Best Mini Cribs & Mattress for 2018

When you initially learned you were expecting your first child, regardless of whether it was a pregnancy or an adoption, your immediate thoughts were undoubtedly what you should do next. You probably jumped up and down, squealed, and/or ran around the room. Perhaps you stopped and panicked for a moment.

Then, you probably jumped up and down, squealed, and/or ran around the room again.  The pattern possibly repeated several times. Next, maybe, you went over names, a discussion that really only remains serious for about thirty minutes. If you are expecting a second or third or even higher number child, you no doubt repeated the same pattern.

Planning for a baby’s arrival is an exciting time. There is, however, a lot you must plan and contemplate. You need to consider daycare options, research maternity and paternity leave benefits, research insurance policies, arrange a pediatrician, and decide whether you want to nurse or use formula.  And, that’s just some of matters that need deciding.

You also must prepare the nursery and make a list of the supplies you’ll need. Babies certainly require lots of supplies. Friends and/or relatives, perhaps even co-workers, will host a baby shower for some of you and you should register the items you’d like to use to decorate nursery and the supplies you anticipate needing at a baby registry.  It will make it easier for your loved ones to select gifts.

Etiquette and tradition once dictated that a baby shower was only for the first child so that the new parents would be well prepared.  Nowadays it’s common to celebrate later pregnancies and adoptions with smaller festivities. The expectation of a baby, regardless of when, is a happy occasion and people like commemorating it, so why not?  It’s nice to have something to celebrate.

Such occasions are often called “Baby Sprinkles.” Guests at Baby Sprinkles usually bring supplies (diapers, wipes, clothes, binkies), DVDs, frames, albums, or books, rather than the larger sized items the couple presumably already owns.

As the years have passed, the necessities, supplies, and rules regarding babies and their care evolved. The stroller used to be a sort of bassinet on wheels in which the baby laid in. Now, there are a variety of strollers that handle multiple babies, have separate carriers that are also car seats, and some are even made for jogging.

Decades ago, mothers held babies on their laps, but now we have car seats that accommodate children until they are around eight-years-old. Monitors evolved from simple listening devices to visual screens that let you watch your baby’s every move; formulas are now milk, soy, and almond milk based; nipples are either slow and fast, large and small, or designed to most closely match the human nipple; you treat diaper rash with either an ointment, cream, or powder; and, the diaper you select is either a Swaddler, Cruiser, Baby Dry, Natural, or Snug & Dry (just to name a few).

It’s great to have so much variety.  And, we’ve all essentially become used to it.  We can choose the item we want based upon what makes sense to us.  There was one item in particular that really never changed all that much.  It was an item everyone needed. The crib.

More: Best Nightlight For Babies

Finding the Best Mini Cribs

The crib is such a significant purchase. It’s the nursery’s focal point and the place your baby will spend most of his or her day. Parents think a crib should only be pretty, but there are certain considerations they should keep in mind when selecting the best one.

Nowadays, there are numerous styles, so which do you choose?  Here are some of those considerations you should keep in mind:

  • Safety: this is the first and most important consideration. Here are some of the safety concerns you might want to keep in mind when making your selection:
  • Adhere to the Directions: if you purchase a crib that requires assembling, make sure you closely follow the directions.  Don’t overlook a step or take shortcuts. It could cause your baby harm.
  • Make Sure it’s Certified: Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) certifies satisfy certain safety standards.  An unsafe crib could seriously harm a child. If there’s no CPSC certification on a crib, walk on by.
  • Avoid the Drop Side: CPSC won’t certify cribs with drop sides anymore.  Such once allowed easier access to baby, but it was also connected to more than thirty-five infant deaths.
  • Know the Other Certifications:  in addition to CPSC, there are other safety associations that examine the safety. Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association (JPMA) utilizes a five-step method that exceeds state and federal conditions. The American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) is a non-profit group that checks products.  Essentially, a crib that’s JPMA certified is terrific. If it’s ASTM and CPSC certified, it’s very good.
  • Don’t Add: only use the firm mattress that comes with the crib.  Never use a soft mattress. Soft mattresses conform to babies’ faces and increase the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) and suffocation.  .
  • With that in Mind: don’t also use pillows or bulky blankets.  An infant doesn’t have muscle control. If they roll over onto a pillow or thick blanket, they could suffocate.  If you think your baby might get cold, dress him or her in warm sleepwear.
  • Check the Spaces:  after adding the mattress, check the space between the crib bars.  It shouldn’t be wider than two-fingers otherwise your baby could get injured and/or stuck.
  • Placement: situate the crib away from blinds, curtains, and cords.  A baby can easily become entangled, which could lead to strangulation and injury.
  • Once Over:  once you’ve assembled and placed the crib, give it a good once over. Check for loose items and material, sharp edges, bulging screws, flaws, or anything that could injury your baby.
  • Size: measure: Cribs come in a range of sizes so be sure to get one that fits your needs – literally.
  • Color: if you know your baby’s gender, you can select a matching color.  If not, you might want to go with a neutral color. If you expect to have other children, you may want to neutral so you can reuse the crib. Don’t, though, reuse a crib that’s more than ten years old.  Safety features have been updated.
  • Avoid Used: if at all possible, purchase a new crib, rather than a used one.  As mentioned, older models may not satisfy present-day safety standards or could be shoddy.

