how do i choose a crib for my newborn
how do i choose a crib for my newborn

Finding the perfect crib for your newborn can be an exciting yet overwhelming task. With so many options available, it’s important to consider various factors that will ensure a safe and comfortable sleeping environment for your little one. From the mattress firmness to the crib’s design and safety features, navigating through these choices can seem daunting. However, fear not! In this article, we will guide you through the process of selecting the ideal crib for your newborn, giving you the confidence and peace of mind that you are making the best choice for your precious bundle of joy.

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Crib

When it comes to choosing a crib for your newborn, there are several factors that you should take into consideration. This article will guide you through each aspect, ensuring that you make an informed decision that best suits the needs of your baby and your family.


Safety should be the top priority when selecting a crib for your baby. Look for cribs that meet the highest safety standards and certifications. One of the most important certifications to look for is the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association (JPMA) certification. This indicates that the crib has undergone rigorous testing for safety compliance. Additionally, check if the crib meets the standards set by ASTM International and follows the guidelines provided by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).

Size and Style

Consider the size and style of the crib. Standard cribs are the most common choice and are suitable for most nurseries. However, if you have limited space, a mini crib or a portable crib might be a better option. It’s important to ensure that the crib fits well in the designated space without compromising comfort or convenience.

Convertible or Traditional

Decide whether you want a convertible crib or a traditional crib. Convertible cribs can be adjusted to accommodate your child’s growth. They can be converted into toddler beds or even full-sized beds, offering long-term use and value. On the other hand, traditional cribs are simple and straightforward, perfect for those who prefer a more traditional approach.


Consider your budget when choosing a crib. It’s essential to set a budget that you’re comfortable with. Remember, a crib is an investment in your child’s safety and comfort, so it’s worth allocating a reasonable amount of your budget. Compare prices and features to find the best balance between cost and quality.

Mattress Fit

Ensure that the crib you choose fits the standard size mattress snugly. Gaps between the mattress and crib can pose a safety risk to your baby. Measure the interior dimensions of the crib and check the recommended mattress size before making a purchase.

Ease of Assembly

Consider the ease of assembly when choosing a crib. Look for cribs that come with detailed instructions and necessary tools for easy and hassle-free assembly. Check customer reviews or recommendations from friends and family to determine how user-friendly a particular crib is in terms of assembly.

Materials Used

Evaluate the materials used in the construction of the crib. Opt for cribs made from sturdy and durable materials that are built to withstand the test of time. Wooden cribs are a popular choice due to their classic and timeless appeal. Additionally, consider the finish of the crib to ensure that it is non-toxic and safe for your baby.


If you often travel or plan to move the crib around the house, consider a portable crib. Portable cribs are lightweight, foldable, and easy to transport. They provide the flexibility to keep your baby close to you at all times, even when you’re on the go.

Height Adjustability

Some cribs offer height adjustability, allowing you to lower the mattress as your baby grows. This feature can be especially useful for parents who want to minimize back strain when lifting their baby in and out of the crib.

Design Options

Lastly, consider the design options available. There is a wide variety of crib designs to choose from, ranging from traditional to modern styles. Consider the aesthetics of your nursery and your personal preferences when selecting a crib that complements the overall design of the room.

Safety Standards and Certifications

Ensuring the safety of your newborn is paramount. Look for cribs that have been certified by reputable organizations such as the JPMA. The JPMA certification guarantees that the crib meets or exceeds the safety standards set by industry experts. Additionally, check if the crib complies with the ASTM International standards and follows the guidelines provided by the CPSC.

Types of Cribs

Understanding the different types of cribs available can help you make an informed decision based on your specific needs and preferences.

Standard Crib

Standard cribs are the most common type of crib available. They typically have fixed sides and a standard size mattress. Standard cribs are known for their durability and long-term use.

Convertible Crib

Convertible cribs are a popular choice among parents looking for long-term value. These cribs can be adjusted to accommodate your growing child. They usually have an adjustable mattress height and can be converted into toddler beds, daybeds, or even full-sized beds.

Portable Crib

As the name suggests, portable cribs are designed for easy transportation. They are lightweight, foldable, and convenient for families on the go. Portable cribs are ideal for travel or for keeping your baby close no matter where you are in the house.

Multipurpose Crib

Multipurpose cribs offer additional functionality beyond being a regular crib. These cribs often come with built-in storage drawers or changing tables, maximizing the space in your nursery and providing added convenience.

Mini Crib

Mini cribs are a great choice for those with limited space. They are smaller than standard cribs, making them ideal for small nurseries or shared bedrooms. Despite their compact size, mini cribs still provide a safe and comfortable sleeping space for your baby.

