Mini Crib Buying Guide: When You Need One And What To Look For
As you prepare to welcome your little one, it’s hard to know exactly what essentials you should buy. To start with, you know a safe sleeping surface is a must, but you might be surprised to find out that a mini crib is one essential that can serve your family well.
Here, we’ll help you uncover a few reasons why using a mini crib might be a good option for your baby and what exactly you need to look for when choosing one.
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What Is A Mini Crib?
Simply put, a mini crib is just a smaller version of the standard-sized crib. The dimensions of a mini crib are 24 inches wide by 38 inches long, whereas a standard-sized crib is about 28 inches wide by 52 inches long.
When you do the math, it’s about four inches smaller and 14 inches shorter. These dimensions play a huge role when you’re short on space and every square inch counts!
But just because it’s smaller doesn’t mean you can’t get a lot of use out of it. Unlike a bassinet, many mini cribs will feature multiple levels like a traditional crib. This means when a child can sit up or roll over, you can simply lower the crib so that it’s safe for baby.
This makes the mini crib distinct from most bassinets, which are not only smaller but also (generally) only one level. Mini cribs normally feature two to three different levels. And in some instances, children can actually sleep in one until they’re ready to transition to a toddler bed!
Mini cribs also will require their own perfectly-sized mattress and sheets. When shopping for your crib, it’s important to double-check the dimensions of any accessories.
Some parents will choose a mini crib in lieu of a bassinet but still have a crib for when their little one gets bigger, whereas others may opt for these more petite beds as the baby’s sole sleeping spot for as long as possible.
Reasons For Using A Mini Crib
Obviously, one of the main reasons for using a mini crib is if you’re short on space, but there are also other reasons for using one for your baby. Let’s take a look!
Easier To Move
A mini crib — sometimes referred to as a convertible crib ― is a lot easier to move than a traditional crib. Because it’s lighter, you can move it around the house if you need to.
Many mini cribs sit on castors so that they can be rolled from room to room. This is particularly helpful for those first months when you want baby nearby while you get some chores done during nap time.
Of course, if you do move them around with you, you’ll want to be sure that wherever your little one is napping is set up for a good night’s sleep (or day’s nap)! With the portability of a mini crib, you can be right there when they open their eyes from their slumber.
This can be even more helpful when you have a living space all on one level. You can wheel the crib to the living room, kitchen, or bathroom with ease.
We all know that good things come in small packages (your baby would agree). With a mini crib, you can say goodbye to bulky furniture.
Great For Smaller Spaces
Before you set out to make a crib purchase, take measurements of the space your baby will sleep in. This begs the question: Do you have a full room to dedicate to baby? And even if you do, are you planning to share a room with your little one at the beginning?
If you have to set up your baby’s sleep space in a corner of your bedroom or office — or maybe there’s just not a lot of room in their nursery — a mini crib might be just what you need. For city dwellers in particular, mini cribs are a popular choice because apartments can be so small.
Ideal For Newborns
Your sweet little newborn won’t take up that much space, but all of their baby essentials will! Honestly, they really won’t need a big sleep surface at first, so that’s one thing you can keep small by using a mini crib.
Because your baby won’t roll around or sit up any time soon, using a smaller sleep surface, like a mini crib, is a perfectly safe option.
Besides, even if they do start hitting their milestones earlier than expected, remember that some mini cribs have adjustable bases that can be lowered to keep your baby safe.
If your mini crib cannot be lowered to a safe level considering your little one’s latest activities, you’ll need to transition to a crib.
But for those first months, a standard-sized crib can actually feel like too much space for your new bundle of joy and might even overwhelm them. A mini crib makes your baby feel nice and cozy, like they’re in the womb.
Like a bassinet, a mini crib is ideal for newborns. You probably wouldn’t get a bassinet and a mini crib, as the two are quite similar. As you’re deciding which one to use, keep in mind that a mini crib is more functional and can last longer than a bassinet.
Think about a mini crib as a half step between a bassinet and a crib. You’ll get more use out of it, yet it’s still petite so that you can fit in most places without much fuss.
