Shopping for nursery furniture is one of the most fun aspects of preparing for your new baby’s arrival, but it can also be one of the most stressful because you need to consider so many other factors beyond just what looks nice in the room. Baby safety, budget, aesthetics, and furniture quality should all come into play–especially when choosing the room’s anchor piece: The crib!
When it comes to how to choose a standard crib (or mini crib) for your baby, first make sure you’re looking at reputable brands who live up to the industry’s most rigorous safety standards (if you’re unsure of where to look for the latest in baby safety news, the JPMA is a great resource). Next, consider whether you plan to use the crib for just one baby, or potentially future babies as well, consider the size of your nursery (and take note of what the standard size for most nursery furniture is), and take a look at whether you’re willing to spend a little more for higher quality materials–like a solid wood frame with no toxic finishes, and an eco-friendly crib mattress–and more sophisticated design elements.
We turned to the nursery design experts on our Design Team for their insider tips on how to choose a crib for your nursery that babies sleep well on and parents have peace of mind about!
Choosing a Crib: What’s Your Nursery’s Style?
Like any room in your home, you’ll likely want your nursery design to reflect a certain style. When choosing a crib, consider that most baby furniture falls into the following style categories: Scandinavian (very clean and elegant with touches of whimsy), French Country or traditional (think antique accents and a Provençal sensibility), or Modern Glam (rife with metallic details and luxe textures).
You’ll want to make sure that your nursery design, and in turn your crib selection, reflects a style that feels instinctual to you–after all, you’ll be spending just about as much time in the nursery as the baby is. If you like to follow trends and change up your style once in a while, you might want to get a slightly less expensive or a more neutral in color so it goes with different styles.
Finally, think critically about the other furniture in the nursery–like your glider, changing table, bouncer, and dresser–and how it will fit spatially around the crib, as well as how it will match with the crib style-wise.
Choosing a Crib: Consider a Multi-Function Crib
One way to maximize your purchase–and ultimately save money on multiple furniture purchases–is to invest in a convertible crib. Convertible cribs usually cost a bit more than their one-size counterparts, but you get so much more use out of them because they convert to a toddler bed (and sometime even into a big-kid bed as well).
Though convertible cribs tend to be more expensive (sometimes the conversion kits are sold separately, so be sure to look closely before you purchase), but they are worth the investment in the long run to have the convenience of being able to turn your crib into a toddler bed.
Additionally, many cribs have height adjusting options (you may even be able to find an adjustable mattress as well), this is helpful as the baby gets older and learns to stand in the crib (and of course starts dreaming of their own full size bed). Finally, every nursery needs a lot of storage–so if you have a lot of stuff and not a ton of closet space or shelving, it may be helpful to invest in a crib with storage options built-in. Pro tip: When my baby was still at the highest level for the mattress, we would store diapers and all other baby essentials under the crib.
By choosing a crib that adjusts, converts, or offers multi-functions as baby grows, you’re making a high-quality choice for your child and an environmentally-friendly one for our planet.