Having a child is a life-changing experience, and one which can sometimes feel a little overwhelming; even if it isn’t for the first time! Getting everything ready for the family’s new arrival can feel like a particular struggle – there are so many different things to buy, and they’re all important. One of the most significant decisions you’ll need to make, however, is one which needs to be made before the baby arrives: this is where your infant will sleep.
By far the safest and most common choice for newborns is a crib – a small bed for babies and infants, with barred sides to keep them safe and secure while they’re sleeping. Compared to the alternatives, cribs are the safest way for your baby to rest; but among the wide variety of cribs on the market, there’s an array of choice which can seem off-putting.
Happily, the variety and choice on offer mean that consumers who do their homework have more options – at lower prices – than has previously been the case. Among those options, one in particular stands out as a great choice for parents who are thinking about the long term: this is the convertible crib, which can be converted as the child grows, eventually becoming a full bed. Ultimately, of course, the best crib for you and your child will depend on your particular needs: do your research before you start shopping and you’re much likelier to be pleased with your purchase.
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|Graco Benton 5-in-1 Convertible Crib||56.7” x 29.8” x 42”||9.2 / 10|
|Delta Canton 4-in-1 Crib||54.25” x 43.25” x 35.24”||9.2 / 10|
|DaVinci Jayden 4-in-1 Convertible Crib with Toddler Bed Conversion Kit||58.2″ x 31.2″ x 49″||9.2 / 10|
|Dream On Me Violet 7-in-1 Convertible Life Style Crib||58” x 29” x 39”||9.1 / 10|
|Union 3-in-1 Convertible Crib||53.5” x 30.5” x 33.5”||9 / 10|
|Dream On Me Aden 4-in-1 Convertible Mini Crib||39” x 23” x 36”||8.9 / 10|
|Babyletto Hudson 3-in-1 Convertible Crib with Toddler Bed Conversion Kit||54″ x 29.8″ x 35″||8.8 / 10|
|Thomasville Kids Southern Dunes Lifestyle 4-in-1 Convertible Crib||58” x 31” x 52.8”||8.8 / 10|
|Storkcraft Tuscany 4-in-1 Convertible Crib||54.2” x 33” x 43”||8.8 / 10|
|Graco Freeport 4-in-1 Convertible Crib||55.2” x 22.8” x 42.1”||8.6 / 10|
|DaVinci Jenny Lind 3-in-1 Convertible Crib||54.75” x 30.375” x 41.375”||8.4 / 10|
1. Graco Benton 5-in-1 Convertible Crib
Graco are a well-known and well-trusted manufacturer of baby and infant products: their Benton range of convertible cribs includes this simple yet stylish “5-in-1” model, available in a choice of colors including pebble gray and espresso. It should be said that this is really more of a 4-in-1 convertible crib – Graco aren’t the only company who include the footboard as the 5th variant when counting the options on their model – but these 4 stages will take you from crib to full bed, via a toddler bed and a daybed along the way.
What’s more, this is an exceptionally sturdy and safe crib, with a solid wooden frame and JPMA certification; the gold standard in safety regulations within the USA. As with any convertible crib, some assembly is required, but Graco have included a hex key to make the job easier: when assembled, the Benton 5-in-1 Convertible Crib measures 56.7” x 29.8” x 42”.
- Despite being marketed as a 5-in-1 convertible crib, the Benton is more like a 4-in-1, but that 4-in-1 lets you convert your crib into a toddler bed, a daybed and ultimately a full bed. The fifth variant is the full bed with a headboard, which is included with the crib.
- This is a solid and sturdy convertible crib, with a wooden frame and steel mattress supports improving the item’s longevity. The finish on the Benton is also wipe-clean, making it easy to keep this crib looking good.
- The Benton 5-in-1 Convertible Crib features 3 adjustable mattress height positions, allowing you to adjust your crib to suit you and your baby.
- Graco have included a hex key with the Benton 5-in-1 Convertible Crib, making the process of assembly that much easier.
- This convertible crib has been approved by the JPMA; the highest standard of safety regulation for infant furniture in the USA, which means the Benton is also safe enough for certification by the ASTM and CPSC.
- This Graco convertible crib is available in a choice of 3 colors – white, pebble gray and espresso – so you should be able to find a version that’s a match for your home.
