A baby crib or infant bed is a must-have accessory every baby needs. Throughout history, parents have been relying on cribs to shelter and comfort their little ones so they can get some rest at night. But it isn’t always the easiest task to lie down a sleeping baby when they love to be snuggled so much.
Those tiny humans are always seeking out skin contact for comfort and over centuries, parents have gotten pretty crafty in creating wonderfully snug baby cribs to help their little ones feel all cozy so parents can also get something done during the day.
Modern baby cribs are pretty diverse. You can find them in all shapes, sizes, designs and many of these offer additional features that help stimulate, relax or soothe little ones so they can sleep better even when departed from their parent's loving arms.
It is very important to choose the right type of crib for your little one. Lots of quality sleep is critical for healthy development in babies and your little one won’t get much sleep if he or she feels uncomfortable in the crib. Crib designs also require careful considerations because some bedding and crib designs have resulted in SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome). Another big reason to choose your baby crib carefully is so your little one’s spine and body can rest comfortably without becoming distorted. With a straight spine, your little one can grow healthy since blood circulation and healthy breathing is promoted.
Choosing the right crib won’t be an easy task, especially now that there are so many wonderful options available. We aim to make it a little bit easier for parents to find a suitable crib by offering you some of the best advice and info on modern cribs that every parent should know before they buy.
Baby cribs are manufactured from all sorts of materials. The most popular material for cribs is timber although a combination of materials is becoming more and more popular for the development of modular or camper cribs. The material your baby crib is made off usually depends on the design. For a sturdier crib, sturdier materials like timber are necessary. For foldable cribs, a combination of fabrics, metals and plastic joints is necessary and to this very day, you can still find baby cribs that are made of natural materials such as bamboo woven cribs, fabric cribs and more. Here is a quick look at the most common crib materials;
Most baby cribs are made of wood. Timber is a very flexible product that can be used to create many different crib designs. Timber cribs typically have vertical slats to help reduce the size of the crib and to prevent the baby bed from becoming too hot during summer.
Metal cribs are not as common on the market today but you still do find them. They are often round or oval in design and offer lots of appeals thanks to metal artworks.
Fabric cribs are very functional for camping cots or hammock baby beds The light fabric reduces the weight of the cot and when installed over the camper frame it becomes just as comfy as any other crib.
Crib Types to Consider For Your Little On
Designers and inventors from all over the world have shared in developing cribs and baby beds into the glorious furnishings you can buy right now. As a result, the pickings for crib designs and types are quite diverse. Here is a quick look at the leading crib types you can buy your child right now;
Standard cribs are usually rectangular in design and can vary from very plain to highly decorative. Modern laws dictate that standard baby cribs are no longer allowed to have drop sides so they do now come with four fixed sides. Standard cribs are mostly made of wood although there are many available materials such as metal or even plastic.
These cribs are considered luxury or high-end products. Generally, they are much more expensive than your standard crib because they are designed of higher quality materials to enhance durability. These cribs are also specially designed to change along with your growing child. The cribs can convert from a cot to a toddler bed and some can even be converted into adult-sized beds eventually. Here is a quick look at the most common convertible crib designs;
2-in-1 convertible crib - These models usually allows parents to transform cribs into day beds for toddlers or into full-sized beds. Other 2-in-1 cribs contain the crib and changer station as a single unit
3-in-1 convertible crib - These cribs convert into two different bed options. It converts into toddler beds, day beds or can convert into a full-sized bed.
4-in-1 convertible crib - 4 in 1 crib converts into all forms of beds from a crib, to day bed to toddler bed and eventually into a full-sized bed.
These cribs are smaller and lighter in weight than standard cribs. They are perfect for smaller homes and apartments or for parents that frequently need to move from one location to another. These cribs are usually fairly easy to disassemble and assemble to ease mobility. There are quite a few different types of mini baby cribs such as regular, convertible, combination and portable cribs. They function in the same ways as normal-sized cribs but are much smaller in design.
Portable cribs are very common in hospitals and nurseries but they can also be very practical for parents or homes. The crib is designed for easy movement into different rooms with ease and as such often comes with wheels so you can move a baby without waking him or her.
