Benefits Of Cribs

Once babies are old enough to sleep in their own room, the majority end up sleeping in a crib. According to Statista, in the USA, the size of the crib market was around $156 million in 2018 and this is projected to rise to around $210 million by 2025. Therefore, in the Western world at least, cribs are still the most popular option for parents to use for their babies.

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But what are the benefits of cribs? For starters, they promote independent sleeping in babies, and they are very safe, providing you’re using one that meets all the current safety regulations. Furthermore, they can convert to toddler beds (and even adult beds – depending on the model you buy), so they are a great long term option. Let’s look at this topic in more detail.

Are cribs necessary?

Although they remain one of the most popular options, you don’t actually need a crib. For many parents, they are an expensive purchase, and they are not ideal if you have a small bedroom. Instead, you can use a travel crib, a pack ‘n play or even a floor bed.

Here are some other alternatives you can consider.

Are baby cribs useful? What are the benefits?

However, despite some parents going with other options, cribs are the mainstay for the majority of families in the Western world. Here are some of the benefits.

Promotes independent sleeping

If you’ve been co-sleeping with your baby, then putting them in a crib will allow them to sleep independently for the first time, allowing them to learn useful skills such as self-soothing. When they learn how to do this, they can go back to sleep by themselves when they wake up during the night, without needing your help to do so.

Unfortunately some babies and toddlers take a long time to learn how to self-soothe and it really varies between siblings. My daughter started sleeping through the night early, at around 9-10 months. My younger son is 19 months old and still can’t. It drives me crazy!

Safety

One of the most important benefits of your baby using a crib is safety. The high sides make it very difficult for a baby to climb out, so parents can relax that their infant is safe and sound when they’re in the crib taking a nap or sleeping at night. Cribs also have slats on the sides to help ventilation when your baby is sleeping. That being said, to reduce the risk of SIDS, just make sure you don’t put pillows, blankets and crib bumpers inside the crib, and you use a tight-fitting mattress so there are no gaps around the edges. Furthermore, always check that the crib meets all the necessary safety regulations.

More space for babies

Bassinets, Moses baskets and mini-cribs are very cosy for newborn babies to sleep in, but they will quickly outgrow them. Cribs are a lot more spacious which means your baby can use one for quite a long time. And as they grow, they are now free to move around a bit more if they want to sleep in a different position.

You can convert them

If you purchase a standard crib, you may be able to remove one side and use it as a toddler bed. However, if you buy a convertible crib your son or daughter can use it for many years as you can convert from a baby crib, to a toddler bed and then an adult bed. This will save you money in the long term as you can just purchase one product, rather than 2 or 3 different beds to cater for your growing child. Overall, cribs are a cost-effective option, especially if you’re planning on a second child as you can pass it down to them.

Large number of products to choose from

If you have a quick browse online, you’ll see there are many different cribs to choose from, including standard cribs, convertible cribs, round cribs and travel cribs. Also, they are in array of different colours so you can find something which will complement the other items of furniture and colour scheme in your baby’s room. You should be able to find something you like fairly easily.

You get your bed back!

Finally, from a selfish point of view, you get your own bed back. If you’ve been co-sleeping, you may miss having your baby sleeping close to you. But for some parents, there’s only so much getting kicked in the head at 3am they can take!

What are the disadvantages of cribs?

While there are clear advantages to purchasing a crib, there are some disadvantages too. Here are some drawbacks you might want to consider.

Price

If you’re purchasing a crib and you’re in it for the long haul, either because you’re considering it for another baby down the line, or it’s a convertible crib that you can use for many years, then it’s definitely a worthwhile investment. However, if you’re only going to be using it for a few months, up to a year or so, then you should probably consider another option as cribs aren’t cheap.

They take up space

If your baby’s bedroom is on the small side, then a bulky crib can take up a lot of space, which you may need for more storage, or space on the floor for your baby to play.

Heavy, and not portable

Unlike travel cribs, once you’ve assembled a standard metal or wooden crib, you should plan on keeping it there for a long time. Cribs can be heavy, big and bulky so it’s tricky to move it to another part of the house, or even to a different side of the room.

benefits of cribs

Can a newborn sleep in a crib?

Yes, a newborn baby can sleep in a crib from day 1, but you may wish to use a smaller bassinet or Moses basket first.

When should a baby sleep in their own crib?

Although babies are fine to start sleeping in a crib straight away, most parents wait until their baby is around 6 months before they start putting them in their own room and in the crib.

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