When a couple first discovers they have a baby on the way, it can be incredibly surreal. After a couple of months — once the newness of it all settles down, and the mom-to-be has (hopefully) gotten over the worst of her morning sickness — reality starts to set in. As it turns out, babies need a lot of stuff. There are the big-ticket items, like a car seat, stroller, playpen, and swing, and then there are baby essentials such as diapers, wipes, clothing, burp cloths, and blankets.
Out of all the must-have baby items that soon-to-be parents will look into, one of the most crucial big-ticket items is a safe place for their infant to sleep. Sure, a bassinet will do the trick for a few months, if parents decide to go that route at all (plenty of parents skip the bassinet altogether and use a crib from day one). But once your baby grows out of that, you’ll need a long-term sleep solution. Enter: the crib.
A basic crib will do the trick — however, these days, it seems like parents prefer their investment to last well past baby stage (thank goodness for multi-use baby swings). This is why most models are likely to be 3-in-1, 4-in-1, or 5-in-1 designs. If you think about it, it makes sense. Investing hundreds of dollars in a piece of furniture that’s completely irrelevant after a year isn’t exactly practical.
At first, it may seem like you’re spending more time convincing your baby her crib is for sleeping than she spends actually sleeping in it, but trust me, she will eventually sleep. And because you’ll probably be in the nursery doing middle-of-the-night diaper changes and feedings for months on end, you’ll want to choose a crib that is safe, functional, and easy on the eyes. So, I give you the best baby cribs for 2021.
1) The Delta Children Emery 4-in-1 Crib
Personally, I love the rounded silhouette of the Delta Children Emery 4-in-1 crib (and the fact that it’s available in four colors). Thanks to its three-position mattress height adjustment, parents can lower the mattress as their little one starts to sit or stand. The classic design of the Delta Children Emery 4-in-1 crib grows with your baby, as it converts from a crib to a toddler bed, daybed, and full-size bed with headboard. It’s worth noting that while the daybed rail is included, the toddler guardrail and full-size metal bed frame are sold separately. Bonus for parents: This crib is easy to assemble and will only set you back $185.99.
Judging by the reviews, it seems this particular model exceeded expectations in both quality and ease of assembly. One happy customer wrote, “Being first time parents we were worried about how long it would take to assemble a crib but this was actually very easy to build. The instructions were straight forward. Our little guy is already growing fast so the fact that this crib can adjust heights as he grows is a major plus. Looks great in our nursery."
2) The DaVinci Autumn 4-in-1 Convertible Crib
I don’t know about you, but I think the DaVinci Autumn 4-in-1 convertible crib looks way fancier than its price lets on. The price tag for this beauty is $229. Not only is it pleasing to the eye — and available in three colors — it’s clearly highly-quality. The DaVinci Autumn 4-in-1 convertible crib does just as its name suggests — it converts from a crib with four adjustable mattress positions, to a toddler bed, daybed, and finally to a full-size bed (conversion kits are sold separately). This timeless crib can be used from infancy all the way up through adulthood, if desired. Other features include: hidden hardware construction, non-toxic paint, and lead-free manufacturing.
Here's what one happy parent had to say about the crib, "Assembly was simple and crib is nice and sturdy. Did not have any markings or chips when delivered. Very happy with purchase. We also purchased the toddler bed conversion kit [and] full size conversion kit to make it a full bed later down the road in case this particular model discontinues and the pieces are no longer available."
3) Dream On Me Violet 7 in 1 Convertible Life Style Crib
The flowing design of the Dream on Me Violet 7-in-1 convertible crib is truly, well, dreamy. Available in six colors, it’s sure to be an eye-catching, elegant piece in any nursery. In addition to its four-position mattress support system, this design boasts seven different configuration possibilities: crib, toddler bed, daybed, twin bed with two set-up options (with or without a footboard), and full bed with two set-up options (again, with or without a footboard). Just note that the toddler guardrail, stabilizer, and full-size rail are sold separately.