Hammock cribs are hung from the ceiling or a frame so parents can easily swig babies to sleep. These baby beds are reinforced with a flat structure so babies can lie flat but they are usually only for small babies as little ones can easily climb out and fall when they get older.
Crib and changer combos
These cribs are designed to help you save space or make the most out of a small nursery. The crib and changer combo usually have a crib with a changing station and drawers attached to the crib. This design can ease nappy changes since you have everything you need right at hand and don’t need to carry your baby across the room to a changing table.
Canopy cribs are mostly used to create a dreamy and airy bedroom vibe. The crib has a canopy installed onto the crib to which you can attach fabrics. These cribs are also functional for areas with lots of mosquitoes or for locations that have high malaria alerts since you can easily enclose a baby with a net to keep insects out.
Camping cribs or mobile cribs are mostly made of the same materials as tents. They consist of a collapsible structure and has a fabric lining that is inserted to create crib sides, a base and can be lined with mattresses or enforcing. These cribs are mostly used for housing little ones on trips but more and more parents are starting to invest in camping cribs as permanent infant beds since babies typically only use their cribs for two years before they are moved to toddler beds. Camping cribs are more cost-effective which makes a better option for temporary infant bedding.
Evacuation window cribs
These cribs are usually applied for medical or preschool. They have side panels that are removable so care workers can easily remove children from the crib without having to pick them over the railings.
Different Crib Styles
Cribs are manufactured and designed in all different countries and like homes, the designs of cribs can be identifiable with its origin and the time of manufacturing. Here is a quick look at the most common crib styles you can still buy to this very day;
These cribs are defined by straight lines, simple design and usually fit well in any home, bedroom or nursery due to its basic appearance.
Most modern cribs focus on the minimalist design because these are usually created with environmental factors in mind. These cribs do however often have solid panels instead of the usual slats for a fresher or different look.
Traditional cribs are characterized by headboards, spindles, handcrafted details and will offer your nursery a very classy or vintage feel.
Since decorated nurseries have become so popular, the demand for themed cribs increased dramatically these past few years. Today you can buy baby cribs designed with a specific theme or vibe such as beach vibe cribs, farmhouse, electric or bright cribs and so much more.
These cribs typically have a more solid and sturdy design. They are constructed to last and offer a high-end feel to nurseries.
Industrial cribs offer a fresher or modern look. These cribs usually aren’t too decorative since they are manufactured with functionality in mind. Despite being designed for function, they can, however, be very decorative and beautiful.
Mediterranean cribs are sophisticated and luxurious. They are usually made with rare materials such as pewter and often contain lots of fine, handcrafted detail to enhance the look of the nursery.
Different Crib Shapes
Crib shapes are mostly rectangular but they do come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Typically, most cribs are big enough to allow babies up to 2 years of age to comfortably sleep in their cribs after which the crib will become too small. These baby beds can, however, be circular, oval or many other shapes if they are custom or hand made.
Safety Features to Keep In Mind When Buying a Baby Crib
During the first two years of your child’s life, they are most vulnerable. A simple fall or rough handling can cause severe and permanent damage to infants. If you want to ensure that your little one enjoys safe naps at all times then you should keep the following safety features in mind when shopping for the right crib;
Drop sides are unsafe
Drop-side cribs are deemed unsafe for little ones since these commonly cause injuries to little ones as they become more mobile or should parents forget to lift the side when they become fatigued.
Loose hardware pieces can easily be swallowed by a child. Ensure that your baby crib has no small loose objects such as screws and loosening devices that can come loose
Keep wood slat designs in mind
Only invest in slat cribs that have reinforced wood slats. Weak slats can easily break when your little one starts to climb and can cause injuries. Wood slats should be no more than 2 3/8” apart so little ones won’t fall out or get stuck between the slats.
Watch out for splinters
Splinters are pretty common in worn down and antiqued cribs. Be sure to give a used crib good sand before you put your baby in it.
The manufacturing materials should be toxic-free. Paint should be lead-free, should be fresh and crack free to keep children from eating loose pieces that might affect their health. There are also lots of manufacturers who focus on creating baby cribs and accessories using organic and natural products to eliminate exposure to toxic elements.
Always buy a new mattress
It is important to buy a new baby mattress with every new child. Older mattresses can contain lots of harmful elements such as mold of fungal spores that could affect a child's health. It is also important to choose a baby mattress that allows the air to flow through the mattress. Should the child roll over onto the face, he or she will still be able to breathe.