- Price: the Benton 5-in-1 Convertible Crib is available at the lower end of the price scale for convertible cribs, making it a truly budget option which certainly doesn’t feel like one. For the price, this is a solid all-rounder that’s hard to beat; but be aware that the espresso finish is considerably more expensive than the other options.
2. Delta Canton 4-in-1 Crib
Delta Children are an American company who make and sell a wide range of baby and children furniture, and are as famous for their commitment to safety as they are for the high quality of their products. The Canton is a 4-in-1 Crib which can be a crib, toddler bed, daybed or full bed; and it’s available in a choice of colors, including white, grey, browns and black. Delta have gone out of their way to make this a safe and secure crib, achieving the prestigious JPMA safety certification; and it’s easy to assemble,
with Delta also including most of what you’ll need for future conversions straight out of the box. Available a midrange price point, this is a high quality and well-recommended convertible crib that won’t break the bank. The Delta Canton 4-in-1 Crib measures 54.25” x 43.25” x 35.24” when fully assembled.
- This is a 4-in-1 convertible crib which can serve as a crib, toddler bed, daybed or full bed. Unusually, Delta have included most of what you’ll need for most future conversions with the Canton: both a headboard and footboard are included, along with the guard rail for the toddler bed conversion.
- The Canton 4-in-1 Crib is easy to assemble from point of delivery, with a strong and sturdy wooden construction which should last for many years if well cared for.
- This convertible crib has 3 distinct mattress height positions, meaning you can keep your child’s crib easy-to-use and age-appropriate as they grow.
- JPMA certification is the golden standard for safety when it comes to infant furniture, and Delta pulled out all the stops to make sure the Canton achieved it. Safety is always important, and particularly so when young children are concerned, so this is a noteworthy achievement.
- The Canton 4-in-1 Crib is available in a range of colors, including white, gray, espresso cherry, dark chocolate and black. The espresso cherry finish is particularly eye-catching, but there’s enough choice on offer here that you should be able to find something appropriate whatever your home décor.
3. DaVinci Jayden 4-in-1 Convertible Crib with Toddler Bed Conversion Kit
DaVinci Baby have been producing child-safe products for more than 25 years, and their Jayden 4-in-1 Convertible Crib is an attractive piece which has been built and tested to meet the most rigorous safety standards. This convertible crib has been approved by both the ASTM and CPSC, and it’s also got the Greenguard Gold certification, meaning it’s been screened for more than 10,000 different chemicals which pose a risk to children. Safety is number one for DaVinci, but the Jayden has also been designed with an eye to appearance: with simple but attractive curves, the crib holds its eye-catching appearance even after conversion.
Somewhat unusually, DaVinci have even taken the step of including a conversion kit, meaning no further shopping will be required when it’s time to transition to a toddler bed. Available in a range of colors, including chestnut and ebony, the Jayden 4-in-1 Convertible Crib is a beautiful and elegant option which will serve you and your child well for years to come.
- The Jayden 4-in-1 Convertible Crib has been certified safe by both the ASTM and CPSC, meaning it’s guaranteed to be free from a wide range of harmful substances, including latex and lead as well as BPA.
- DaVinci didn’t rest on their laurels with ASTM and CPSC approval, taking the extra step of obtaining Greenguard Gold certification: this involves screening the product for over 10,000 different chemicals, ensuring safety from toxins and pollutants. The crib itself is made from sustainable New Zealand pine, making it an excellent choice for those who want to live more organically.
- This convertible crib can be converted from a crib to a toddler bed, to a daybed, to a full bed. Unlike many manufacturers of infant furniture, DaVinci have taken the welcome step of including the necessary conversion kit with the Jayden.
- The Jayden is a beautiful piece of furniture, with elegant curves that give the crib an almost rustic charm. It’s available in a variety of colors, too, including white, slate, chestnut, espresso and ebony.
- This convertible crib features 4 adjustable mattress positions, making it simple to adjust your crib to your (and your baby’s) needs.