Best Mini Cribs

Mini/portable cribs tend to either focus more on size and portability.  If you’ve decided it’s the crib for you, it would be good to consider which feature is most important to you.  Some also have additional features that might also be helpful. The most popular ones are as follows:

1. Babyletto Origami Mini Crib

Babyletto Origami Mini Crib

This durable, lightweight, pine wood mini crib has wheels, a one-inch mattress, and easily folds for travel and storage.  It comes in black, blue, and white and meets ASTM and CPSC Safety Standards. Most purchasers liked the look and quality and enjoyed being able to collapse it and move it about.  Some complained that it was highly priced and difficult to assemble.

2. Dream on Me Four in One Aden Convertible Mini Crib

Convertible Mini Crib

This solid, durable mini crib meets ASTM standards, exceeds CPSC Safety standards, and satisfies JPMA standards.  It comes in black, cherry, espresso, grey, natural, white, and French White. With additional purchases, it can convert into a daybed or twin bed and follow your baby all the way from childhood until adulthood.   Most users gave the crib great reviews, especially for looks and value. Complaints concerned issues with conversion.

3. Delta Children Portable Mini Crib

Delta Children Portable Mini Crib

This sturdy and sold mini crib surpasses ASTM and CPSC standards and is JPMA certified.  It’s foldable, has wheels, and comes with one inch, two position mattress that supports and adapts to your developing baby.  It’s available in white, cherry, and natural. Users were pleased with their purchase. The few who didn’t focus on issues regarding the paint.

4. DaVinci Kalani 2-in-1 Mini Crib and Twin Bed

DaVinci Kalani 2-in-1 Mini Crib

This mini crib has an easy reach (i.e. it’s easy to reach your baby), a one-inch waterproof mattress, and two modifiable mattress positions.  It comes in black, chestnut, ebony, espresso, white, and grey and meets ASTM and CPSC safety standards. With additional purchases, it converts into a twin bed.  Purchasers were pleased with the crib and there were a few random complaints.

5. DaVinci Mini Alpha Rocking Crib

Mini Rocking Crib

This mini crib comes with wheels, with which you can move it around.  If you take them off, you can rock it and lull your baby to sleep. It’s available in black, chestnut, ebony, espresso, white, and grey, comes with a one-inch waterproof pad, and satisfies ASTM and CPSC safety standards.  This was a well-liked crib. It had the highest percentage of positive reviews. Very few didn’t like it and negative complaints concerned color and delivery issues.

6. Bloom Alma Mini Urban Mini Folding Crib Frame

Bloom Alma Mini Urban Crib

This is actually a bassinet that you can use as mini-crib and comfortably accommodates a baby up to one year old or older, depending on size.  It’s easy to assemble, folds for easy transport and storage, and comes in green, coconut white, and cappuccino. Most of those who purchased this item were very pleased.  Negative reviews concerned size, color, and delivery issues. One review claimed that this item met “globally recognized safety standards and norms,” but that was all that could be verified regarding safety standards.  To be fully sure and do not prejudice the product, if you are interested in it, check the package or contact the manufacturer and ask about its safety standards.

