Crib Styles & Safety Standards: What to Look for When Buying Your First Crib

There are so many products to consider when preparing for the arrival of your first baby. When it comes to cribs and crib sets, safety is key. Thankfully, you don't have to compromise on safety to have a stylish crib for your nursery. Whether you decide to immediately start your baby off in a crib or begin by placing them in a bassinet to sleep, learn more about different crib options and safety tips to ensure you're making an informed purchase decision for your little one.

Standard Cribs: The Best Choice for Safety

Standard cribs are a great choice if you don't want to use the same bed until a child turns 18. Some standard cribs have space-saving designs and can be very cost effective. Did you know that drop-side cribs are no longer made due to safety concerns? Standard cribs usually come with fixed sides and are priced lower and considered safer than the single drop gate. Be sure that the standard crib you choose has slats which measure less than 2 3/8 inches wide. Shake the crib before placing your baby in it to see if the frame seems loose or if there are any cracks. Keep in mind that mattresses are usually a separate price from the crib and should be factored into your overall crib budget.

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Convertible Cribs: The Best for Versatility

Convertible cribs, also known as transitional cribs, can transform into a toddler bed, daybed, full bed, or all four! Parents who prefer convertible cribs enjoy their versatility and value, especially since some are equipped with mattresses that come in four different levels of support for a growing child's needs. Plus, convertible cribs are great for long-term bedding solutions. Some convertible cribs do not come with a mattress, twin-size rails, full-size rails, bed frames, headboard or floorboard, which means you'll want to double check what all is included with your new convertible crib before you buy. As with standard cribs, you'll want to make sure your transitional crib meets all the required safety guidelines and accommodates the crib mattress.

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Portable Cribs: The Best for Easy Setup & Storage

Portable cribs are less expensive than standard or convertible cribs, easy to set up, and collapsible for quick storage. Portable cribs are essentially a smaller version of a full-size standard crib. Some parents prefer portable cribs if they're tight on space or budget. It's best to purchase mattresses and sheets that are made specifically for a portable crib model. Play yards are a special type of portable crib designed to fit in your trunk, through a door frame, and from room to room. Typically made of metal tubing or mesh, play yards are usually more lightweight than portable cribs. A carrying case will make the play yard easier to travel with, which is perfect for baby's first family vacation! Make sure that whatever portable crib or play yard you choose is JPMA-certified. Keep in mind that while portable cribs are great for certain situations, a full-size crib is a safer place for your child to sleep for the long term.

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Bassinets: A Good Way to Establish Sleeping Habits

Bassinets make life easier for feedings at night or for parents who prefer co-sleeping. Compared to cribs, bassinets are cheaper, lighter, and easier for parents to quickly put down a baby while sitting down or even from their own bed. Some babies sleep better in bassinets because they are more snug or comfortable. Many parents use bassinets for newborns before transitioning to a crib to keep a closer eye on their baby. Bassinets are also portable and can travel well or be rolled easily from room to room. Keep in mind that bassinets usually only fit babies up to 6 months old, so be sure to check that the bassinet is appropriate for your child's size and weight.

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