What I Am Looking For In Buying A New Crib

When I was pregnant with our first child, the place we previously lived at was smaller than our home now so space played a large part in our buying decisions as we prepared for our arrival. Our bedroom however, was fairly spacious so we gave no thought on our choice of crib at the time. It was a drop-side crib which as since been recalled so the manufacturer sent us a new one that met the new safety standards. Now that we are in a different home I really wish we would have just bought a different one than what we have now because our current crib is not exactly ideal.

Since our circumstances have changed this is what I would be looking for if I would be buying a new crib sometime soon:

  1. Smaller Footprint – the crib we currently have is 55″ x 31″ and in our room it is just the teensiest bit snug where we have it leaving very little space for me to get around our bed. We have tried rearranging our bedroom multiple times for the most ideal position of the crib but it’s still a tight fit no matter how we fix it. So I would be looking for a full-size crib with slightly lower dimensions if that’s possible.
  2. Multiple Mattress Positions – Some cribs only have two height adjustment options for the crib. I would prefer one that has multiple positions as baby grows so I can drop it down a few notches at a time rather than go from the highest position right to the lowest position. Once baby begins rolling over and sitting up, typically that’s when you start to lower the mattress. However, it makes it very hard to put a younger baby down to sleep without waking them up unless you have unusually long arms.
  3. Convertible to Grow with Child – this wasn’t really necessary for our first child because we knew we would likely be having another one thus I would need the crib again while my first child was still using it. Now that we have our pair (kids, that is), it would be nice to have one that would just grow with our second child to get the most value out of it. As a cost-saving feature also, it would be a bonus if no additional pieces were required to purchase in order to convert it to the toddler/day bed. Some cribs need a conversion kit which you have to buy separately.
  4. Easy to Assemble – since the crib would still be in our room for the time being, then have to be taken down to move it to his own room and yet again as we convert it, a favorable feature is one that isn’t too complicated to assemble and disassemble. Fancier cribs with odd shapes can be a bit tricky to configure so I would look for something plain and simple with minimal pieces to put together. Those odd-shaped cribs generally come with higher price tags anyway.
  5. Within My Budget – baby cribs don’t have to be expensive. Regardless of the price tag, all new cribs must meet *federal safety regulations; even consignment stores are obligated to abide by these safety standards for reselling used cribs. What that means is a crib that costs $2,000 is not any safer than one around $100. Basically you’re just paying for the brand name/design of the crib with the more expensive models. This isn’t for my first baby, obviously so I wouldn’t be looking to splurge on anything fancy. If I were currently buying a new crib I would be looking for something practical and kept under $200.

*For certain items, especially cribs, I also like to check consumer product safety reports on recalls to get the latest safety reports. Before making any big purchase on something that I want to be sure will work for me I check out other reviews and ratings first. I don’t look at the top sellers because this doesn’t necessarily provide an accurate indication of a good product. It simply means those were the ones most frequently purchased. They could have been bought as a gift from someone who doesn’t really take careful consideration at what to look for in a crib. Instead, I look at the ratings because products are given a rating based on how the buyer liked or disliked the product.

The places I seek my reviews are from places I would typically shop at such as Amazon, Babies R Us, and Diapers.com. These are popular retailers I know many moms shop from so chances are I’ll find a good selection of highly rated products for what I’m looking for. Also, I really like using Amazon for comparison shopping because it saves my viewing history, so if I want to go back and look at an item I previously viewed all I have to do is scroll down to viewing history instead of retyping the name or better yet, if I forgot!

My Top 3 Picks for Buying a New Crib

It wasn’t easy, but I managed to narrow down my top 3 favorite picks to decide which option I would go with if I were buying a new crib right now and here they are.

 

1.) Dream On Me Eden 4 in 1 Convertible Crib

Rated 4.2 out of 5 stars

This crib features a 4 in 1 design to go from a standard crib, toddler bed, day bed, and finally converts to a full size bed as a headboard and foot rest. It has 2 mattress height positions and sits at the perfect height for the toddler bed to make it safer for toddlers to climb in and out. It comes with a safety guard rail in the toddler bed stage so there’s no needed conversion kit to purchase. It also comes with the necessary tools needed and instructions for easy assembly.

What’s to love: I wish it had an extra height position for a middle setting, but the crib’s dimensions are to be desired. It is 53 x 30 x 43 inches so it’s a little shorter than our current crib. It’s not much but this would make a difference where it would be in our room. I like the design of it as well. Another factor that drew me to this crib is the price. It is the cheapest out of the three options listed here so it sits very well in my budget coming in at under $140.