Stores Away Easily
Some mini cribs are portable and fold up. These are a good option when you’re traveling or having guests over. You can pack it in the car or easily store it away when you have company and your baby isn’t sleeping.
This is also a great option for grandma’s house or anywhere you frequently visit. Your family members will love to have an easy sleep set up for baby that they can have on the ready for a spontaneous sleepover.
Mini cribs can also be a more affordable option than a traditional crib. So before you start your crib search, set your budget.
And when shopping for a mini crib, don’t forget to purchase a mini crib mattress that fits its dimensions. The Newton Baby Essential Mini Crib Mattress, for example, is available in mini size and completely breathable!
You’ll also need mini crib sheets. There are tons of cute colors and patterns to choose from!
Sharing A Room
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that babies share a room (but not a bed) with their parents for at least the first six months but ideally for the first year. This means another piece of furniture has to squeeze into your bedroom.
When you think about having a bed, dresser, and chair in your room and then adding a crib to that list of furniture, you might not be left with much space.
But remember, a mini crib is about 14 inches shorter than a traditional one, making it an appropriately sized (and safe) sleep surface for your baby.
Even though it may be a tight squeeze, the benefits of sharing a room with your baby are many. First, it’s much more convenient to attend to them when they wake up and need to be fed. Second, it’s much safer and actually decreases the risk of SIDS.
And then there’s the increased bonding: Sharing a room for the first six months to a year allows you to get to know your baby even better, and they you. This is a precious time in both of your lives, and it’s best to embrace it.
But even if you don’t bring baby into your own room and instead let them get used to their nursery from day one, a mini crib might still be a good idea. This way, you may be able to fit additional furniture, like a twin bed, in the room.
With a twin bed alongside the mini crib in the nursery, a parent, night nurse, or nanny can sleep with the little one. A mini crib would definitely make it easier space-wise to ensure that baby always has room for a sleepover buddy!
Safe Sleep Option For Multiples
If you have any set of multiples — twins, triplets, you name it — mini cribs are a great option to use for your babies. Mini cribs are much-needed space savers when you have more than one baby in a room.
Think about it: If you’re saving 14 inches in length on one crib, that’s 28 inches of space for two cribs!
If you’ve got multiples, your hands are full already. Isn’t it easier to have everyone in the same room? This will make synchronizing schedules a snap.
Visiting Family And Friends
If you find yourself visiting friends and family frequently, especially if they live out of town, keep a mini crib stored at their house. It’ll be great for the many naps your newborn will take during the day!
Consider having a mini crib and mattress sent to friends’ and families’ homes when you travel so you don’t have to take up space in the car with it. That makes traveling a lot easier.
You might even bring a portable mini crib if you stay in a hotel. Although many hotels offer cribs as an amenity, they vary in condition.
In order to give yourself the assurance that your little one will be comfy cozy while they sleep in an unfamiliar place, a mini crib with their own mattress and sheets might be the best option.
Now you can rest easy while traveling, knowing your baby has a safe place to sleep.
What To Look For When Buying A Mini Crib
When your little one is a newborn, you’ll want to keep a close eye on them at all times — especially if you don’t have a baby monitor. That’s why portability is important when shopping for your little one’s bed.
If you move from room to room a lot, you may even consider choosing a mini crib with wheels that’s going to be easy to take with you wherever you go in your home. Mini cribs can fit through doorways, unlike their standard-sized counterparts that would have to be disassembled.
Crib manufacturers must follow strict regulations to meet safety standards, and all for good reason!
To make sure your baby’s crib meets (and, hopefully, exceeds) these safety standards, look for the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association (JPMA) certification and Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) seal.
According to Consumer Reports, “JPMA certification seal means that a baby product has been tested by an independent facility and met the guidelines set by standards developer ASTM [American Society for Testing Materials] International.”
Always be sure to read the labels on the crib you’re considering and check for these specific labels.
Your baby may chew on the edge of their crib once they’re able to pull up or sit up. For this reason, you want to make sure the crib is free of chemicals. Think about things like the paint (you’ll want non-toxic, water-based paint or a food-grade oil finish) and the woods used.
Hardwoods like walnut, oak, birch, and maple are better options, as less glue is used in manufacturing. On the other hand, manufactured woods like plywood and MDF, require more glue and, therefore, are more likely to have harmful chemicals.