4. Dream On Me Violet 7-in-1 Convertible Life Style Crib
Dream On Me are a family-owned and operated company in the USA, specializing in the manufacture of baby beds and other infant products. The Violet 7-in-1 Convertible Life Style Crib is an attractive piece which is intended to grow alongside your child, transitioning from a crib to a full-sized bed as they mature. 7-in-1 is a slightly ambitious claim, with 2 of the 7 coming from adding a footboard to the bed, but the Violet can realistically claim to be a 5-in-1: from a crib, it can be converted to a toddler bed, daybed, youth bed and full bed. Along with 4 different adjustable mattress positions,
this is one of the most flexible examples of the most flexible style of crib; and what’s most striking about the Violet is that all this versatility comes at such a low price. The Violet 7-in-1 Convertible Life Style Crib is available with an entry-level price tag, but it doesn’t feel like an entry-level product: even its appearance, with interesting asymmetrical curves, speaks of a high-end crib that should probably cost more than it does. Fully assembled, the Violet measures 58” x 29” x 39”; and it’s a simple job to put it together, with Dream On Me including all necessary tools right out of the box.
- This is a 7-in-1 convertible crib if you include beds with footboards as distinct variants, but even if you don’t this is a 5-in-1 crib that offers serious value for money: your Violet crib can become a toddler bed, which can in turn become a daybed, youth bed and finally a full bed. Be aware that although a footboard is included (and can be affixed to both the youth bed and full bed), bed rails will need to be purchased separately.
- The Violet 7-in-1 Convertible Life Style Crib can be adjusted between 4 distinct mattress positions, meaning the mattress can be lowered as your child grows and learns to pull themselves up.
- This convertible crib has been approved by both the ASTM and CPSC, meaning it’s passed a series of rigorous tests designed to ensure the safety of the American consumer and American families.
- The Violet has an interesting and appealing asymmetrical design, with curve-topped sides which break up the otherwise straight lines of the crib. It’s stylish without dominating a room, a look enhanced by its simple and clean wood finish.
- This Dream On Me crib is available in a number of different colors, including white, natural, cherry, espresso, royal blue and black. More than one consumer has reported issues with the darker finishes scratching quite easily, so be aware of this if you opt for one of the brown, blue or black finishes.
- The Violet 7-in-1 Convertible Life Style Crib is easy to assemble, with all necessary tools being packaged along with the product.
- Price: for such a solid and versatile convertible crib, the Violet is available at an entry-level price point, making it well worth consideration by anyone looking to keep their costs down. Even if money is no object, this is a quality convertible crib with an unusual look that’s hard to fault.
5. Union 3-in-1 Convertible Crib
Union aren’t the best-known brand when it comes to infant products, but they’re quickly building a reputation for high-quality items which stand up well against pricier alternatives. Their 3-in-1 Convertible Crib is a Union trademark: inexpensive and simple by design, it’s a well-made piece that does exactly what it sets out to do and does it well. With simple, straight-up sides without curves or embellishment, the 3-in-1 Convertible Crib is made from sustainable New Zealand Pine – an attractive choice that’s also good for the environment.
Its utilitarian design doesn’t mean Union have given up on functionality, either: with 4 adjustable mattress positions, simple out of the box assembly and the option to convert to both a toddler bed and a daybed, this is a well-made piece of furniture which gives you enough versatility to find the best way to use it in your home. When fully assembled as a crib, the Union 3-in-1 Convertible Crib measures 53.5” x 30.5” x 33.5”, and it’s available in a choice of 5 colors: white, gray, espresso, lagoon (blue) and sunshine (yellow).
- With a straightforward but robust design, this Union crib has a utilitarian appearance that sums up the name of Union’s game: affordable, down-to-earth quality.
- A commitment to low-cost quality means you can’t skimp on safety, and Union certainly haven’t done that here: Union’s 3-in-1 Convertible Crib has been signed off on by both the ASTM and CPSC, making it a great choice for parents in any corner of the world.
- This 3-in-1 convertible crib can be converted into a toddler bed and a daybed. Be aware that the Union 3-in-1 Convertible Crib cannot be converted into a full bed, so this model won’t serve you for as long as some of the cribs covered here.
- Made from sustainable New Zealand pine, the Union 3-in-1 Convertible Crib is easy on the eye and easy on the environment.
- With 4 separate adjustable mattress positions, it’s straightforward to set the Union 3-in-1 Convertible Crib up for your home and your baby.
- If you’re concerned about matching your convertible crib with your home decoration, rest easy in the knowledge that this convertible crib is available in 5 different colors: white, gray, espresso, lagoon blue and sunshine yellow.
