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Mini Crib Vs Regular Crib: What’s The Difference?

As a new or expecting parent, you are probably wondering whether you should get a mini crib or a crib which is the standard size one.

What is the difference between Crib and Mini Crib? You may ask. As the names imply, it is obvious that the mini crib is smaller than the crib. However, both cribs have features that make them stand out on their own.

Mini Crib Vs Regular Crib Comparison Table

  Mini Crib Crib
Cost Lower cost Higher cost
Mattress Size 28-inches wide and 52-inches long 24-inches wide and 38-inches long
Space Best for limited home space due to the small size Most standard cribs require space.
Portability Most of them are foldable and can be carried along during travel. Most of them are only ideal for home use and cannot be packed for travel.
Age It can be used by a child between  0-2 years only because they can’t be changed into a bed. It can be used by children over two years since most of them are traditional and versatile, Can be turned into a bed for the child.
Mattress Depth Most of them use the 1 – 4″ depth but others use the one similar to the standard crib. Uses the 5 – 6″ depth.

Mini Crib and A Crib Differences Explained

So if you are considering buying either a mini crib or a crib it is only proper that you be informed on how they stack up and how you can make up your mind on what is best for you.

Remember that both the crib and the mini crib are safe to sleep choices for your baby but hey have various important differences that you should consider.

The Size difference

The standard crib takes up more space compared to a mini crib. This makes the mini crib ideal for a smaller house.  The small size makes it more portable and easier to move around.

The mattress sizes will also differ. You will find most standard cribs having bigger mattresses compared to the mini cribs. Also, the sheets used on a mini crib are smaller than the ones on a standard crib for obvious reasons.

Duration Of Use

Most mini cribs can only be used up to two years and when then the child is older and heavier you will have to purchase a standard crib. Some of these standard cribs can even be converted into toddler beds and can be used for years. This is why it is wise to go straight for the crib when considering a sleeping choice for your baby.

Advantages of A Mini Crib

  • It is portable and easy to move around
  • Smaller and ideal for limited spaces.
  • Perfect for newborns since they are specifically designed for them.
  • Foldable making them easy to store.

Disadvantages of a Mini Crib

  • Your child might outgrow it.
  • You will have to shop again for a standard crib.

Advantages of A Standard Crib

  • Big size and a perfect addition for the nursery interior
  • It can be used for more than two years of a baby’s life.
  • Most of them can be converted into a bed when the child outgrows it.
  • Sturdy build to accommodate heavy babies.

The Best Mini Crib and Crib

Bloom Alma Mini Urban Mini Folding Crib Frame Frost Grey

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This is a lovely mini crib with lockable wheels making it convenient to move it from room to room.  It has this narrow shape that makes it easy to move through small-than-standard doorways. It is foldable for storage and can adjust to two mattress heights. This crib comes with its mattress which is bought separately. It can be used by a baby for up to 24 months.

Babyletto Hudson

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This is a standard crib with a beautiful but simple design. It has this impressive conversion kit that makes it usable for many years. This crib has a GREENGUARD Gold Certification and considered one of the safest cribs in the market. It can take up to 135pounds.

The best thing is that you can convert it to a children’s bed when your baby outgrows it. Very sturdy and comes with adjustable settings of height to support growth until your child reaches 35 inches.

Dimensions: 54” x 29.8” x 35”

Choosing Your Ideal Crib Or Mini Crib

With the coming of your baby, you will choose only the safest baby things and when it comes to choosing a crib, there is no exception. Remember this is where your child will do their first exploration.

The exploration path should, therefore, be clear and free of traps and hazards.  You must ensure that your crib fully complies with the up-to-date safety requirements and that it is appropriate for your baby’s age.

Be extra careful especially if you are considering using previously owned pieces bought or passed on as gifts. Most of those antique cribs, for example, look very attractive, however, most of them do not conform with the current safety standards.

You might find some with old layers of lead-based paint or others having wider spacing between the slats than the required standard. It is therefore always important to go for new brands that have passed the current safety requirements for baby furniture.

Consider the following things whether you are choosing a mini crib or a crib for your baby.

The slats spacing

The bars should be spaced not more than 2 3/8 inches apart to prevent the baby from putting the head between the bars and getting stuck.

Crib structure

Look at the crib structure carefully before you buy it.  Ensure that the crib rail is at least 26 inches from the top of the mattress. You can always lower the mattress as your child gets taller.

The headboards and footboards should also be solid and minus any decorative cutouts. Corner posts have commonly been known to cause injury or snag clothing which is why they shouldn’t be on a crib. Cribs with drop rails are not safe because they no longer meet safety standards.

You could also make sure that the crib feels sturdy and not wobbly when you shake it. Ensure that the frame can endure a beating because your child will grow and become more mobile.