Hardwoods also have better durability, as mini cribs made from 100% wood tend to last longer. But, unfortunately, they also tend to be more expensive.
You’ll also want to look for a different seal for this safety measure: the GREENGUARD Gold certification. This certification means that the materials used meet the highest environmental safety standards.
Speaking of certifications, you can also look for cribs with labels indicating Fair Trade and Forest Stewardship Council certified. A fair trade certification indicates that the workers manufacturing the crib have safe working conditions as well as fair wages and hours.
The Forest Stewardship Council certification means that the woods used in your crib have been sourced from sustainably managed forests. So choosing a mini crib that meets these various certifications can help you and your baby breathe easy.
Earlier, we gave you the standard size for a mini crib, but not all of them measure exactly the same. Take measurements of your space, and then check measurements of the crib and crib mattress.
The measurements of the crib mattress must be in line with the measurements of the crib because if they’re not the same, it could create an unsafe sleep surface for your baby.
They’re breathable and safe to use with any crib mattress. What’s more, they’re soft and comfortable on your baby’s skin. This is because they’re made with muslin cotton for the most hygienic sleep surface for your little one!
One thing that’s crucial when it comes to choosing a mini crib is to find one with a base that can be adjusted as baby grows. If it can, you will be able to use the mini crib for an extended period.
With a convertible mini crib, you will lower the crib base every time baby meets a new milestone, be it rolling over, sitting up, or standing in the crib. Look for mini cribs with the most amount of adjustability.
If the mini crib is not adjustable, it is likely to last only about 6 months. This is a big consideration, as there is no doubt you’ll need an additional full-size crib ready to take over baby duty!
Your baby’s crib and crib mattress should not only be practical but also comfortable. You don’t want to use something just because it fits in your space and then soon discover it’s uncomfortable for your baby and keeps them awake.
With the Newton Baby Crib Mattress, you don’t have to worry about that! It’s breathable and washable, so your baby can breathe straight through it, and you can rinse it off in the shower or tub if you need to.
Plus, our unique Wovenaire core gives your little one the right amount of firmness and comfort!
When we talk about longevity, we’re also talking about how long you think a mini crib will work for your little one. Take a look at your baby and know your genetics. If a baby’s mom and dad are tall, it’s quite possible (even probable) that they will be, too.
This means it’s more likely that your little one might grow out of their mini crib before they’re developmentally ready for a toddler bed. All of your space and budget-saving plans go poof, as you’ll then need to purchase a standard-sized crib after all.
If your baby’s destined to be tall, you may decide not to risk it and go straight for a crib.
When deciding on your mini crib, you want to look at all of the accessories you can choose from, like sheets and mattresses. Keep in mind that there is a wider selection for standard-sized cribs because they tend to be more popular.
Because you can’t control when your little one will make their grand entrance, it’s important to find out the availability of your chosen mini crib. These cribs are meant to be used from day one, so it’s key to have yours in the room of choice and set up by then.
Look for a model that is in stock or something that is expected to be in stock well before your due date. If it’s not but you still have your heart set on it, be sure you have a fallback plan in mind just in case baby’s timing doesn’t align!
Mini cribs come in a range of price points. You want to find one that has all of the features you want and is made of high-quality materials so that your baby is safe and snug in their new mini crib.
When budgeting for your mini crib, be sure to include all of the essentials —- namely the mattress and sheets, too.
Sleeping Safely In Small Spaces
Mini cribs provide your little one with a safe sleep surface when you’re short on space, but that’s not the only reason you might decide to use one. To start with, they’re easier to move, ideal for the newborn stage, and store away easily.
They’re also a budget-friendly option and great to use if you have multiples or are sharing a room with your baby. Don’t forget you can use a mini crib when you’re visiting family and friends, too.
When you’re in the market for a mini crib, look for portability, safety standard labels, quality materials, and appropriate sizing for your needs.
Finally, you can’t forget about comfort, and that’s what Newton Baby is here for! Choose a Newton Baby Mini Crib Mattress when using a mini crib, and your baby will sleep safe and sound even in a small space!