- Price: this is a budget convertible crib, even if it doesn’t perform like one. It may lack the option for conversion into a full bed, meaning it won’t stay with your child as long as some of the other convertible cribs covered here; but when such a quality product is available at such a low price it’s hard to fault it.
6. Dream On Me Aden 4-in-1 Convertible Mini Crib
Dream On Me are an American company who make and sell infant products, specializing – as their name suggests – in baby beds and cribs. As a family-owned and operated company, they’ve got their finger on the pulse of what parents and children need, and the Aden 4-in-1 Convertible Mini Crib is an inexpensive and space-efficient option that’ll grow with your child all the way through to adulthood. It’s worth noting that this isn’t truly a 4-in-1 convertible crib:
it can be converted to a daybed and from there to a full bed, with a footboard providing the 4th variation. In this way the Aden misses out the toddler bed step which many convertible cribs include, but this shouldn’t be a deal-breaker: the daybed can serve well enough as a toddler bed, meaning this is still a choice worth considering if you’re looking for a crib that’ll keep growing with your child. Available at the lower end of the price range for convertible cribs – impressive, given Dream On Me’s reputation and the uncommon low-footprint design – the Aden 4-in-1 Convertible Mini Crib measures 39” x 23” x 36” when fully assembled.
- This is a 3-in-1 convertible crib which can be converted into a daybed and full bed. It also comes with a footboard which can be affixed to the full bed (providing the advertised 4th variation) should you or your child desire.
- Although it becomes a lot less miniature once converted, the Aden 4-in-1 Convertible Mini Crib is indeed impressively small when initially assembled. Still more than adequate for sleeping a baby, the reduced width of the Aden makes it a great choice for anyone who lives in a small home or has limited space to work with.
- With a robust and sturdy design, the Aden 4-in-1 Convertible Mini Crib is still an attractive piece of furniture, with a smooth glossy finish laid over the top of one of 6 different colors – white, French white (off white), black, cherry, espresso and natural.
- The Aden has been approved by both the ASTM and CPSC, meaning it’s safe for use in the USA and elsewhere. Among other things, the ASTM and CPSC screen for harmful substances and chemicals, including lead, latex and BPA.
- 3 adjustable mattress positions mean you can alter your Aden as your baby grows and learns, keeping it safe and comfortable throughout.
- All tools necessary for assembly are included with the Aden as standard, although some people reported better results using a regular wrench for the base assembly.
- Price: selling at the bottom end of the price scale for convertible cribs, the Aden 4-in-1 Convertible Mini Crib is an all-around impressive product. It looks good, it works, it’s flexible and convertible for the future, and it’s been approved by two different regulatory bodies: to get all that with a budget price tag attached is rare, and an opportunity that’s well worth checking out.
7. Babyletto Hudson 3-in-1 Convertible Crib with Toddler Bed Conversion Kit
Babyletto are a young children’s furniture manufacturer who are quickly growing a reputation for high-quality products which blend safety and style. The Hudson 3-in-1 Convertible Crib, which comes with a toddler bed conversion kit as standard, is an item which perfectly matches the Babyletto design philosophy: it’s approved by both the ATSM and CPSC and also has the prestigious Greenguard Gold certification, but it’s also an impressively stylish piece which will complement and enhance the look of any room.
The look is accomplished by the all-spindle design used in the crib’s sides, including the head and foot: this is a safety feature in itself, as it allows you to see your child from any angle, but it also just looks great and can go in any room. Babyletto are a high-end brand, and this won’t be the choice for you if you know you’d rather stay at the budget end of the scale (where there are several good options). If you’re looking for an attractive piece of furniture which will keep your child safe through their infancy and beyond, the Hudson 3-in-1 Convertible Crib is an option well worth considering.
- The Hudson is a 3-in-1 convertible crib, which can be turned into a toddler bed and a daybed. As you can’t convert it into a full bed this isn’t a crib that’ll stay with your child all the way through to adulthood, which may or may not be an issue for you. It’s worth noting that, unlike many manufacturers, Babyletto have thrown in some extra value for your money by including the toddler bed conversion kit as standard.
- Babyletto are known for their style, and there’s no question that this is an elegant, timeless design. The crib features all-spindle sides, including the crib’s front and back: this means you can see your baby from any angle in the room, but it also works to enhance the overall look of the furniture, adding class and light to any room of your home.
