4 Different Types of Cribs for Babies

Baby boy sleeping in blue bassinet with canopy.

Many baby cribs are available to new parents, but the most common type of cribs include a standard crib, mini crib, convertible crib, and round crib. Each crib design offers its own benefits, making them perfectly well suited for new parents and safe for babies. In addition, many of the crib options will be perfect for your child until they are at least two years old. 

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Types of Cribs for Babies

If you are a new parent, it can be overwhelming to find just the right crib for your new baby. With so many different options on the market, determining which crib is right for you and your baby can be tricky. Not only do you want your child to be comfortable and safe, but you need to make sure your crib fits in the nursery and is cost-effective and long-lasting.

Below, let’s take a closer look at some of the more common crib options available to parents so that you can make an excellent choice for your baby. 

Standard Crib

Nursery room with standard crib, wicker ottoman, and a wooden rocking horse.

The standard crib is an essential item for any new parent. This crib style is traditional and can be made out of any type of material, although solid wood construction is typical. The standard crib is rectangular and is usually around 58 inches long by 28 inches wide.

While these cribs can be more expensive, they are often well-constructed and will last for years, making them a sound investment. In addition, the standard crib is sturdy and strong, and it is very easy to find a crib mattress for them because of their standard size. 

Convertible Crib

Convertible crib made in dark wood.

A convertible crib is a wise investment that offers parents a safe, traditional crib with a lifetime of versatility. This type of crib can function as a normal full size crib and then, with the use of a conversion kit, transition into a bed option for kids. These cribs are incredibly versatile and can offer parents years of options. 

Some convertible crib types can easily switch to a toddler bed with the addition of a toddler rail. This option gives parents a useful transition point as their child grows. Comparatively, other convertible cribs can transition to a full-size bed or a day bed with the addition of a conversion kit. Again, these cribs grow with your child, allowing them to last for years. 

While these options may seem convenient, it is essential to have the right hardware and tools necessary when the time comes to allow you to transition your bed down the road. Be sure to have the appropriate conversion kits while your child is still young to ensure that you will be prepared in a few years when a conversion is needed. 

Mini Crib

Nursery room with a mini crib, pink upholstered chair, and a cute gallery wall.

As the name implies, a mini crib is simply a smaller crib compared to a standard size crib. The mini crib is also sometimes referred to as a portable crib. While these small cribs are undoubtedly convenient and a great way to save space, they are only recommended for a baby and cannot be used in the nursery as your child ages.

Professionals agree that the crib should no longer be used once your child is over 35 inches or about two years of age. 

However, it may be possible to buy a convertible mini crib. These crib options can grow with your child and can be suited for a baby or a toddler. In addition, the convertible mini crib can be used with a crib mattress, converting to a bed as the child grows.

These conversions can allow you to get more use out of your crib purchase and last for years as your child grows and develops.

Round Crib

Nursery room with a white chair, a distressed cabinet, and a round crib with wheels.

With a unique design, a round crib is a great option for parents. This style, compared to a traditional crib, is completely round. There are some great benefits to a round crib, and many parents consider them safer because there are no sharp corners in the crib design. The round cribs are also a great way to save space, as they often take up minimal floor space in the nursery.

However, many round cribs lack the ability to grow with a child, and children can very quickly outgrow the size of a round crib. In addition, these cribs cannot be converted into a toddler bed or a standard day bed due to their unique size and design. Also, be aware that finding a new mattress for a round crib can be challenging because of this unique shape.

Many round crib mattresses are designed for your specific crib manufacturer, making replacement mattresses difficult to find. 

Features to Consider

Nursery room with a wooden ladder, a rocking horse, and a white crib complemented with a tasseled runner.

Before choosing your baby crib, consider the many features that baby cribs often have. Not only can baby crib features make your crib more functional and easy to use, but they can also add aesthetics and style to your nursery. 

Material

After you find the type of crib you like, consider the material it is made of. Cribs can be made of wood, plastic, or metal. While wood may be more traditional, it might also be heavier and bulkier than a lightweight plastic crib.

Although, woods like pine are generally lighter than rich and dense woods like cherry or walnut. Alternatively, a wood crib will be long-lasting and can be painted a different color if you donate or sell the crib to another family.

Height

While the height of a crib may not seem important initially, consider how many times you will be bending over the crib to pick up your baby. You want to find a crib that is a comfortable height. The crib should be tall enough to give your baby a place to sleep safely and be easy for you to reach over the rail and hold your child. Keep in mind that many cribs will have adjustable heights to make it easier for parents as the child grows. 

Style

Cribs come in just about every style imaginable, ranging from a modern crib with clean lines to a traditional crib with highlighting and ornamental details. The crib style really is your preference and doesn’t impact the overall functionality. Think of your personal style and how you want your nursery to look. Add a crib that has a style that will complement the room and other furniture. 

Color

The color you choose for your crib will largely depend on your overall style and design. Think about the other colors that are used throughout your nursery and choose a color that compliments your design. You can buy a crib already painted, or you can add paint to a wooden or metal crib to make a custom look in your nursery. Wooden cribs can often be stained to match your overall theme and design in the nursery. 

FAQs

Nursery room with a skirted wooden crib and a white armchair over wide plank flooring.

Buying your first baby crib can be stressful, with so many uncertain questions cycling through your brain. Of course, you want your new baby to be comfortable and safe, but you also need to ensure that you find a crib that works well for you. Below, we take a look at some commonly asked questions about baby cribs to help you make a better, well-informed decision about your purchase. 

Where can I buy a baby crib?

Baby cribs are essential for new families, and luckily can be purchased at many major stores. It’s possible to buy a baby crib at stores like Walmart, Target, or Bed, Bath, and Beyond. Going to the store to physically see the crib is a great way to get a feel for the crib’s material, sturdiness, and height. 

Of course, it is also possible to purchase your baby crib from an online retailer or furniture store. For example, cribs are available from Amazon or Wayfair. Many of these online retailers have forgiving return policies, so it’ll easy to return your baby crib if you don’t like the first style you order. 

Which crib style is best for your baby and nursery?

Choosing a crib style can be overwhelming, especially for new parents. With so many options on the market, it can be difficult trying to sort through the pros and cons of each. Choosing a crib style really depends on what you need and what your baby needs. While a standard crib is strong and sturdy, offering a long-lasting option for parents, a convertible crib is a great way to keep your child’s furniture for years, converting to a toddler bed or even day bed as your child grows.

Mini cribs and round cribs, alternatively, are great space-saving options but will not work once your child is about two years of age. Think about how many children you have or want to have and where your child will move once he or she outgrows the nursery before making a crib purchase. 

When should you choose a mini crib?

A mini crib is a fantastic option because they have a small footprint in the nursery and are lightweight and versatile. These cribs are perfect for newborns and small children and can usually work until your child is about two years of age. The mini cribs are often referred to as a portable crib because they are easy to pack up and move from place to place.

A mini crib can work as a primary crib in your home, or maybe a great option as a secondary crib to have at a grandparent’s house. 

Can used cribs be sold?

Yes! After your child has outgrown a crib, it is a wonderful idea to try to sell your crib. As long as the crib is in clean and good shape, you should be able to make some money. Try using online sales forums or parenting groups to find a buyer. Places like Craig’s List or Facebook Marketplace are ideal places to sell your gently-used baby crib.

Can used cribs be donated?

One of the most high-demand needs at shelters and organizations is a baby crib. These can be used for families that are without homes but certainly need a place to allow their children to sleep. Further, many religious organizations and charity organizations are thrilled to have crib donations. Many of these types of organizations are able to give the crib to a family in need. 

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