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Our 5-month old is getting bigger, and she's starting to roll over, so it's time for us to switch from a bassinet to a full-sized crib.

Can anyone here recommend things to look for in a crib? Space is at a premium (the baby is in our room for now), and we'd like something with an adjustable height.

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3 Answers 3

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Safety details

  • Slats no more than 2 3/8 inches apart.

    Reason: prevent baby's head from slipping through or getting stuck

  • Safe corner posts: no higher than 1/16 of an inch

    Reason: Avoid child's cloths getting snagged on the post and strangling the baby

  • Make sure it's sturdy. Some cribs' quality is poor.

  • Decent wood finish if it's wooden.

    Generally, it's very NOT recommended to buy old used crib. If you do, 100% make sure the paint doesn't have led.

  • Frame size:

    The crib interior should snugly accommodate a standard crib mattress – at least 51 3/4 inches long by 27 3/4 inches wide. If you can fit more than two fingers between the side of the mattress and the crib, the mattress is too small.

  • No weird/fancy/whatnot niceties. Bumpers. Streamers. Anything else that can pose danger to a baby. The more utilitarian and less details, the better.

Features to choose

  • Adjustable mattress height:

    If the crib has too low a height, you can't use the crib safely once the child starts to sit up (never mind climb). If it's too high, you will be tired and miserable from putting the baby in/out of the crib while they are small enough to not need the depth AND have to be handled horizontally, especially with head support.

  • Convertability.

    Some cribs can be converted to toddler beds. Frankly, that may not be worth the extra cost upfront as the final savings aren't that big, but that's more of a personal financial decision.

  • Drop side.

    This one is controversial. Some safety advice says to NOT have drop side as there are risks. Some say it's OK. My own personal experience - it's not very risky BUT our drop side was the first thing to break - not in a dangerous way, but just got stuck so opening it was a hassle (closing was easy so it wasn't a safety concern).

Further reading: Crib Safety Tips from U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission ([1], [2])

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I deleted the previous comments due to flags, because discussion on whether you agree or disagree with a question belongs in Parenting Chat, not comments, and because some of the comments were getting a bit rude. Politeness is a requirement on this site,regardless of your opinions on its merits or drawbacks. Please keep this in mind moving forward. –  Beofett Jun 9 at 13:52
@Beofett so you openly engage in censorship then, thanks for letting me know. –  wardr Jun 9 at 20:57
@wardr we have clearly defined site rules. Your comments were flagged by other users. Comments are not for discussion; they are for clarifying content. Even then, SE has a strict "play nice" rule. So yes, content that violates our rules will likely be removed, as will comments that are no longer relevant, too "chatty", or generally off topic. –  Beofett Jun 9 at 21:23
@Beofett That's the very definition of censorship. I just wanted to make sure because I don't like being silenced so I'll probably just go find a site where that isn't the case. Like most users I do not read the site rules and regulations. Thank you for the clarification. –  wardr Jun 9 at 23:01
@wardr - this is more than a site. It's a community. If you wish to participate in community, it is a good idea to follow community's rules. If you LIKE to scoff at the rules, you end up in community of people who scoff at any of the rules YOU may like as well (like "no spam" which I assume is at least one rule you personally would approve of) –  user3143 Jun 10 at 0:29

I think even the most basic of cribs have adjustable mattress height now. Given the size constraints, you might check Ikea's cribs. Most of their cribs also have the advantage not having a specific back - that is a side that should go against a wall - making it easier to find a spot for it.

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No Ikea cribs - aka Walmart cribs - or Ikea anything for that matter. That store along with its American cousin Walmart just discourage creativity. And it'll probably fall apart too. –  wardr Jun 9 at 8:25
In my experience the only time Ikea furniture falls apart is when the owner was too inept to assemble it in the first place. –  AmyK Jun 9 at 16:00
I've never run into that. Ikea furniture is usually about as easy to assemble as anything I've ever encountered purchased from a store. –  wardr Jun 9 at 20:59

THis depends if you want to get a regular crib or a portable crib. Assuming regular crib it then depends on price. There are some really cool features these days for cribs like:

adjustable height baby mattresses- this might have been a better feature for you if we were talking about it before the baby was born. Not such a priority at this point.

options to convert to a toddler bed- This is surely something you might want to look at because you can then know you are investing in something you can use with the child until he/she turns 5 or 6 years old.

rocking crib- yes there are cribs that are actually not on wheels but instead big giant rocking bassinet. Might be useful those nights when you are half awake and you are trying to et the baby to go back to sleep and they just need the crib rocked instead of the whole shpeel with trying to do it yourself.

As far as what to look for, obviously something sturdy, no pointy edges, snag-free surfaces, rounded corners. Make sure the bars are close enough together to prevent the baby from getting their head in it. Make sure if the side goes down that the locking mechanism is secure. My old crib I had for my daughter was notorious for just falling down out of the blue!

Here are some pictures of some interesting cribs (that may or may not match my recommendations, I just thought they were interesting). THese seem to run around $2000 and up. But cool nonetheless. Whatever you do AVOID walmart and AVOID Idea, PLEASE!

  • Rocking bed crib

rocking crib

  • Converts into bed crib...

into bed into bed2

  • Converts into desk crib...

into desk

  • A floating crib....!

floating crib

  • Another bed crib....

nice crib

  • A funky crib....

crab crib

Good luck.

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"Whatever you do AVOID walmart and AVOID Idea" - Ikea? Can you explain why? Their budget cribs get good marks from Consumer Reports. And we don't have $2k to spend. –  neilfein Jun 9 at 11:57
@wardr - From an aesthetic viewpoint, I agree with you. From a viewpoint of having a safe crib for my child, this is off-topic at best. While I would like a crib that is a work of art, I don't have the money to spend on something that'll only be used for a few years. I'd rather spend my money on something mass-produced and safe. –  neilfein Jun 9 at 20:57
Some people prefer to express their creativity in things they create - not less common expensive things they buy. Judging people's creativity by their buying patterns is somewhat of a fallacy. And aesthetics is in the eye of the beholder. –  user3143 Jun 10 at 0:36
Also, the last bed in this list is a CLEAR health hazard. Having overhanging sides is a recipe for a child hitting tyhir head when trying to stand. –  user3143 Jun 10 at 0:38
@user3143 - As a professional musician who also paints (and who has an art school degree), I would agree with you. –  neilfein Jun 10 at 1:35

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