Mattress Considerations

Choosing the right mattress for your baby’s crib is essential for their comfort and support. Consider the following factors when selecting a mattress:

Firmness and Support

Ensure that the mattress provides adequate support for your baby’s growing body. A firm mattress is recommended to reduce the risk of suffocation or Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).

Size and Fit

Select a mattress that fits the crib perfectly, leaving no gaps between the mattress and the crib’s sides. The size of the mattress should correspond to the interior dimensions of the crib to ensure your baby’s safety.

Waterproof Cover

A waterproof cover is a practical addition to your baby’s mattress. It helps protect the mattress from spills, diaper leaks, or any other accidents, making it easier to clean and maintain.

Ease of Cleaning

Consider the ease of cleaning when choosing a mattress. Look for mattresses with removable, machine-washable covers for convenient cleaning and maintenance.

Budgeting for a Crib

Setting a budget for your crib purchase is crucial to ensure you find a crib that meets your needs without overspending. Consider the following aspects when budgeting for a crib:

Setting a Budget

Determine how much you are comfortable spending on a crib. This will help narrow down your options and focus on cribs within your price range.

Cost vs. Quality

While it may be tempting to opt for the cheapest crib available, it’s important to balance cost with quality. Investing in a crib made from high-quality materials and meeting safety standards will provide long-term durability and peace of mind.

Long-Term Use and Value

Consider the long-term value of the crib. Convertible cribs may have a higher upfront cost, but their ability to grow with your child offers long-term value and eliminates the need for additional purchases in the future.

Choosing the Right Size

When selecting a crib, it’s crucial to consider the size in relation to the available space and the layout of the nursery. Consider the following factors:

Standard Crib Dimensions

Standard cribs have specific dimensions that may not fit in all rooms. Measure the available space in your nursery and ensure that the crib you choose fits well without overcrowding the room.

Room Size and Layout

Take into account the overall size and layout of your nursery. If you have limited space, consider opting for a mini crib or a portable crib, as they require less space and offer more flexibility.

Modular and Adjustable Crib Designs

Some cribs come with modular or adjustable designs, allowing you to customize the crib to fit your space. These cribs can be a perfect solution if you need extra flexibility in arranging your nursery.

Convertible or Traditional? Choosing the Best for Your Needs

Choosing between a convertible crib and a traditional crib depends on your personal preferences and needs. Consider the following:

Convertible Cribs

Convertible cribs offer versatility and long-term value. They can be adjusted to different configurations, growing with your child from infancy to their teenage years. While they may have a higher upfront cost, they eliminate the need for purchasing additional beds in the future.

Traditional Cribs

Traditional cribs are simple and straightforward, typically offering a stationary design. They are less expensive compared to convertible cribs and are suitable for those who prefer a more traditional approach.

Assembly and Installation

Consider the ease of assembly and installation when choosing a crib. Look for cribs that come with clear instructions and all the necessary tools for a hassle-free assembly. Check customer reviews or seek recommendations to ensure that the crib you choose is user-friendly.

Materials and Sustainability

The materials used in the construction of the crib can impact its durability, safety, and environmental impact. Consider the following:

Wood Types and Finishes

Wooden cribs are a popular choice due to their durability and classic appeal. Look for cribs made from solid wood, such as pine or hardwoods. Additionally, consider the finish used on the crib and ensure it is non-toxic and safe for your baby.

Non-Toxic and Eco-Friendly Options

If sustainability is a priority for you, look for cribs made from eco-friendly materials. Some cribs are made from sustainably sourced wood or use non-toxic finishes and paints.

Recycled and Sustainable Materials

Certain manufacturers offer cribs made from recycled or sustainable materials, reducing the environmental impact of your purchase. Consider these options if you want to make an eco-conscious choice for your baby.


Choosing the right crib for your newborn is a significant decision that involves considering various factors such as safety, size, style, budget, and sustainability. By taking into account these factors and carefully evaluating the available options, you can find a crib that ensures the safety, comfort, and well-being of your little one. Remember, a well-chosen crib provides a cozy and secure space for your baby to rest, grow, and create countless precious memories.

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Melissa Patterson
I'm Melissa Patterson, the co-founder of I'm a mother of two and a passionate writer who loves to share my knowledge and experience with other moms. I'm dedicated to helping busy moms navigate the often-overwhelming journey of parenting and motherhood. My goal is to provide practical tips, advice, and resources that make parenting easier and more enjoyable. I'm also a strong advocate for self-care and mental health and am passionate about helping moms find balance in their lives. I'm always looking for new ways to support moms and make their lives easier.