The Safest Baby Cribs of 2021

safest baby cribs 2021
Our crib guide puts safety first! Find the safest baby cribs of 2021, brands, consumer reports recs, what to look out for and more here.

Types of baby cribs

As much as we want to think that all cribs are equally safe and capable of fitting into our lives and nurseries, that’s not always the case. Luckily, there are many different kinds of baby cribs to fit families’ needs. Of course, this, as a result, means that shopping for cribs becomes more challenging. So what type of baby cribs could be right for your nursery? Let’s explore the options.

Standard Cribs

A standard crib is as simple as it gets, it is rectangular with fixed sides (since drop sides are now illegal). They’re good if you’re utilitarian and are looking for something that’s worked for thousands of moms for ages.

Convertible Cribs

Convertible cribs do exactly what they say they will. They go from a crib to a toddler bed which for many moms can truly be a blessing. The first few years go by in a flash and the last thing you want is to constantly be buying new furniture. If you’d like to have several children, this can be a cost-effective option to make hand-me-downs customizable from little one to littler onoe and vice versa.

So what’s the catch? Well, the flexible feature will also cost you. Convertible cribs come at a higher cost which can be worth it if you spring for the ones that go all the way to an adult sized bed. 

Mini and portable cribs

Mini cribs might be a stretch of a name, but they are much smaller and lighter than traditional cribs. They’re not as difficult to assemble and convert without tools. If you have a smaller home and less room to play around with decor-wise, these can be ideal. The good thing is, since they’re increasing in popularity, more and more stores are offering them and more factories are making different styles.

Portable cribs aren’t like a playpen, but rather an easy-to-pack situation for when you’re on the go. They don’t all come with wheels, but many of them do, to be moved around easily. 

Eco-friendly cribs

With new trends come new styles and the same can be said for cribs. Parents are getting more conscious of the materials their baby products are made of.

Safe, eco-friendly cribs claim to be made of sustainable wood, non-toxic paints and finishes and even offer organic fabrics and covers for the mattress. While it’s a trending product, it comes at an additional price. 

safest baby cribs 2021

Consumer Reports’ Recommended Cribs

The following brands and descriptions are all from ConsumerReports.com:

AP IndustriesA Canadian company founded in 1950. It manufactures bedroom furniture for babies, kids, and adults. Its crib offerings range from modern to the traditional. They can be found at specialty stores and online.
Baby CacheFounded in 2005, this company makes nursery furniture that is sold exclusively at Babies “R” Us. Styles and prices vary.
Baby ModManufactured by Million Dollar Baby and sold exclusively at Walmart.com. This brand, like its name implies, offers really modern baby furniture and at a very affordable price.
Baby’s DreamSince 1990, this Georgia-based company has been making nursery furniture and was the first to manufacture convertible cribs. Baby’s Dream’s line of products includes mid priced safety-gate, solid back panel, and convertible cribs, changing tables, dressers, conversion rails, and more. The company does not mass merchandise to box stores, so check its website for retailers near you.
Bassett / Bassett FurnitureA division of Bassett Furniture that sells its wares at large chain stores such as Babies “R” Us, Baby Depot, Sears, Target, and Walmart. Bassett manufactures cribs in the mid price range. This century-old company currently operates in the United States, Puerto Rico, and Canada, and its products—dressers, chests, and more—are available wherever juvenile products are sold and online.
BelliniBellini sells cribs exclusively in its stores. The company has been in the baby business for more than 25 years, with more than 45 retail locations nationwide. The cribs tend to be in the high-end range.
BonavitaEstablished in 1995 by the New Jersey-based LaJobi Inc., Bonavita introduced the first “Lifestyle” crib in 2001—the first single crib that could be easily converted to a toddler, day, and full-sized bed. Its cribs, dressers, armoires, nightstands, and hutches are available at specialty stores.
Child Craft IndustriesUnder the parent company Foundations Worldwide, nursery furnishings are sold under the brands Child Craft and Child Craft Legacy. Founded in 1911 in Salem, Ind., Child Craft remains a family-owned American company. Its cribs, dressers, and changing tables are available wherever baby nursery furniture products are sold online, including BuyBuy Baby, Wayfair, Amazon, Walmart, Target, and more.
DaVinciPart of the Million Dollar Baby (MDB) group, this family-owned company makes affordable cradles, cribs, convertible cribs, changing tables, dressers, and other nursery furniture. Available wherever juvenile products are sold.
DeltaDelta has been in the business for 45 years, and makes Delta cribs and Simmons cribs. In 1954, its founder, Louis Shamie, became a first-time parent. Finding himself inspired by the new wonders of parenting, Shamie founded Delta Children’s Products, which was incorporated in 1967. Today, the company makes strollers, bassinets, play yards, toddler furniture, and several styles of cribs. Most of the company’s cribs are in the economy and midpriced range, and can be found at mass retailers such as Baby Depot, Babies “R” Us, and Target.
IkeaIn the 1980s, this Swedish company expanded to the U.S. Ikea carries its own brand of cribs, which are priced in the economy range. Its cribs, crib mattresses, changing tables, high chairs, and other juvenile products are available online, by catalog, or in Ikea stores.
Land of NodOriginally founded in 1996 by 2 friends. Their furniture was originally sold via catalog only. In 2000 they joined the Crate and Barrel family and have since introduced walk-in stores. Their furniture is midpriced and available exclusively at Land of Nod stores or through their website.
Million Dollar BabyThis company (maker of Million Dollar Baby, Da Vinci, Babyletto, and Nurseryworks products) was established in 1989. It offers low-, mid-, and high-end cribs in its collection, which is sold in mass and specialty retailers.
Pottery Barn KidsPottery Barn Kids (part of the Williams-Sonoma company) sells its brand of cribs in the high-end price range. The cribs can be purchased at Pottery Barn Kids stores, and a larger selection is available online or by catalog.
SimmonsThe Atlanta-based Simmons Company is one of the world’s largest mattress manufacturers, with a broad range of products, including Beautyrest, BackCare, Olympic Queen, and Deep Sleep mattresses. The children’s mattress lineup includes Simmons Kids, BackCare Baby, and BackCare Kids. Its cribs, mattresses, dressers, and other juvenile furniture are available at Toys “R” Us, Babies “R” Us, Baby Depot, and BuyBuy Baby.
SorelleA division of C&T International, Sorelle has been in the baby business for more than 30 years. Its furniture is sold in specialty stores and online, with cribs ranging in price from mid to high.

