A new addition is on its way for your family, but you might not have a ton of space in your home to create the perfect nursery.
A mini crib is something to consider if you would like a space for your baby to lay their sweet, sleepyhead but you don’t have space for or a need for a full-size crib.
When most parents think of sleeping arrangements for their newborn babies they either think of a fully set-up nursery with a large crib or co-sleeping options like a bassinet or side-sleeper. But mini cribs, which are markedly less popular, offer an alternative to parents. They look like traditional cribs and can often convert to larger beds as your child grows, but they are often able to fit inside a parent’s bedroom for safe co-sleeping options. It is kind of the best of both worlds!
What is a Mini Crib?
A mini crib looks much like a standard-sized crib but, well, a miniature version. A standard crib often sits at 28 inches in width and 52 inches in length, while a mini crib sits at about 32 inches in length (they are usually about the same height and width, though). That means that a mini crib saves about 20 inches in length compared to that of a standard-sized crib.
Many mini cribs are also able to convert to different types of beds as your child grows. Some can convert to a mini-toddler bed (with just the front railing taken off), a daybed (a twin-sized bed with a small front railing for safety, or a regular twin-bed with the back of the mini crib serving as a headboard. Like standard-sized cribs, you can convert your child’s crib to these different style beds using a converter kit. Converter kits are often an additional and separate purchase.
Mini cribs also have the ability to adjust the mattress height as your child gets older and learns how to sit and stand. The crib will start off at the highest point, and then you can lower one, two, or sometimes even three additional times, depending on the crib as your child develops their motor skills. This is the same for standard-sized cribs.
So if mini cribs and standard-sized cribs are so similar, why would you opt for the smaller size?
Reasons for a Mini Crib Instead Of A Full-Size Crib
There are many reasons a family might choose a mini crib over a full-sized standard crib. For many co-sleeping families, a crib seems unnecessary. But a mini crib offers a place for your little one to safely nap during the day while you tend to other children or other things around the home and gives them a safe place to sleep at night when you begin the transition to sleeping in their own beds. For those families who originally considered a full-size standard crib, a mini crib takes up less space and offers a more practical transition to regular beds than a standard crib.
Here are some reasons you might want to consider a mini crib over a full-size crib or no crib at all:
- A mini crib saves space. A mini crib is, on average, 20 inches shorter than a full-size standard crib. If you live in a small space like an apartment, a mini crib is a great alternative to a standard-sized crib.
- Mini cribs are cheaper than a full-size crib. Mini cribs usually run anywhere from $150 to $300 while full-size cribs can run from $450 to $2,000.
- Sometimes mini cribs are portable. Some mini cribs come on wheels so you can move it to different locations in your home. This way you can keep an eye on your little one as they sleep or even give them a safe place to play while you’re cooking or cleaning. Some mini cribs can even be folded down when not in use, which makes them great for traveling or for those who only need one occasionally.
- Mini cribs more easily fit in your room. Mini cribs are easier to fit inside a parent’s room if you are co-sleeping compared to a large standard crib.
- Mini cribs are a great option for parents of multiples. Expecting twins, triplets, or maybe even more? Mini cribs are a great option for parents who have multiples on the way as they save space and money.
- Mini cribs are great for sharing rooms. If you plan to have siblings share a room, a mini crib is a great option as it takes up less space compared to a full-size crib.
- Mini cribs last several years. Unlike a bassinet that only lasts for about 4 to 6 months, a mini crib can last as long as a standard-sized crib since many of them convert up to twin beds as your child grows.
- The transition makes more sense with a mini crib. Standard-size cribs transition to toddler beds but then they jump all the way up to full-size beds. Mini cribs, however, the transition to twin size beds which is easier for many children size it is not such a big jump from their toddler bed.
What Safety Standards to Check for in a Mini Crib
As with all of your baby gear purchases, you should do your due diligence to ensure that the mini crib you choose for your little one meets all safety standards including:
- For the United States- Consumer Product Safety Commission standards
- Internationally- American Society for Testing and Materials standards
- GREENGUARD Gold Certified- Products that are GREENGUARD Gold certified have been tested for 360 VOCs and over 10,000 other elements for chemical toxicity and deemed safe for use.
- Non-toxic finishes- All cribs should be tested for lead and other toxic elements in the finish.
Accessories for a Mini Crib
If you do decide to get a mini crib for your family, there are some additional accessories you may want to consider getting:
- A safe mattress– Some mini cribs come with mattresses but they are not often the highest quality. You will want to pick a mattress for your little one that has been tested for safety standards including toxic chemicals and VOCs, as well as made from organic materials. Your best bet is to choose one that is GREENGUARD Gold certified like this Davinci Complt Slumber Waterproof Mini Crib Mattress.
- Organic cotton sheets– Soft, hypoallergenic sheets are best for a baby’s sensitive skin. These ones by Pickle & Pumpkin not only have sweet designs but are also safe for your little one to sleep on.
- Swaddles- The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends swaddling for newborns as it has been found to help prevent SIDS. These organic cotton swaddle blankets from Bunny Palm are cute, soft, and sweet.
- Noise Machine- A noise machine isn’t part of a mini crib, but the white noise is highly recommended among seasoned parents to help soothe your little one and help them feel as if they are once again in the womb. We love this Hatch Rest model, as it grows with your kiddos too. Perfect for when they’re toddlers and learning when to go to bed and get up on their own!
- Mesh, breathable bumper guard– A breathable mesh bumper guard is not only safe to have in the crib but it also keeps your little one from bumping their body or getting stuck once they start rolling around.
Remember to never put any additional pillows, blankets, or toys in the crib with your baby as it is a hazard for suffocation.