Check out any screws, nails or glue that stick out anywhere and ensure that the paint isn’t peeling or splintery. If there are buttons that can be used to fold the crib, make sure these buttons are way out of reach of the little hands of your baby and that they are impossible for them to press.

If the crib is on wheels, just make sure that they lock because you don’t want it to lose control when it is on a wood or tiled floor.

Your Crib  Mattress

First, consider a crib that could use an adjustable mattress. And if it comes with a mattress ensure that it fits snugly and is very firm with no space between the crib walls and it.  It should also be very firm that it shouldn’t sag under your baby’s weight.

Choose the right depth for your mini crib and standard crib and choose the right size in terms of length and width. A comfortable mattress means quality sleep for your baby.

Still, on the mattress issue, some manufacturers make a mattress for their cribs. Most parents use a third-party mattress for the cribs they buy because they want a thicker and comfier one for the crib than the one that comes with the bed.

The problem with going for third party crib mattresses is that if you are not careful the mattress might not be precisely sized for the crib and could be ill-fitting. As we have seen an ill-fitting mattress is hazardous.

No Crib Bumpers

Contrary to the notion that crib bumpers or bumper pads help protect babies from bumps, the truth is that they should never be in the cribs. If you find a crib with them, remove them if they can be removed but if they can’t just consider another crib.

There is no proven case where bumper pads have prevented serious injuries, instead, they pose the risk of strangulation, entrapment and even suffocation for your baby.  These bumpers can also be used by older babies to climb out of the crib.

Check for crib recalls

It is also very important that you check for crib recalls in a reputed baby safety website before buying one. You don’t want to end up with a mini crib or crib that was recalled for safety issues. Most of them are recalled at the slightest indication of a lack of safety.

Breathable sides

Both mini cribs and cribs have those traditional wooden slats on all sides. Still, you can opt to choose a crib or mini crib with at least three sides that have mesh for adequate airflow.

Travel-friendly & space-saving features

If you are choosing a mini crib or a crib, you can look for any travel-friendly or space-saving features if that is what you need. Some models can be folded during storage and save space.

Some even come with carrying cases and straps. These are ideal models especially if you are a globe-trotting parent and love to take your child along on your jaunts.

Mini Crib or Standard Crib?

If you are a parent who lives in a small apartment, you could be drawn towards buying the mini crib which of course takes up less space compared to the standard crib.

Just remember that your baby will eventually outgrow their mini crib and in some instances, they outgrow them even before they are ready to transition to the toddler bed. This might force you to but a standard crib for them to which will mean going back to the stores again.

In terms of safety, most portable or mini cribs are perfect as long as they meet the safety standards.  But if you don’t want to make another purchase, buy a standard crib that meets safety standards, and especially go for the one that can be converted into a bed when the time comes when your baby outgrows the big crib.

Whether you are choosing a mini crib or a standard crib, the safety of your baby who will be using it is what matters.

Crib or Mini Crib Safety Practices

You might have the perfect crib or mini crib but the safety practices should be applied to both. Some useful safety practices that you should consider are as follows:

  • There shouldn’t be any large toys or stuffed animals in the crib because your baby can use the,  as leg ups to climb over the rail. Pillows, bulky comforters, and heavy blankets are an absolute no because your baby can smother under them.
  • Never place your crib near windows where there is direct sunlight and ensure that there are no strings from blinds or curtains that can wrap around a baby’s neck.
  • When your baby gets to 3-feet tall, he should start sleeping in a normal bed and if you happen to be worried about him falling off the bed, consider introducing him to a bed with a mattress on the floor.  If your crib can be converted into a bed, then it should be time to do so.
  • It is important to note that babies don’t require that extra support in the form of rolled blankets, commercial devices or anything else to keep them on their back. Such things only clutter up the crib and could be hazardous for your baby.
  • Always check the condition of your baby’s crib before you use it even if it is new from the store. Follow all the instructions for proper assembly, set up and double-check that there isn’t any damage that will cause the bed to break.
  • Before buying a mini crib or crib consider where in your house you want to set it up. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention newborns should sleep in the same room as the parents but in a separate sleeping space. In case your bedroom is not large then it could be difficult to fit a crib along with your bed. This is where a mini crib would be ideal for the first few months until you can move the baby to a separate room.


When it comes to a mini crib and a standard crib the differences between them are clear but the choice comes down to personal preference. In the end, you have a mini crib or a standard crib you will eventually buy a big kid bed.

However before you reach that point,  now that you know the difference between the mini crib and crib, find the best mini crib or standard crib out there and buy it to give your baby the best and safe sleeping experience in his young life.

Monica Lawrence

I’m Monica, a single mother who’s raising two beautiful angels. Here, I share helpful and creative articles and how-to’s for all the busy, multitasking moms.