What to look for when buying the safest baby crib (and what to avoid)

When you start shopping for a crib, there are plenty of options and brands that want to get your attention (and your money).  The main thing to remember is you want basic options, buying new is safest, and you should buy a mattress together with your crib. So let’s get into the details.

A visible production date

You should avoid buying older or used  cribs because it’s hard to know whether it still follows safety standards or if it’s taken hits over time, making it unsuitable or unsturdy. With time, use and humidity could have caused changes and weakened the hardware and glue joints. To make sure it’s new, the production date of your crib must be displayed on it and on the shipping carton.

Specs and details

Spaces between the crib slats should be no bigger than 2 ⅜ inches (6cm) wide, so measuring those as soon as it’s out of the box is important. Make sure after assembly that there are no sharp edges, screws, nuts, or other accessories protruding from any part of the crib, especially anything that could get caught on your baby’s clothing. 

Even if it’s new, mistakes happen in factories, so test the construction and quality of all the pieces. The wood should be smooth and finished with no cracks.  Shake the crib slightly in-store or as soon as it’s assembled to see if the frame is loose. Rotate the slats slightly to see if they’re secured. 

Bassinets vs cribs

One big reason why parents prefer bassinets in the first few months, or even the first year, is because of a lack of space. The AAP recommends sleeping in the same room with your baby (but not the same bed). Bringing a crib into your own sleeping space can be difficult, so bassinets allow the common sleep room without 

Moses baskets and bedside sleepers 

While for cribs and bassinets, there are regulation and JPMA certifications, there are none for Moses baskets and bedside sleepers. Both of these types of sleeping set-ups haven’t been determined as safe for babies, so avoid them if possible.

after you buy a crib

What to do after you purchase

  1. Lay out the pieces in the room where your baby will be sleeping (after it’s built it might not fit through doorways). Assemble your crib with a partner, since it’s not quite a 1-person job. It can take an hour or more, so if you’d rather hire someone for the job, prepare to spend around $70 or more. This can also assure you that it’s assembled correctly and safely. 
  2. Adjust mattress height. Cribs will generally have three or more levels for your baby to sleep. This all depends on their age. As they grow, it gets both easier for them to crawl out of the crib and for you to reach in and grab them with the mattress sitting slightly lower. Lower it with age to avoid any accidents. 
  3. Purchase safe sheets. The best sheets for your crib will be tight-fitting. If you use hand-me-downs, remember to check that the elastic is still strong enough to keep the sheets from slipping off and becoming a tangling hazard. If your sheets come with a bumper pad, don’t use it. They’re a suffocation hazard for your baby. 
  4. Set your baby up for safe sleep with no accessories or blankets. Once your baby starts rolling over, stop swaddling them. Here’s how to keep your baby warm when you take that step. 

Safest placements for cribs

The safest place to put your baby’s crib is (regardless of if they’re in their own room or theirs):

  • Away from windows
  • Separate from blinds
  • Distanced from curtains
  • Clear of cords

Most rooms will have a suitable space that meets all these requirements where can lovingly place your bub to rest safely.

Are cribs with a solid back safe?

Some cribs don’t have slats on all sides, but rather one side, supposedly the “back” that is just solid wood. If it meets the other guidelines, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t use them. As usual, just don’t fill the crib with accessories, fabrics, etc., that can cause suffocation.

If you worry about your baby’s face being covered, your little one not breathing, or anything that can happen while you rest, consider bringing home a baby safety monitor. Smart monitors send notifications to your phone when they detect possible risks to your baby.

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Ximena

Ximena

Ximena is the Content Marketing Strategist at Cubo Ai. She follows plants, dogs, and babies on Instagram and almost no one else.