7. Union 3-in-1 Convertible Crib

Union 2-in-1 Convertible Crib

This convertible crib meets ASTM and CPSC safety standards and is JPMA certified.  With separate purchases, it can convert into a bed that can accommodate your child through the teenage years.  It’s easy to assemble and comes in white, grey, espresso, and sunshine (pastel yellow). This crib received extremely high marks for satisfaction and value.  The few negative remarks regarded finish issues and smell.

8. Babyletto Hudson 3-in-1 Convertible Crib

Toddler Bed

This mini crib comes with a kit that lets you convert it into a toddler and daybed as your baby matures.  It comes in white, gray, gray/white, natural, white/natural, espresso, espresso/white, and slate. It also meets CSPC and ASTM safety standards.  The crib received high marks from most all those who purchased it. Few had negative comments. Those who did note cosmetic concerns.

Selecting a Mattresses

The crib you select may or may not come with a mattress or perhaps you’ll want to choose a different one.  Either way or whatever your reason, you should have some knowledge about the crib mattress. As previously noted and to reiterate, only use a firm mattress, never a soft one.  Soft mattresses are dangerous as they increase the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) and suffocation.

There are two basic types of crib mattresses:

  1. Innerspring: these mattresses are similar to adult mattresses.  They have coils or springs and weigh roughly fifteen to thirty pounds.
  2. Foam:  manufacturers make these mattresses with polyurethane.  They are lighter than innerspring mattresses, cost less, and weigh roughly five to thirteen pounds.

Both are fine for your baby to use.  You might prefer foam because it’s less expensive and easier to lift when it’s time to change the linens and clean.  It’s also less bouncy, so your baby can’t use it as a jumping aid when he or she is older. On the other hand, innerspring mattresses are more supportive and may be better for your baby’s spine.  Innersprings are also more durable. Decide what is most important to you and consult with your pediatrician should you feel you need more advice.

Best Mini Crib Mattress

Here are some of the most popular mattresses:

1. Dream On Me 3″ Playard Mattress

Dream On Me 3 Playard Mattress

This easy to clean mattress meets federal flammability regulations and ASTM Standards.  It’s waterproof, antibacterial, and resists odors, mildew, and mold. It fits mini cribs as well as travel cribs and is made for babies that weigh three to forty-five pounds.  Most users gave it positive reviews. Those that didn’t had delivery complaints and fit issues, so know that it measures 37.5″ x 25.5″ x 3″.

2. Dream On Me Foam Pack and Play Mattress

Dream On Me Foam Pack

The reinforced binding on this waterproof, antibacterial mattress keeps odors and mildew from soaking into the foam.  It also resists stain and meets federal flammability regulations and ASTM standards. It measures 25.5x 37.5x 3 inches, works with mini and travel cribs, and is for babies that weight six to twenty-five pounds.  The majority of buyers offered positive reviews. A few complained of fit issues.

3. Milliard Mini-Crib Memory Foam Mattress Topper

Milliard Mini-Crib Memory Foam Mattress

This 38″ x 24″ x 2” mattress fits nicely in mini cribs, but not travel cribs.  It forms to your baby’s body and offers support and comfort. The machine washable, the waterproof cover provides protection and easy care.  It complies with federal safety standards and is ASTM certified. It’s soft, so it’s not for infants and young babies. Most buyers were highly satisfied.  Some complained about its smell.

4. DaVinci 100 Percent Non-toxic Mini 50-Coil Crib Mattress

Crib Mattress

This flame retardant, an innerspring mattress is easy to maintain, waterproof, resists tears, weighs less than eight pounds, and fits most mini cribs (it measures 37″x 24″x 5″).  Reviews were average. Some really liked it, others had issues with the level of support.

A Note About Customer Reviews

While the reviews on both the mini cribs and mattresses provided useful information, there really wasn’t much consistency with regard to the negative comments.   The positive comments offered insight into what was good about the items, but the negative comments mostly noted issues about delivery issues (broken pieces, missing parts), dissatisfaction with appearance, or actual size.  In other words, function and performance did not really seem to be an issue. Make sure that you read the reviews and see for yourself, should you be interested in an item.