- The 4 adjustable mattress positions you can choose between with the Hudson allows you to use your crib as efficiently and effectively as possible.
- Babyletto are rightly proud that the Hudson – like many of their products – has achieved not just ASTM and CPSC approval but also Greenguard Gold certification. Greenguard Gold means that a product has been tested for the presence of more than 10,000 potentially dangerous chemicals, offering real peace of mind to any parent with a Greenguard Gold crib.
- This attractive piece of furniture is available in a choice of 6 styles: these include plain white, gray, espresso and black, but also combinations of espresso-with-white and gray-with-white.
8. Thomasville Kids Southern Dunes Lifestyle 4-in-1 Convertible Crib
Thomasville Kids are part of the Storkcraft family, who manufacture a wide range of infant and children’s products. The Southern Dunes Lifestyle 4-in-1 Convertible Crib is a beautifully-designed and impressively solid piece of furniture which – according to Thomasville Kids – might the only bed your child will ever need. Looking at the sturdiness and craftsmanship involved in the making of this convertible crib, it’s a believable claim. This isn’t the cheapest option on the market for crib shoppers,
but what you’re paying for is a well-made product that’s been built to last. Steel mattress supports make a big difference to the crib’s longevity, and as your baby grows the Southern Dunes Lifestyle can be converted into a toddler bed, daybed and full bed over time. With approval from the ASTM, CPSC and JPMA, this is a convertible crib you can count on. Available in white, pebble gray and espresso, the Thomasville Kids Southern Dunes Lifestyle 4-in-1 Convertible Crib measures 58” x 31” x 52.8” when assembled.
- This 4-in-1 convertible crib can be converted to a toddler bed, daybed and full bed. If you’re looking for furniture that can grow with your child all the way to adulthood, this Thomasville Kids offering is well worth checking out.
- With 3 adjustable mattress positions, the Southern Dunes Lifestyle 4-in-1 Convertible Crib is simple to adapt to your changing needs as your baby grows.
- The steel mattress supports present in the crib work to ensure that this Thomasville Kids product will stay safe and secure for years to come.
- The Southern Dunes Lifestyle 4-in-1 Convertible Crib has the hard-to-achieve JPMA safety certification, which means it’s also safe enough to pass the regulatory standards of the ASTM and CPSC.
- The Southern Dunes Lifestyle is available in three different color finishes – white, pebble gray and espresso. Be aware that a number of consumers have reported considerable variation in the espresso finish, with actual colors ranging from cherry through to dark brown, so be sure to check the product out in store if you want to make sure it’ll blend into your home.
9. Storkcraft Tuscany 4-in-1 Convertible Crib
Storkcraft are one of the biggest names in children’s furniture, in large part due to a number of acquisitions in recent years (including manufacturing furniture for both Thomasville Kids and Graco, two other well-known brands). With that level of experience and expertise, you should be able to expect quality from a Storkcraft crib; and the Tuscany 4-in-1 Convertible Crib does not disappoint.
Available at a midrange price point, this is a beautiful piece of furniture constructed from sustainable pine wood which meets all safety requirements of the ASTM and CPSC and comes with JPMA certification – the gold standard of safety when it comes to children’s furniture. This is a great choice for anyone concerned about assembly: more than one consumer has reported pleasant surprise at finding clearly labeled parts and instructions inside the packaging, meaning your Tuscany can be ready for baby almost as soon as it arrives. The Tuscany 4-in-1 Convertible Crib measures 54.2” x 33” x 43” when fully assembled, and comes in a choice of colors including cherry and espresso.
- This is a genuinely 4-in-1 convertible crib, being convertible from a crib into a toddler bed, daybed and full bed.
- 3 adjustable mattress positions mean your Tuscany can be adapted as your baby grows and learns to pull itself up, keeping it safe and effective all the way through its lifespan.
- The Tuscany 4-in-1 Convertible Crib is JPMA certified, which means it also meets all standards regulated by the ASTM and CPSC. If you’re looking for a safe convertible crib that’ll stay safe in the future, this Storkcraft offering is hard to beat.
- This Storkcraft crib is available in a choice of 5 colors: white, black, gray, cherry and espresso. Be aware that the darker colors in the Tuscany range have been reported as scratching easily, so take care if you decide on a black or espresso model.