4) Graco Benton 4-in-1 Convertible Crib
The Graco Benton 4-in-1 convertible crib features a classic arched headboard, which makes it an elegant centerpiece for your nursery. Like so many quality cribs on this list, this particular model is designed to grow with your child through the years — from a crib, to a toddler bed, daybed, and then a full-size bed (with an optional headboard and footboard). This crib features three adjustable mattress heights and comes in five different colors to coordinate with other nursery furniture. At around $160, the price isn’t too shabby, either. One reviewer wrote, "I absolutely love this crib!! I'm currently 22 weeks and it was easy for me to assemble by myself. It took me about an hour. Everything is labeled and the directions are easy enough to follow. Definitely worth the money."
5) Babyletto Hudson 3-in-1 Convertible Crib with Toddler Bed Conversion Kit
The Babyletto Hudson 3-in-1 convertible crib boasts an impressive 4.6-star rating on Amazon. Its design is simply gorgeous. One thing that might scare parents-to-be is the price: $379. This might be that big-ticket baby registry item that multiple family members purchase. It comes in six different color options. Another bonus: It comes with a toddler bed conversion kit to transform the crib into a toddler bed, and a daybed as your little one grows. One 5-star Amazon review reads, "Very easy to build and got a lot of compliments. It does have some stickers on the side which I was not able to remove but looks really nice. I built it with the help of my wife."
6) Bloom’s Alma Urban Mini Folding Crib
Did I mention that mini cribs are a thing? The Bloom’s Alma mini crib + mattress combo is perfect for small nurseries, or even to put right in parents' bedrooms. Unlike a bassinet, though, mini cribs have a longer lifespan; this one in particular can do the job up until 12 months, depending on a baby’s size. The Bloom’s Alma mini crib is particularly handy because it can fold up when your baby outgrows it (plus, it has wheels). It’s available in two colors and has an adjustable mattress height.
7) Davinci Jenny Lind 3-in-1 Convertible Crib
DaVinci’s 3-in-1 convertible crib offers a vintage-inspired look that will charm any nursery. It has four adjustable mattress positions, nine different color options, and wheels are included for portability. Like other convertible cribs, the Jenny Lind converts to a toddler bed and then to a daybed so it can grow along with your child. Of course, it also meets ASTM international and U.S.CPSC safety standards. At around $200, this model won’t break the bank, either. One five-star Amazon review raved, "We love this crib! It’s sturdy and has a cute vintage look. It’s perfect in our daughter's nursery and has served her well as a safe place to sleep."
8) Delta Children Bentley S Convertible Crib N Changer
You might notice the Delta Children Bentley S Convertible Crib N Changer is very similar to the first crib on my list — and you would be correct. However, it also comes with the bonus of an attached changing table with storage. For us, this was a must, as our designated nursery area wasn’t large enough for a crib and a full-sized changing table/dresser with a changing table on top. At around $349, it’s not the cheapest crib option on the list, but if you take into consideration that you won’t need to buy a separate changing table/storage area, it’s worth the investment. Here are some specs: This model converts from a crib to a toddler bed, daybed, and full-size bed with headboard and footboard. The daybed rail is included, however, the toddler guardrail and full-size bed rails are sold separately. There are three different mattress position options. Finally, the changer includes two shelves, two wooden drawers, and a water-resistant changing pad with a safety strap.
9. Babybjorn Travel Crib Light
Of course, I had to include a travel crib on this list. For families that travel frequently, a safe and portable sleep solution is a must. The Babybjorn Travel Crib Light offers that. At just 13 pounds, this popular model is much lighter than your standard Pack 'n' Play. Another bonus? It’s all one piece, so parents don’t have to worry about losing small parts. When you’re not using it, a travel bag keeps the crib compact and easy to move. Here’s what one satisfied customer had to say about this travel crib: "Loved this crib!! I was afraid the mattress would be too thin but my baby girl has been sleeping on it comfortably for a month now! It’s extremely easy to assemble! Worth the extra price vs other cribs."
And there you have it! When it comes down to it, any new crib on the market today is going to meet federal safety standards. As tempting as it may be to purchase a baby crib second-hand, you never know what recalls or issues the piece might have. It's better to be safe than sorry. Good luck on your quest for that perfect baby crib! Whether you're going for a classic look, a vintage vibe, a practical piece for a small space, or a safe place for your baby to sleep on-the-go, there's certainly a crib on this list for you.
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