Baby Crib Buying Guide

Baby Crib Buying Guide 2024

Looking for a crib for your upcoming baby but not sure where to start? You are in the right spot. A crib is the most crucial piece of nursery furniture during the first 4 to 5 years of your baby’s life (can be longer depending on the type of crib you buy). So, it deserves the most attention.

In this article, we will cover:

  • The latest US standards of crib safety
  • Things should be avoided
  • How to create a safe sleep environment
  • Types of crib
  • Where to buy

The Latest Standards

Any new crib you purchase is supposed to meet minimum government requirements. So, it's always a good idea to familiarize yourself with the latest crib safety standards before you shop. The Consumer Product Safety Commission has certain manufacturing standards that stipulate that mattress supports must be durable and slats should be made of high-quality wood that isn’t prone to breakage, and that drop-side cribs should not be sold. Many cribs are additionally certified by the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association (JPMA), a trade organization that certifies safe baby products.

That said, as long as you assemble your crib according to the manufacturer instructions and use it properly, even the least expensive crib should be safe for your baby. Here is a checklist of crib safety features for your peace of mind:

  • Firm, tight-fitting mattress
  • No missing or broken hardware or slats
  • No cutouts in the head/foot boards
  • Slats no more than 2 3/8 inches apart (the width of a soda can)
  • Corner posts no higher than 1/6 inch
  • Stationary sides

Things Should Be Avoided

  1. Drop-side crib

Drop-side cribs were commonly used due to its convenience. Parents could easily take down one side or both sides of the crib when needed. However, drop-side cribs are not safe to babies and can cause severe danger to babies that start to learn crawling.

According to the latest crib safety standards, manufacturers are not allowed to make new drop-side cribs anymore, and it is illegal to sell or donate. So, if you reside in U.S., you shouldn’t be worried that you would get a drop-side crib.

  1. Non-firm/unfitted mattress

You should never use a crib mattress that is not firm or doesn’t fit snugly in your baby’s crib. It is important that the crib mattress, either it comes with the crib or bought separately, should be firm and fit snugly in the baby’s crib, because it can cause safety issues to your baby. If it doesn’t fit, then do not use it.

Fortunately, the dimensions of full-size cribs and mattresses have been standardized. So, if you purchase a full-size crib and mattress separately, the mattress should fit snugly in the crib.

  1. Used cribs

If you only want to invest on one piece of furniture for your nursery, that will be a new crib. You should steer clear of the secondhand because there are many possible safety issues there. New information on drop-side cribs indicates that re-assembly is often done incorrectly; missing hardware or worn-out pieces; used cribs that are not successfully recalled due to crib companies went out of business.

Explore our crib selections, we hand picked each one for your baby’s safety. And they are beautiful and affordable.

How to Create a Safe Sleeping Environment

When comes to creating a safe sleeping environment for your newborn, remember that your baby is a minimalist. That means “less is more”. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that a baby sleeps in his/her own bed on a firm mattress with a tight sheet – no pillows, stuffed animals, blankets, positioners, or bumpers. The best way to keep baby warm is using sleep sacks and light wearable blankets. And stop using compression sacks or swaddles once the baby can roll over on their own.

Another thing to be reminded of is to always double check the construction and workmanship of your baby’s crib: any loose bolts, screws, or any other pieces that could potentially harm your baby. And if you find any missing piece, loose crib slats, or mattress support slats, check with the manufacturer and ask for a replacement on the part.

Types of Crib

  1. Convertible Cribs

Most of the cribs we carry in our store are convertible cribs. As the name suggests, they are convertible. For a 4-in-1 convertible crib, you can convert it into a toddler bed, a daybed, and an adult bed as your child grows. There are standard size and mini ones. A standard size convertible crib can convert into a full-size bed, while a mini one can convert into a twin-size bed. The tools you will need are a toddler guard rail to convert to a toddler bed, and a full bed convert kit to convert to a full-size adult bed. A lot of parents testify that a convertible crib makes the transition from a crib to a toddler bed much easier since the kid is already familiar with the bed. It is also a way to save money in the long run.

  1. Traditional Cribs

A traditional crib is a standard crib that is not convertible. It can be an economical choice if you plan to have multiple kids so it can be used again and again.

  1. Mini or Portable Cribs

A mini or a portable crib can be convenient if you have smaller space or if you need it when you travel. The downside of a mini crib or a portable crib is that they are smaller than standard cribs, you will need a mattress and sheets that fit the crib.

  1. Round or Oval Cribs

There are round or oval cribs that can look very special. However, they are not under federal full-sized crib standards so you will be very limited on the choices of bed linens.

Where To Buy

You can choose to go to a local store or purchase online like at Newborn Nursery Furniture. We carry a wide range of selections, and we offer free shipping. If you are worried about return, we offer a 30-day return policy for any reason.

Final Words

We understand that choosing a crib for your baby is as frustrating as it is exciting. So, give yourself enough time to do research and exploring. Just remember the last thing you want to sacrifice about your baby’s crib is its safety. If you need help with choosing, we are here to help!


  1. Consumer Reports. Crib Buying Guide.
  2. United States Consumer Product Safety Commission. Full-Size Baby Cribs Business Guidance & Small Entity Compliance Guide

For more reading resources

  • Check here for nursery furniture
  • Check here for nursery seating

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