- This is an impressively easy to assemble convertible crib, with parts and separate instructions coming clearly labeled. If you don’t want to spend extra on professional assembly, the Tuscany might be the crib you’ve been looking for.
10. Graco Freeport 4-in-1 Convertible Crib
Graco are a well-known name in children’s furniture, something that has only continued since their partnership with Storkcraft. The Graco brand is perhaps particularly associated with quality products at affordable prices, and the Freeport 4-in-1 Convertible Crib doesn’t do anything to break that mould. This children’s furniture can be bought at an entry-level price,
but in terms of quality and performance it feels anything but: the Freeport boasts a solid construction and a gently appealing design, and can be adjusted between three distinct mattress heights for maximum comfort and usability. This 4-in-1 convertible crib can be converted from a crib into a toddler bed, daybed and full bed, with Graco even taking the welcome extra step of including a headboard as standard. The Graco Freeport 4-in-1 Convertible Crib is available in a range of colors – white, cherry, espresso, pebble gray and black – and measures 55.2” x 22.8” x 42.1” when assembled.
- The Freeport can be converted from a crib into a toddler bed, daybed and full bed. A headboard is included for use with the full bed if desired, but it’s worth noting that guard rails and the full bed frame are not included with the Freeport.
- 3 adjustable mattress positions help you adapt your crib to fit you and your baby, making the Freeport a flexible choice even before it’s time to convert.
- The Freeport 4-in-1 Convertible Crib is JPMA certified, meaning it’s passed the most rigorous test for children’s furniture on the American market. It meets all ASTM and CPSC specifications as standard.
- This Graco convertible crib is available in a choice of 5 different colors – white, cherry, espresso, pebble gray and black – meaning there’s an option to fit in with almost any home décor.
- Price: for such a quality product with such prestigious safety certifications, the Freeport is available at a truly surprising budget price point. Be aware, however, that Graco have not included all of the parts necessary for conversion from a crib, meaning your Freeport will incur additional costs over time.
11. DaVinci Jenny Lind 3-in-1 Convertible Crib
DaVinci are popular manufacturers of a wide range of home furniture, with DaVinci Baby focusing on children’s furniture solutions which meet the DaVinci design objective of affordable style. The Jenny Lind 3-in-1 Convertible Crib is a classic DaVinci piece: vintage-inspired with all-around heirloom-style spindles, this is a convertible crib which will keep baby safe while adding a touch of charm to any room in your home.
It’s one of the more expensive convertible cribs covered here, but the quality and all-round presentation is such that it’s unlikely you’ll feel like you’re overpaying. The Jenny Lind boasts ASTM and CPSC certification as well as bearing the Greenguard Gold stamp of approval, meaning it’s truly free from nasty chemicals. It might only be convertible into a toddler bed and daybed, making it a less-than-perfect choice for anyone who wants a crib that’ll last a whole childhood; but for the duration of its use the Jenny Lind promises to be a comfortable and safe piece of children’s furniture, which will improve the look of any room in your home. The DaVinci Jenny Lind 3-in-1 Convertible Crib measures 54.75” x 30.375” x 41.375” when assembled, and is available in a range of colors, including fog gray and emerald.
- The Jenny Lind has achieved Greenguard Gold certification alongside its approval by both the ASTM and CPSC. It’s been screened for more than 10,000 dangerous chemicals and made from renewable New Zealand pine, making it the perfect choice for parents who want to give their baby a clean start in life.
- This 3-in-1 convertible crib can be turned into a toddler bed and daybed when the time is right. It can’t be converted all the way to an adult bed, so you’ll need to look elsewhere if you know you’ll want that functionality down the road; but otherwise you’re still getting an excellent piece of children’s furniture that’ll last for years.
- DaVinci have gone the extra mile when it comes to usability with the Jenny Lind, including an optional set of caster wheels which can be attached to turn your convertible crib into a portable one. If you know you won’t use them the wheels can stay in their packet, but it’s a nice option to have.
- With 4 adjustable mattress positions, the Jenny Lind can be set up and reset to suit you and your baby.
- This DaVinci convertible crib is available in a wide range of colors: in all, you can choose between fog gray, white, ebony, cherry, sunshine, lagoon and emerald. However your home is decorated, you should be able to find a Jenny Lind to match.
