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How to Choose a Baby Crib

Updated on March 10, 2014

You're Pregnant!

Congratulations on your pregnancy! You will have many fun months to prepare for your little bundle of joy. One thing you’ll want to think about is which crib is best for your nursery. You may be shopping for the first time ever for a crib. Maybe you’re confused by all the choices. Don’t worry. It’s easy to find the right crib that will look nice and be safe for baby.

Do you already have a crib?

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Baby Crib Basics

Start with the basics. There are four types of cribs. Cribs come in standard, canopy, convertible, and round. Think about how long you want to use your crib. Are you going to use it until baby is two and then move him to a toddler bed? Do you want your crib to be able to convert so he can use it through to college?

Choosing the right crib


1. Standard Baby Crib

If you want to have just a sturdy, safe crib that you take down when baby outgrows it, go for a standard crib. This is a regular size crib that takes a standard mattress.

Its slats should be no more than 2-3/8 inches apart so that baby’s head can’t get stuck between them. Modern cribs should already be sized this way, but if you are borrowing a crib that may be older, measure the bars.

2. Canopy Crib

The second option is a canopy crib. These cribs are mostly chosen for their decorative appeal.

Like a canopy bed, they have four posts that stick up and are attached to a metal frame. You can decorate the nursery with a canopy cover and make it look sweet.

If you’re not in the market for decorative, but only a functional crib, skip the canopy style.

3. Convertible Crib

The third type of crib is the convertible. This type is a marvel. It’s actually several pieces of furniture rolled into one. Your baby can use it first as a crib. Then, by switching around the parts (no new pieces to buy) it converts into a toddler bed, then it converts to a twin bed, and finally a full sized bed headboard. There are different configurations that vary by manufacturer. Some will convert to a daybed after a crib and nothing more. Some will have all four configurations built in. Go with a sturdy option that looks good, too. Choose a wood that you know will look good now and into the future. Light ash, oak or dark mahogany are all good choices.

4. Round Crib

The fourth type of crib is the round crib. These cribs are popular because they look different and are so cute in the nursery. They require a specially made round crib mattress and sheets, but if you don’t mind that, the round crib may be for you.

Hand-Me-Down Cribs

One thing you might want to consider is that older cribs that may have been handed down in your family or that you borrow from a neighbor or get second hand can be a safety hazard. They may have chipping paint, sharp edges, or give splinters. And the bars may not be properly spaced. The mechanisms that work the side rails may not function correctly. If you are in doubt, get your crib new. It’s best to invest in a good crib now and keep it for years to come. And always get a new crib mattress whether you are getting a second hand or a new crib.

Final Thoughts

No matter which crib you choose, be sure that it is safe for your baby as well as fits the area that you put it in.

Remember, when you stumble into the baby's room at two in the morning, you want to be able to get to your baby quickly and easily. You will want to have enough room in the nursery to walk around, or place a rocking chair in the room so you can wrap your little bundle in their baby blanket and snuggle up in your arms.

What type of crib did you have?

Submit a Comment

  • Au fait profile image

    C E Clark 

    5 years ago from North Texas

    With Christmas just around the corner, a crib for an expecting couple or new mom to be would be a great gift. If you know what crib is on the expectant mom's list, a few friends and/or relatives could get together and purchase it for the new mom to be who may be expecting her baby at Christmas or soon after.

  • Au fait profile image

    C E Clark 

    6 years ago from North Texas

    There really are a lot of things to consider when purchasing a crib, but when my daughter was about to arrive, we didn't have a lot of money so we bought ours second hand. We found it through an ad in the local newspaper. It was a really nice oak crib and we got it for about 1/6 of the original price. We sold it again when we were done with it.

    Great hub to get people thinking about what they want to do about one of the most important pieces of baby equipment they will need when baby arrives.

  • profile image 

    7 years ago

    We had four and they all used the same crib - it was a rattly one made out of pine timber (similar to first photo) - we looked at really heavy sturdy ones but decided the light and rattly one was the best. This is why - you can hear every little movement of your baby as he or she tosses about, wakes up,jumps etc.. PLUS, your baby can't get really hurt because the timber is softer and more flexible... It saved a lot of anxiety!

  • Pinkchic18 profile image

    Sarah Carlsley 

    7 years ago from Minnesota

    Wow, I had no idea there were so many different types of cribs. Personally I'd rather go with the convertible crib because if I'm going to spend the money, it better last a long time! lol great hub, thanks for sharing it!

  • profile image


    7 years ago

    Fantastic hub, this will help out new mothers make a decision on what would be best for their baby. I always looked for the best safe built cribs for my kids. Today, they have many options to choose from.

  • Sinea Pies profile image

    Sinea Pies 

    7 years ago from Northeastern United States

    Round cribs! Now that's a new one.

  • ThePracticalMommy profile image


    7 years ago from United States

    These are good tips for new mommies looking to buy a crib. I personally like the convertible cribs. We have two of them. They can be really pricey, but if you wait until they are on clearance (usually in the fall and spring before the new lines come out), you can get them at a good price.

    Voted up and useful!


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