You can have the safest baby crib in the world but your child will hate it if it isn’t comfortable. Comfort is one big safety feature to keep in mind when you buy.
If you do choose a crib with wheels then make sure that the wheels do have a lock, especially if you have older children who might want to play with the baby.
Crib accessories such as stuffed animals and lining seem like a good way to soften up your baby's bed for enhanced comfort but these accessories can be quite dangerous. Crib linings have been known to cause suffocation in infants who roll over in their sleep and are unable to roll back. It is important not to add too many crib accessories or to choose accessories that are baby safe.
Crib Accessories to Get With Your Baby Bed
Crib accessories can help your baby sleep more comfortably on any given day. There are lots of wonderful and very beautiful crib accessories you can add to your infant's bed such as the following;
Babies require the right type of linen and blankets to help stay warm or cool. Their tiny bodies are not too great at regulating body temperature. While lots of blankets can help keep your baby nice and warm I winter, you should also keep in mind that blankets are a suffocation hazard. Your little one’s bed shouldn’t have too much linen. A simple fitted sheet and goose down comforter offer the safest sleep environment.
Lots of baby cribs are sold with a quality baby mattress that is designed to allow air freely through the mattress but not all of them do come with mattresses. It is important to buy a new baby mattress for every new baby. Mattresses will wear down over the years and will eventually collect lots of dust, pollen and will handle lots of spills and messes.
Waterproof bed sheet
Lots of parents line their cribs with waterproof sheeting. This, however, isn’t the best idea for children under the age of 2. Waterproof bed sheets don’t allow much air to travel through the mattress and can result in suffocation if little ones roll over onto their faces. It is better to change nappies more often than to line your crib with a plastic waterproof sheet.
Electric mobiles often sing lullabies to help your little one sleep better and they contain lots of beautiful dangling toys to help capture the baby’s attention. Mobiles are also handy for soothing your little one into dreamland because it gives something beautiful or cute to focus on until they fall asleep. When you choose a crib with a mobile, be careful not to choose something that has annoying or loud sounds. It is also important to ensure that all mobile accessories such as toys are firmly tied so little ones won’t be able to choke on small pieces.
Baby pillows are usually very thin and they are made of sponge with large holes to allow lots of oxygen through. It is better to let a baby sleep without any pillow whatsoever than to allow them to sleep on any ordinary pillow. If you feel that a pillow is necessary for comforting your baby then be sure to invest in baby pillows specifically.
Baby night lights are very handy to have around the crib. These lights allow mom or dad to see their little one sleep without waking or startling a baby by switching on a light.
The crib is one of the places where baby monitors are used most frequently. These monitors greatly vary in terms of functionality. Generally, they allow parents to hear or even see what is going on in the bedroom over via a small intercom or camera. This is a very handy tool to install in your baby crib because parents get to do other things and even socialize while still keeping an eye on their children while they sleep. Baby monitors have even saved little lives by alerting parents when children are choking, in danger or when they stop breathing.
Soft toys can help little humans self soothe when they are not quite sleepy just yet. It is however important not to add too many soft toys to cribs since they can cause suffocation.
Mosquito nets are the best way to keep insects from harming your child as he or she sleeps. These are especially handy to have with your crib if your child is still small and the skin is still too delicate to handle insect repellants or for children with skin and sinus sensitivities.
Some cribs have drawers constructed into the design. These drawers are very handy for storing products you commonly use in the crib such as thermometers, wipes and other baby care items.
Baby cribs are very versatile in design and as such greatly vary in price depending on the materials, size, design, brand, and function. Parents with small bedrooms typically prefer mini cribs or camper cribs because these offer great functionality without taking up too much space. Standard sized cribs are perfect for general homes although most parents who invest in these cribs will also choose to buy additional baby sleepers such as carry cots or camping cots so their little ones can have a comfy place to sleep in during travels. The overall best crib you can buy a baby with a dedicated room is a 4 in 1 convertible crib. These are more expensive but will serve your child the longest since they transform from a crib into a full-sized bed.
We hope that these quick buyers guide helped you to find the right crib so your baby can enjoy the best rest and so you can create a delightful nursery that looks great.