What Are Convertible Cribs?
Convertible cribs are a relatively recent innovation in the children’s furniture market, but they are a development which builds upon more traditional designs. For a long time, the most basic choice faced by people shopping for a crib was that between fixed sides and drop sides. Cribs with fixed sides are stable and secure, but can be awkward to use – lowering a sleeping infant into a fixed crib with high sides is logistically tricky, and getting them out again can prove more difficult still. On the other hand, drop side cribs are much easier to use, but the introduction of moving parts and collapsible sides means they’re a lot less safe than the fixed alternative. Classic drop side cribs are now deemed fundamentally unsafe, and so should be avoided, but drop-gate side cribs (which have a single folding wall) are a safer alternative which are still easier to use than fixed side models.
An increasing number of cribs are now available with attached wheels for increased mobility, introducing a second choice for crib shoppers: portable or static. Portable cribs are appreciated by parents and carers because they fit with the reality of raising children – that as they grow, their needs and routines will change. Being able to move the crib about your home can make a huge difference to childcare, especially at times when sleeping patterns are in flux. Static cribs lack the mobility and versatility of portable models, but there’s always a trade-off: static cribs are simply the safest option, presenting the least risk of anything going wrong. They’re also likely to last the longest, making them most suitable for use by more than one child over time.
Convertible cribs are the most recent style of crib to become widely available on the market, and they’re aiming to strike the same balance between safety and convenience as their competition. Convertible cribs most commonly look like fixed side static cribs when assembled, which would make them a safe and secure but not particularly versatile choice. In fact, convertible cribs are surprisingly flexible: this is because they can be converted as the child gets older, growing as they do to eventually become a full-sized bed. Many convertible cribs can also be converted to one or more intermediate sizes along the way to becoming a full bed: a 4-in-1 convertible crib might become a toddler bed, and then a daybed, before finally transitioning into a full bed. 3-in-1 cribs, meanwhile, can be converted to a daybed on the way to becoming full-sized. Be aware that these conversions will require some amount of labor on your part, although the best-made examples should be straightforward to convert. Convertible cribs may lack the mobility of portable cribs, but they more than make up for this with their increased flexibility, making them a great choice for any parent thinking about their baby’s future.
Why buy a convertible crib?
The basic purpose of any crib is to keep babies and infants safe while sleeping, and it’s something most cribs are very good at. Although both Moses baskets and bedside sleepers have enjoyed periods of popularity as infant sleeping aids, questions have been raised over the safety of both – fixed side cribs, including convertible cribs, are widely held to be the safest option for newborns come bedtime. In the USA, there are a number of organizations involved in monitoring and regulating cribs and other children’s furniture: the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) work to ensure that cribs and other products meet a rigorous minimum safety standard, while the stamp of the Juvenile Product Makers’ Association (JPMA) is the gold standard for infant safety. Among other things, these bodies screen cribs for latex and lead, as well as numerous other chemicals potentially harmful to infants. A stamp of approval from any of these organizations is a good marker of quality and safety, so be on the lookout when shopping for your convertible crib.
There’s more to a crib then keeping baby safe, even if that is its number one priority. If you’re in the market for a new crib, there are a number of reasons to consider going convertible:
- Flexibility. With a convertible crib, you aren’t buying just one item: you’re buying a kit which can be assembled as one item, and later remade into something different. If you go for a 3-in-1 or 4-in-1 convertible crib, you’re buying a kit which can be remade more than once! As most children will have grown out of their baby cribs by the time they reach 2 years of age, this flexibility means you’ll get a lot more time out of your purchase.
- Value for money. Instead of buying a fixed side crib for a baby, a toddler bed for a toddler, and a full bed further down the road, you can make a single investment in a high-quality convertible crib, which will continue paying for itself for many years to come.
- Time. Sure, you’ll have to spend a little bit of time converting the crib into a bed when that day comes, but it’ll almost certainly be less than time than you’d spend actually shopping for a bed. Again, if you choose a 4-in-1 convertible crib, that’s up to three separate shopping trips avoided!
- Durability. Because convertible cribs are built to hold higher weights and larger mattresses than standard fixed side cribs, they tend to be stronger and more robust than the alternatives. As you’ll get many more years of use out of your convertible crib compared to a standard model, this increased durability is a very good thing.
