Baby Crib Buying Guide For New Parents

crib buying guide

baby crib buying guide

The crib, which comes into use when the baby is born or after using a carrycot or bassinet, should not be chosen lightly. Beyond its appearance (color, material, decoration), there are rules to respect and practical considerations. Cradle with bars, evolutionary or modular: we advise you to choose the most valuable crib for your little one one.

Types of crib

The crib, not to be confused with a carrycot or bassinet, can be used from the birth of the baby. There crib bumpers gearboxes that help newborns to adapt to the transition from the womb to the cradle.

The WHO recommends that babies sleep in their parents’ room for up to 6 months to avoid the risk of death from suffocation and promote good emotional development. Likewise, it is not advisable to share the double bed with the baby for the same reasons and to use a separate bed suitable for the newborn. 

The barred crib is a good example. It can be completely surrounded by bars or have solid ends. The distance between the bars that is currently in effect is designed to limit the risks of accidents.

The crib is assembled in such a way that it cannot be moved or opened anywhere. It is the oldest crib version. There are adjustable models with two, three and even four bed base heights. However, in practice, two bed base positions are sufficient.

The best crib bedding with a sliding side barrier is an excellent option to protect the back of parents. In fact, it is enough to unblock a closure system located at the ends of the barrier to lower it and remove the baby without having to lift it. 

Do you need a crib with a drawer? Some manufacturers offer drawers adaptable to various models of crib, a good intermediate solution when we like one model of crib more than another does.

There are also evolutionary cribs, which the baby can use from birth to 3 years of age. They are models from which the two longest side parts can be removed. Thus, there is a cradle composed of:

  • The mattress
  • The headboard
  • The foot of the crib
  • A drawer (optional)

The evolutionary crib is very interesting because it adapts to the growth of children, transforming into a small bed. Once the last stage is reached (60 cm × 120 cm), the evolving crib allows the child to get used to a larger crib before moving on to the final bed (90 cm × 180 cm).

The evolutionary crib version with modular bars is even more advantageous. It has a protection function that prevents the little one from falling while offering greater autonomy.

There are combined cribs that integrate a crib space, a changing table and cabinets or drawers. Depending on the baby’s age, you can move these elements according to your needs.

In general, these cribs correspond to three phases of development:

  • 1st stage: bassinet or cradle with built-in changing table (from 0 to 4-6 months)
  • 2nd stage: crib with bars of 60 cm × 120 cm (or 140 cm)
  • 3rd stage: cot without side barriers and with a low bed base, from 2 years old

The modular cradle can be composed of the following elements:

  • Adjustable cradle in length
  • Drawer
  • Closet
  • Changing table

The main advantages of the modular crib are:

  • Space saving
  • A single multifunctional piece of furniture
  • Limited sleeping space for young children

However, some parents consider that once removed, the elements are useless and not reusable, except in the models that are transformed into a school desk. In addition, the part of the changing table is usually narrow, which is not practical when using it, since you have to have everything you need to care for the baby and change the diaper on hand.

They are usually more expensive (from 300 to 1000 euros) and their popularity is due, above all, to the space savings they entail, but you must be well informed about the measurements of the part that serves as a changing table.

baby crib buying guide

Cradle material

The cribs with fixed bars are made of solid wood or MDF (“medium density fiberboard”). The last criterion to take into account is whether the chosen model is protected with varnish or paint. Painted wood and chipboard are damaged by small bumps (such as a toy or musical mobile falling) if the quality of the paint is average.

More and more manufacturers, concerned about the environment and committed to the prevention of childhood illnesses, prefer to use natural waxes without allergens in the manufacture of cribs.

As for the best crib mattress and accessories (mattress protector, mattress covers and bedding in general), if the quality of the materials used is very important to you, you will have to focus your search on fabrics with the OEKO-TEX 100 seal. , class 1, which corresponds to products specially designed for babies. However, it is better to prioritize the use of environmentally friendly fibers and materials. 

With regard to folding or travel cribs, they are made of fabric or, more frequently, nylon. Some brands have opted for mesh fabric, a fabric that lets air through, to avoid the risk of suffocation. It is advisable to take this precaution during the first 6 months to avoid sudden baby death syndrome.

It should be noted that it is important to assemble the new crib and ventilate the room at least two weeks (or better yet, a month) before the arrival of the newborn. This action aims to eliminate VOCs (volatile organic compounds). We advise you to do the same if you decide to paint the furniture or the baby’s room yourself.

Main aspects of choosing the crib

We analyze the questions to ask yourself before buying a crib.

The choice of the crib is, above all, a matter of style. Preparing the baby’s room or deciding to integrate the crib into the parents’ room at the beginning is also a matter of decoration.

Depending on the environment, you want to create, you can choose to:

  • A natural wood crib
  • A colorfully painted crib
  • A crib with bars
  • A crib with decorated walls

However, other criteria may determine the choice of a particular style or pattern.

Cribs are often available with two or three adjustable bed base heights. In general, as soon as the baby learns to sit up, it is essential to put the bed base in the lowest position. Before buying a crib, it is useful to find out about the difficulty of changing from one height to another: is it enough to remove the bed base or do you have to disassemble the entire crib.

All the best crib bedding sets available on the market comply with the UNE-EN 716-1 standard. This standard certifies the good quality and solidity of the materials used.

All boards must be at least 60cm, but may be larger depending on the layout.

As for the separation of the bars of the crib, it should be between 4.5 and 6.5 cm.

Newborn cribs are sold without a baby mattress in most cases. We recommend a firm mattress to avoid the risk of suffocation. The mattress must have exactly the same measurements as the crib, that is, 60 cm × 120 cm or 140 cm. It must also have received a fire protection treatment.

Since this is an unavoidable purchase, consider buying two mattress protectors (preferably organic cotton) if the mattress does not have a removable cover.

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