More: Spectra S2 vs. Medela Pump Review

Crib Buying Guide

Now that you have an idea of what considerations you should have, what type should you now choose?  There are so many out there. Here’s a breakdown of the main ones:

Standard / Traditional (Multi-Functional and Convertible)

This simply serves as your baby’s first sleeping space.  Your baby usually uses it until they are two years old or until they outgrow it.  Some cribs have hinged side rails (this is not the same as a drop-side). Some of these cribs are multi-functional, meaning that they have attached changing stations or draws, and some are convertible, meaning they can be later converted into a bed as your baby gets older.  If all you need is a place for your baby to sleep and perhaps a crib for a baby later one, this kind of crib may work for you.

Travel

These are foldable cribs that are meant to go wherever you go.  They were meant for you to use as a temporary crib and playpen while you are out somewhere else and for others to use while babysitting.  Several even have attachable changing stations. A Pack-n-Play is a travel crib. Some use travel cribs as full time cribs as they are less expensive.  Those who disagree say travel cribs are fine when used as intended, but aren’t durable enough as a full time crib. Others say that travel cribs have gotten safer and eliminate the risk of getting stuck between the slats and the sides are more difficult to climb over.

Mini / Portable Crib

These cribs are smaller and less expensive than standard cribs.  Some have wheels, so they’re mobile, and they’re portable, so you can fold them and take them with you, like a travel crib. While some claim babies quickly outgrow these cribs, users and manufacturers say a baby can use one until they are around two years old, which is a reasonable time for your child transition from a crib to a bed.   Others claim it is hard to find bedding and mattresses, yet such are available through Amazon and other online retailers. And, most users give them positive reviews, especially those who have limited space, whose babies have small or shared rooms, or for those who want or need their babies to sleep in their rooms.

Selecting Crib Sheets

Nice crib sheets can enhance your baby’s comfort and can make the difference between waking up frequently and sleeping through the night. You like sleeping on nice sheets, don’t you?  (In this regard, because there’s no real safety issue, you can apply yourself to the thinking). Also, in this regard, you can go for fun and decorative, should you wish.

Like with everything else concerning your baby, there’s a wide range style and types from which to choose.  Here are some tips to help you make your choice:

  • Skip Bedding Sets:  sets seem like a good deal, but know that manufacturers, in order to contain costs, oftentimes skimp on quality when creating them.  If you choose items separately, you’ll get better quality. Some sets also include bumpers, but they really aren’t even necessary anymore and may be hazardous.  The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) is against their use. Regardless, consult with your pediatrician.
  • Material:  cotton sheets let air move about your baby and keep him or her cool, so they’re better for when it’s hot. Flannel sheets confine your baby’s body heat and keep him or her warm, so they’re great for when it’s cold.
  • Thread Count:  this indicates the number of thread in one square inch of sheet.  The greater the thread count, the softer and more comfortable the sheet.  You really shouldn’t use anything under two hundred. Your baby’s skin is much too sensitive. Two and three hundred is good.  Four hundred and above, however, is really, really nice (such applies to your sheets, too).
  • Weave:  this notes how the threads are sewn together. There are various weaves, each of which offers different levels of softness and strength.  The most common weaves are 1) sateen: this is a comfortable, smooth weave; and, 2) standard: this is the most common weave. It’s not as nice as sateen, but it’s much more resilient and lasts longer.
  • Sheet Care:  wash the crib sheets at least every week.  Doing so will remove the germs and grime you can’t see and keep the sheets fresh.  Use cold water to reduce shrinkage. Also, wash new sheets before you put them in your baby’s crib.  Such will get rid of any leftover manufacturing ingredients such as colorants. Also, wash the sheets whenever your baby is ill.  It will eliminate trapped germs.

The Bottom Line

As mentioned, some articles list negatives regarding mini / portable cribs.  But, when you read the comments of those who use them, you’ll see that they find value in them, especially those who live in urban regions and/or small living areas and those who need to fold and travel with their crib.  You need to make your own decision based on what’s best for you and your circumstances. You’re the best judge of what you need. Just remember to discuss your concerns and issues with your pediatrician and always remember to place your child’s safety first.

Written by Monica

Hi there, I am Monica mother of one and this is my blog, where I share some useful tips from pregnancy to parenting.

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