What Is A 4-in-1 Crib And Do You Need One For Your Baby?
When you’re getting ready to welcome a little one into your family, you quickly become aware of all the baby products on the market. But knowing what you need isn’t always black and white. If you’re wondering what a 4-in-1 crib is and if it’s a necessity, stick around.
In this article, we’ll explain what this type of crib provides and also discuss a few things to take into account when deciding if a 4-in-1 crib is right for your baby and your family. Let’s begin with the basics: What exactly is a 4-in-1 crib?
What Is A 4-In-1 Crib?
A Convertible Crib
A 4-in-1 crib is a type of convertible crib, which may sound like a joyride with your baby’s hair blowing in the wind. As fun as that sounds, a convertible crib is something rather different.
Put simply, this crib is capable of changing as your baby grows. It converts into different types of beds to accommodate your child throughout the years.
The 4-in-1 crib is not the only convertible crib out there, however. There are 2-in-1 cribs, 3-in-1s — like the Newton Baby Convertible Crib — and even some 5-in-1 cribs!
Keep in mind that the extra benefit of the 5-in-1 is typically only the choice of a full bed with or without a footboard. Otherwise, the 5-in-1 doesn’t usually offer more than a 4-in-1.
That said, in this article, we are honing in on the 4-in-1 crib.
The 4-In-1 Crib
With a 4-in-1 crib, you’re getting a crib that can later be converted into three other types of beds, allowing it to grow with your child over the years.
What are the three other beds that a 4-in-1 provides? Let’s take a look:
- Once your baby outgrows the crib, it can be changed into a toddler bed with a safety rail.
- It can also convert into a “day bed” (which is essentially a toddler bed without the rail).
- Lastly, the crib can convert into the headboard for a twin or full bed, depending on the model.
Sounds great, right? With just one crib, you’re getting a bed that will change to fit your child from infancy through childhood (or beyond).
While this certainly sounds like a great deal, there are a few things to consider when deciding if a 4-in-1 crib is the right choice for your baby and your family.
Do You Need A 4-In-1 Crib For Your Baby?
While a crib itself is on the list of nursery essentials, we can’t tell you whether or not the 4-in-1 crib is the best choice for your baby. It depends a lot on what you’re looking for.
But, to help you make the right decision for your family, we will discuss a few things for you to consider before purchasing your little one’s bed. We’ll also share some safety points since your baby’s safety is your top priority as a parent.
The big selling point of the 4-in-1 convertible crib is that it’s the only bed your child will need for, well, a very long time!
That’s a plus, but don’t opt for this type of crib before thinking about exactly how long you want this bed to be around.
The longevity of a 4-in-1 crib is exactly what’s appealing about it, but depending on your family and life situation, you may not want this to be the bed that your child will have when they’re seven or 12 or 15 years old.
You might want to change things up in a few years!
Speaking of longevity, buying a 4-in-1 crib makes you feel like you’re making a one-time purchase, and you’re set for years to come.
While this is mostly true, with this type of crib, you’ll need to buy rails if you want to turn the crib into a full bed or purchase the toddler safety rail for the toddler bed conversion.
This is why it’s important to understand exactly what comes with your 4-in-1 crib and what additional purchases are awaiting you in the years ahead.
Similarly, make sure all the features that you’re looking for are included in the convertible crib that you’re considering.
The Specific Conversions
If you’ve got your eye on a particular 4-in-1 crib, read the product information well to be sure it converts into the types of bed you want. As we mentioned, most 4-in-1 cribs convert from a crib into a toddler bed, day bed, and twin or full bed.
However, some products may convert differently. So, always research the crib you want and ensure that it has the features and conversions that are must-haves for you.
The Right Size
Convertible cribs come in various shapes and sizes, so you’ll need to consider your nursery decor, nursery size, and (once again) how long you want this bed to last. Two of the common sizes for rectangular convertible cribs are mini and standard.
Mini-cribs are space-efficient, but your little one won’t fit on a mini crib mattress for very long! Around two years old (or earlier), your not-so-little one will outgrow this size.
If your goal is to buy one crib and one mattress that will serve you for years to come, we recommend a standard-size convertible crib and mattress.
The Right Mattress
That brings us to the very important topic of crib mattresses. Once you’ve decided what size crib you want, you’ll need a mattress to fit.
A standard crib mattress will fit in a standard size crib and also do the job when you convert to a toddler bed. When you transition the 4-in-1 crib to a twin or full bed, you will, of course, need to get a new mattress.
For more information about crib mattress sizes and how to choose the right one, click here.
A mattress that fits snugly is important for sleep safety, but choosing a safe mattress goes beyond simply finding the right fit.
It’s important to note that one of the basics for sleep safety is for your little one to sleep on a firm sleep surface. This means they snooze on a firm (yet comfy) mattress and never on the couch, a fluffy bed, or pillows and blankets since soft surfaces are a suffocation hazard for infants.
So, no matter what size crib you have, go with a firm but comfortable mattress, like the Newton Baby Crib Mattress.
Our mattress is made without foam, glue, latex, or springs. Instead, the Wovenaire® Core is made of 90% air and 10% yogurt cup material. This also makes the mattress 100% breathable so that when your tiny one rolls over in their sleep, they can breathe straight through.
It’s firm enough for infants and comfy enough for toddlers. Not all decisions about baby products are easy, but this one is a no-brainer.
Finally, ensure that the crib itself is safe! When choosing a 4-in-1 crib, you’ll still need to check for basic crib safety features — just like you would with any crib.
First of all, drop-side rail cribs are a no-go. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends choosing a crib that was made after June 2011, which is when safety standards that ban the making or selling of drop-side rail cribs were put in place.
This is one reason that it’s a good idea to go with a new (not secondhand) crib. Plus, used cribs could have unstable or missing parts.
Another thing to check for when it comes to crib safety is the width of the space between the crib slats. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that slats be no more than 2 ⅜ inches apart. Big gaps are a safety hazard that can be avoided.
In addition, some convertible cribs come with a changing table attached. We recommend against this since the safest location for your baby’s crib is out of reach of other things in the room — that includes curtains, lamps, the changing table, and anything in-between.
Safety isn’t just about gaps in the slats, scrapes, falls, and the like. It also involves choosing products that won’t release toxic chemicals into the air of your home (this is called off-gassing).
Luckily, you don’t have to be a scientist to know which home products are non-toxic and which ones aren’t. Simply go with Greenguard Certified products to rest assured that the items in your baby’s nursery won’t emit questionable chemicals into the air.
You can find cribs and crib mattresses that have this certification.
For example, all Newton Baby products (including the Crib Mattress and Convertible Crib) are Greenguard Gold certified. This means that they are independently tested and certified for low chemical emissions.
Read this article for more information and tips about mattress off-gassing and how to protect your family.
A 4-In-Crib For Years Of Sound Sleep
A 4-in-1 crib may be the right choice for your little one if you’re looking for a bed that will grow with your baby from the infant years all the way into childhood and beyond. To help you decide, take into account the things we listed in this article.
Regardless of which crib you choose, remember to check the crib for safety and opt for a crib mattress (like the Newton Baby Crib Mattress) that is non-toxic, breathable, and firm enough for safe sleep.
If you’re going with the 4-in-1 crib, look forward to years of sound sleep for your little one!