What’s not to love: I listed the reasons I like this crib, now to get to the nitty gritty from what other buyers reported to determine if there were any red flags that might deter me from buying:

”A little disappointed. It’s ok but doesn’t seem to be the best quality.”
”Nothing is labeled for assembly so there’s no way of telling which leg is ‘g’ and the pictures in the directions are shoddy.”
”It was easy to put together but one drawback is one of the bolt holes was not cut correctly so we had to come up with an alternative to have the mattress at desired height.”

Based on issues reported about missing instructions it’s hard to determine if this would pose a concern with the crib itself or just a matter of a few incidences where the company simply forgot to include them and label pieces. I’ve assembled and disassembled our crib several times that I think I could probably figure it out. My one concern is if it’s complicated to put together and how many pieces it has (for instance, ours just has the sides, ends, and the spring support to put together.) Reviews were paraphrased for convenience. You can read the full reviews as well as other’s ratings here.

 

2.) Graco Sarah Convertible Crib

Graco sarah classic convertibleRated 4.2 out of 5 stars

Graco is a name brand I’ve come to trust over the years as I have a few of their baby gear products and they generally produce pretty well rated products. This Sarah Classic crib by Graco features the same 4 in 1 design to convert from baby bed to toddler and daybed then to a full size. The mattress platform has 3 adjustable heights as baby grows. There is no guard rail needed to convert, however I wish it did come with a safety guard rail for the toddler stage.

What’s to love: I’m happy with the multiple height positions. It is a little longer than our current crib, but it’s a tad slimmer in width which may make up for the length if we put it a different position that we tried with ours. I really like the design especially in the full size stage as a headboard.

What’s not to love: This particular crib had a better rating on Babies R Us, so I turned to Amazon’s reviews to see what factors other buyers found unfavorable with this crib.

”We ordered this crib based on recommendations, but our first shipment was not packaged correctly. Replacement shipment had scuffs. All issues have been resolved but I wish it didn’t take as much effort to get to this point.”
”The crib came with a lot of scratches and defects.”
”The crib pictured I would call espresso, but the one we received was more like cherry.”

The main concern I found mentioned in reviews overall were based on the condition of the aesthetic appearance of the crib upon receiving it and that it scratches easily. Based on the buyer’s issues and experience it seemed most of them were able to have the problems resolved through the company.

 

3.) Dream On Me 3 in 1 Aden Convertible Mini Crib

mini cribRated 4.3 out of 5 stars

Initially a mini crib is not exactly what I had in mind when buying a new crib because I really wanted one that could grow with my child. However, I came across this convertible mini crib which can go from a baby bed to a toddler bed then a twin size bed. The only difference is that it is slightly smaller so it’s made to convert to a twin size rather than a full size.  Additionally, I would have to end up buying a new mattress and crib sheets as the ones we currently have are for a full size bed which would be too big. I could overlook this factor, however, seeing how the mini crib is cheaper than a standard full-size crib so the cost of a new mattress would probably equal out the same.

What’s to love: The size of the crib would be perfect for the space in our room with dimensions of only 39 x 23 x 36 inches. I also like the fact that it converts to a toddler day bed without the need for a conversion kit. It has 3 mattress height positions and it’s not as high as standard full size cribs which makes it easier to lay baby down in. It looks pretty nice too!

What’s not to love: So those are the positive attributes I could see in this crib and with a pretty good rating. These are a few cons I did discover based on others’ reviews.

”We got the crib and everything looked great out of the box. One problem during assembling was that the holes on each side were off by about 2 inches. Contacted the manufacturer and have yet to hear back. We just drilled new holes which may compromise the cribs structural safety”
”We ordered the espresso crib through a company called WayFair. It looked like a dark brown. We received a reddish colored wood tone instead. The company would not pay for the return shipping even though it listed free shipping and free returns within 90 days.”
”The only complaint I had is that we had to buy a plank of wood to put underneath because mattress sinks in the middle and is not well supported.”

Though the first review pointed out a flaw she experienced in the construction, I read on to find out more on this and came to find that models with the manufacture date marked after May 2012 did not fit together as well as the previously manufactured models.

So which choice did I pick if I were buying a new crib you ask? I chose crib number . . . 2! Based on the criteria I was looking for in a crib and from the reviews the Graco Sarah Classic Convertible Crib was my choice. It has the 3 height adjustments I like, a slightly slimmer design than our current crib and because it doesn’t sit as low to the floor it leaves space underneath the crib for storage. Babies R Us offered a better value with a very fair price just under $140. As for the concerns regarding scratches, since Babies R Us has the better price, I would just pick it up in store (considering it’s in stock) which I could inspect before buying for any nicks or scuffs. Among these three cribs, cosmetic issues were the least of my worries in terms of problems with the crib.

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