How to choose a baby crib

Babies are the most precious thing in the world, and parents want to do everything they can to ensure their safety. That includes choosing a crib that is safe for them. This article will walk you through the process of finding a baby crib that meets your needs based on three things: Safety, comfort, and aesthetics

This guide will cover all of the factors you should consider when buying a new baby crib including how much space you have available in your home, if there are any special features that might be beneficial for your child’s development, what kind of mattress or sheets work best with different types of furniture or flooring in your house, etc. After reading this article you’ll know exactly which type is right for your family.

1. What to look for in a crib

There are five different types of baby cribs available on the market today, which can be divided into two general categories: Fixed-frame or Foldable.

Fixed frame vs. folding

A fixed-frame crib is permanently constructed so it does not fold for storage. These are usually the sturdier option because they are designed to be heirloom pieces that get passed down from generation to generation. The downside is they are not very portable because you need a truck or van to get one home, and then another place to store it when you’re not using it.

A folding crib however is usually made of metal with mesh sides that collapse on themselves for easy transportation. They may be sturdier than a typical pack-and-play, but they are not as durable or safe when compared to an heirloom quality crib.

Whether you choose a fixed or folding crib will depend on your needs. If you have the ability to haul the piece of furniture home in your car then it may be worth looking into buying a beautiful wooden crib that will last you many years to come. If not, then a foldable crib may be the better option because you can easily store it when it’s not being used.

Size of the room

The first thing you need to consider before buying a baby crib is how much space you have available in your home. You’ll want to measure the space where you want the crib set up before heading out to buy one so that you know exactly how much room it will take up.

Some spaces are better suited for a fixed frame while others are perfect for a folding model. If your home is crowded with furniture and little floor space, then choosing a pack-and-play may be better for you.

Comfort and safety

Another thing to consider when buying a baby crib is how comfortable it will be, and if there are any special features that might make the sleeping environment safer for your child.

One of the most important things you should look for in a crib is an adjustable mattress leveller, which makes it easy to adjust as your baby grows out of the crib. Without a mattress leveller, your child will be sleeping on a very sloped surface that could cause serious health problems down the road.

Some other things you should look for in a new baby crib are

  • -Canopy or mesh walls – provide shade from brightlights and allow parents to look in on their child without entering the space
  • -Nursery rails – should be no more than 2 3/8 inches (6 cm) apart (to prevent head entrapment and other injuries to newborns and infants)
  • -A mattress with firm support, which is covered by a fitted sheet
  • -Mattress support – crib slats shouldn’t be more than 2 3/8 inches (6 cm) apart, or else your baby could become entrapped by the mattress
  • -Space between the slats to allow proper air circulation
  • -Color, style and design that appeals to you (after all you are the one that will be seeing it every day!)

2. Things to avoid when selecting a crib

There are certain things you should avoid when selecting a baby crib to ensure that your child is safe while sleeping in it. Here is what not to buy:

  • -Cribs with drop-side rail construction, also known as ‘lateral lock’ – this has been banned by the CPSC because they can lead to suffocation or strangulation.
  • -Cribs made before 1981 – these were built using lead paint and repainting or refinishing them can cause lead to become airborne, which is hazardous for children. (NOTE: if you repaint your baby’s crib, please ensure that you use baby-safe paints)
  • -Used cribs (without a safety certification) – older models may not include safety features like newer ones do, like restraints, thicker gauges of wire, and non-toxic coatings.
  • -Cribs manufactured without a safety certification from ASTM, JPMA, or another trusted organization – look for a label that says “Meets all current CPSC safety standards”

3. The different types of baby cribs available

The primary three types of baby crib are the standard type, portable cribs and convertible cribs that transform into toddler beds as the child grows.

You can see our recommended choices of crib in each of these categories here.


Choosing a baby crib can be difficult because there are so many factors to consider. Whether you need space, comfort, safety or aesthetics, we hope this article has given you some insight into what might work best for your family and budget. If you’re looking for more information on specific brands and models available then please check out our crib recommendations.