. (Photo: ErikaWittlieb / pixabay.com)

Safety

There are certain aspects related to the safety of cribs, which are important to take into account in order to avoid any kind of accident. The simplest precautions can be decisive in preventing unnecessary dangers or risks.

Space between bars. The bars of the crib should not be too far apart, as the baby or toddler can put his head in and get stuck, which could lead to suffocation. The distance between the bars should not exceed 6 cm.

Height. The height of the rail should be equal to the height of the baby standing on the mattress, so it should be approximately 60 cm. If it exceeds this height by a few centimetres it is not serious, the important thing is that it should not be lower, because the baby can lean out and fall.

Firmness. It is essential that the crib is made of sturdy materials that prevent it from wobbling or making noise while your baby sleeps. It is also important that the bars are fixed so that your baby cannot move them and bump into them.

Finish. You should try to choose a crib that does not have decorative ends with spikes or protruding objects, as the baby can get hurt if he/she bumps into them or gets caught on them. Ideally, the ends should be rounded and should not have splinters or porous reliefs.

Toxicity. If the crib is painted, the product label should state the components used. It is important to check that it does not contain lead and, if it is made of plastic, that it does not contain polyvinyl chloride (PVC), as both substances are toxic.

On the other hand, you should check that there are not too many soft toys left inside the crib, as if the baby is very young, he/she could suffocate on them, especially when sleeping.

Design

There is so much variety in baby crib designs, that we tend to look first at details such as colour, patterns, additional accessories, etc. It is understandable that among so much choice we look at the most attractive part first, however it is necessary to prioritise other aspects.

The most superficial details significantly increase the price of the crib, so it does not make sense to spend a lot of money just for the appearance of a product that will not be used for many years. It is preferable to invest the money in features linked to safety, comfort and practicality.

(Featured image photo: Famveldman/ 123rf.com)

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