Related: Sleep Safety Checklist
Mini Cribs You Should Consider When Shopping
The choice you make for you mini crib will probably come down to personal style and functionality. Here are some of our favorites given current style trends and different unique functions that make parenting a little easier.
This Aden Mini Crib from Dream on Me is a great crib for a smaller space. The mattress height is adjustable into three different heights for newborns, infant, and toddler use. The solid pine wood finish comes in white, black, oak, cheery, and natural wood so it will easily fit in with your personal style. The crib can convert to a daybed as your baby grows into a toddler, and then to a twin size bed once they become a big kid. The Aden can hold up to 50 pounds and is only 39” in length, 28” in width, and 37 inches in height. It meets or exceeds all federal, CPSC, ASTM standards and has been tested for lead and other toxic elements, ensuring that your little one will be safe when using this mini crib.
This solid pine wood mini crib from Dream on Me has a sophisticated design that many parents will love. The mattress level can be adjusted to three different heights, making it easier for moms and dads to gently place their baby down and helping to keep their little ones safe as they get more mobile. It comes in a variety of finishes like black, white, natural oak, and cherry so it will fit into your personal style easily. It has been tested for lead and other toxic elements, and meets or exceeds government, ASTM, and CPSC safety standards.
This portable and folding mini crib from Delta is a great option for traveling, small spaces, or if you don’t need it out all the time. It is sturdy and stable when assembled but it can also fold flat for easy travel and storage. Even the included mattress can stay in place when the crib is folded up. The Delta Portable Mini Crib is also on wheels, so it can easily be moved to different locations within your home if needed. It is JPMA-certified and meets or exceeds all safety standards set by the CPSC and ASTM. It has been tested for lead and other toxic elements as well. It is only 39 inches in length, 25 inches in width, and 37.25 inches in height, making it a great option for a small space.
The Davinci Kalani Mini Crib can be converted into four different modes to save you time, space, and money. It can go from a crib to a mini toddler bed to a day bed to a regular twin-sized bed. It is made from solid and sustainably sourced New Zealand pine wood, which is TSCA compliant and means that it is high-quality wood rated for safety. The mattress is able to be adjusted into four different positions as your baby grows and develops. It is built to withstand active toddlers (hello jumping and climbing out of the crib attempts) but also saves you space with its smaller size. The Davinci Kalani is also Greenguard Gold certified, meaning that it has been tested for over 10,000 chemicals. Using a crib like the Davinci Kalani that is Greenguard Gold certified can help improve air quality and create a healthier environment for your baby to sleep in. The finish is painted with a non-toxic multi-step painting process that is lead and phthalate-free. It also exceeds all ASTM and CPSC standards.
This convertible crib by Delta is convenient for parents because not only is it smaller than a standard crib, coming in at 41.25 inches wide, 25.75 inches in length, and 38.25 inches in height, it also comes with its own mattress. The mattress can be adjusted into two different heights to help keep your baby safe as they learn to sit up and stand. The finish comes in grey, white, and dark chocolate so you can choose the one that best first your personal style. The Emery Convertible Crib can transition from a crib to a twin size headboard and frame, saving you money from buying additional beds as your baby gets older. It is also JPMA-certified and meets or exceeds all standards set by the CPSC and ASTM. It has also been tested for lead and other toxic elements, ensuring that it is safe for your little one.
The Babyletto Origami Mini Portable Crib is a great option to help you save space as well as keep your baby close by you wherever you are. The crib measures out at 37 inches in length and 23.875 inches in height, making it one of the smaller mini cribs on the market. However, it can hold up to 149 pounds, making it a great option for kids even as they get bigger. It has been made with sustainably sourced New Zealand Pine Wood and is TSCA complainant for wood engineering. It has been tested for lead and phthalates and has a non-toxic finish. It is also Greenguard Gold certified meaning that it has been tested for 360 VOCs and over 10,000 other chemicals. It meets or exceeds all standards set forth by ASTM and CPSC.
This Casco mini crib from Dream on Me is unique in that it has a detachable changing table and drawers that help parents save even more space by having a place to put their little one’s clothes (which, let’s be honest- in the beginning, they don’t need too much!). The Casco Mini Crib comes with a 1-inch thick changing pad and has a three mattress height adjustable system so parents can ensure their babies are safe in the crib even as they learn to sit and stand. The crib has been tested for lead and other toxic elements, and meets or exceeds all ASTM and CPSC safety standards. The Casco can also convert to a day bed and then to a twin bed as the child grows and gets older.
This stylish mini crib from Davinci has a classic and regal style that fits well in any home. It comes in a grey, white, cherry, oak, or pink finish to meet your personal style and has been tested to ensure that it is non-toxic, lead, and phthalate safe. It comes with a 1-inch waterproof pad for overnight accidents and the mattress can be adjusted into four different positions to ensure your little one’s safety as they grow and develop their sitting and standing skills. This crib is a 4-in-1 convertible mini crib that offers a transition from a mini crib to a mini toddler bed to a day bed to a twin-sized bed. The Davinci Autumn mini crib is also Greenguard Gold Certified, which means it has been screened for 360 VOCs and over 10,000 chemicals, and it meets ASTM international and U.S. CPSC safety standards.
There are different types of parents out there. Some that think they don’t need a crib at all and those that feel they need a full-sized crib. A mini crib is a great compromise for both camps, as a mini crib not only saves space and money for those considering a full-size crib, but it also offers a place for co-sleepers to set their baby down for a nap or when they have other children to tend to. Choosing the right mini crib means looking for one that meets safety standards as well as one that fits your space, your personal style, and meets your needs.
Photo: Dasha Petrenko/Shutterstock
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