- Continuity. Transitioning from a crib to a toddler bed, or from a toddler bed to a full-sized bed, can be a difficult experience for some children, who prefer the security of familiar spaces. Convertible cribs are a great way to ease children into sleeping on a full bed, providing continuity in terms of both appearance and feel.
Things to consider
If you’ve decided a convertible crib is the right choice for your baby and you, there are a few important things to consider when comparing individual models.
- Safety. Does the crib meet the minimum safety standards for where you live? If you’re in the USA, then the approval of any of the major bodies involved in regulating infant products is a good indicator of safety. The CPSC and ASTM accreditations show that minimum safety standards have been met, while the JPMA stamp is reserved for products which have passed particularly rigorous testing.
- Adjustability. In particular, can the mattress height within the crib be adjusted? Adjustable mattress height is a feature which can be found in all types of crib, and it makes a big difference to usability, especially as your child grows. Lowering a sleeping newborn into a fixed side crib becomes manageable with a raised mattress, which you will then want to lower as your child grows and starts learning how to pull themselves up.
- Materials. Cribs are usually made primarily from wood, but other materials including heavy-duty plastic are available. A wide range of woods and finishes are available, so you should be able to find something to complement your home décor without much difficulty. It’s also worth checking what the mattress supports are made from: metal supports will last much longer than wood, which will make a difference if you plan on using your convertible crib over many years.
- Assembly. Most convertible cribs will require at least some assembly, but some are easier than others. Before you commit to your purchase, make sure you know how much assembly is required, and whether you’ll need to bring in a professional to do it for you, as this will add time and additional expense.
- Design. How has the crib been designed? Ideally, you want a crib with a solid and simple design; which can still look elegant and stylish! Intricate detailing, such as scrollwork, can become a safety or even a choking hazard, so be sure to think about the safety implications of any eye-catching design features.
- Features. A number of cribs, including convertible models, are available with added features, designed to improve the functionality or value for money offered by the product. Some features which may or may not be included with particular models include headboards and footboards, changing tables and storage drawers. Some convertible cribs include everything you’ll need for future conversions with the crib, but others will require you to purchase additional components (usually bed rails) when it’s time to convert. You should also be aware that mattresses are almost always sold separately, so be sure to factor that into your budget when crib shopping.
- Price. Price will always be more important to some people than others, but regardless of your budget it’s good sense to have a clear idea of how much you’d like to spend before you start shopping. Decent entry-level convertible cribs are available for as little as $100 without assembly, with the price pushing into the hundreds for more well-known brands and the thousands for luxury and bespoke models.
Risks and warnings
The safety advice given here relates to shopping for and setting up a convertible crib. Whichever crib you purchase, and whether you assemble it yourself or with professional help, child safety should be kept in mind at all times and all good practice for sleeping babies should be followed.
- The slats on a crib should be no more than 2.375” apart, which is about the width of a soda can. The corner posts should be no more than 0.0625” higher than the sides, and ideally should be completely flush. These are the minimum safety standards upheld by the CPSC, so if the crib has their seal of approval it shouldn’t exceed these spacings.
- Be wary of second-hand cribs. Besides general wear and tear, there’s the fact that safety standards are constantly being re-evaluated, meaning there’s no guarantee that any older model will still meet minimum safety standards. What’s more, if you haven’t assembled the crib yourself or watched a professional do it, you’ll always be taking a gamble on the competence and attention to detail of its previous owner.
- Check, double-check, and check again: are the headboard and footboard secure? Are the corners flush with the sides? Are the mattress supports sturdy? Are there any splinters, or is any paint peeling? If the crib falls down on any of these points, look elsewhere.
- Keep your eyes and ears peeled for product recalls of particular cribs: even with bodies like the CPSC and the JPMA doing good work, faulty products do sometimes slip through the cracks, so be alert in case any problems with your purchase become highlighted elsewhere.
- Mattresses are usually sold separately to cribs, but that doesn’t mean you should shop for them separately. It’s a lot easier to make sure the mattress fits (important for safety as well as comfort) if you buy it at the same time as the crib, and that’s easier to do if you go to compare different models in person. The internet is a great tool for research and shopping, but sometimes there’s no substitute for getting hands on with a product yourself.