Mini Crib vs Standard Crib

You know you need a crib for your new baby to sleep in, but which one should you get? Let’s talk about the differences, as well as the pros and cons of a mini crib and a standard crib to help you decide. Then you can check one more thing off your baby shopping list!

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What’s the difference between a mini crib and a standard crib?

A mini crib is a much smaller version of a regular sized crib. They offer the same safety features as a regular crib such as properly spaced bars with enough height to contain babies. A standard crib is bigger than a mini crib and is usually longer and wider to boot. This varies from brand to brand.

What is a mini crib?

A mini crib is a space saving crib that works well for newborn babies through until around 18 months to 2 years of age. Parents like them because they take up less room in their homes and do the same job as a standard size crib.

Some mini cribs have features or extension sets that allow you to convert them into toddler beds or seats once your baby has outgrown the crib itself. This is worth looking into so you can get the most out of your purchase. It is recommended that you buy any extension kits when you buy the crib first time round to avoid the set you need being discontinued or remodelled.

Are mini cribs all the same size?

According to Babylist, “the average standard crib mattress is 28 inches wide and 52 inches long, while the average mini crib mattress is 24 inches wide and 38 inches long.” That being said they do vary slightly in size from each company so make sure you check before you buy. Measure your space at home and check what mattress and sheet size will work for any mini crib you choose. 

Why would you use a mini crib?

The main benefit to using a mini crib is that they save space in your home. This is especially true if you have a smaller bedroom to fit a crib into. Some parents like to use a mini crib in the early days when their new baby sleeps in their bedroom since they can fit into small spaces. Realistically, they work just as well as a standard size crib, so if space is premium for you, a mini crib could be a great option.

A mini crib may appeal to grandparents, babysitters or other caregivers that want to provide a place for a baby to sleep, but don’t want baby items to take over their home! If you are expecting twins or triplets you may want to look at mini cribs too so you can make room for everyone.

What size mattress do you need?

There are mattresses made especially for mini cribs so make sure you look out for one of those. The typical size you will need to fit most mini cribs is 24” x 38”. Double check the size of your mini crib before you buy a mattress however to be sure that it will fit yours. Do the same for crib sheets as you will need the right size for the mattress. This way they will have a snug fit which helps keep your baby safe. 

One more thing, let your friends and family know if you choose a mini crib for your baby. Crib sheets are a popular baby shower gift and you want to be sure you get the right size!

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What are the pros and cons of mini cribs?

Now you know a mini crib is basically a smaller version of a standard crib and does a similar job, let’s look at the pros and cons of buying one for your baby.

Pros

  • A mini crib is a space saver. There is no getting around the fact that all the things you need for a new baby take up room. A mini crib is a good way to make it work in your home.
  • A smaller crib is easier to move as and when you need to do so. Some designs even have wheels to make this seamless.
  • A mini crib takes up less room when you store it after use. Lot of parents save their crib for another child or to pass on to someone else so storage matters. Some designs are collapsible or can be simply taken apart for storage. It’s worth checking which cribs have these features.
  • Some mini cribs can be converted or extended into toddler beds or even seats. This can lengthen the life of the crib to save you time, money and waste.
  • Mini cribs tend to be less expensive.

Cons

  • Older toddlers will grow out of a mini crib much more quickly. Some children will happily sleep in a crib until they are 3 or older. This means you may need to move your child out of the mini crib because they are too big for it but before they are ready for a regular bed.

What is a standard crib?

A standard crib is the typical size for a crib designed for babies and toddlers to sleep in. They are generally intended to be set up in the room where your baby will sleep after the first 6 months of their lives. They usually have a traditional design with slats and a railing along the top. A standard sized crib is the typical go-to product for most parents.

Are standard cribs all the same size?

Generally speaking, yes. You will find that most standard cribs are around 51-52″ L x 27-28 W”. As with any major purchase though make sure you check the dimensions of your crib ahead of time.

Why would you use a standard crib?

They are tried and tested over many years and work well for families. A standard crib size lasts longer than a mini crib size as children grow. Some children will sleep in their crib up until age 3 and beyond (sometimes with the side taken off) and so a standard sized crib can have a long shelf life. You can often convert them into toddler beds or other furniture which just adds more value to any crib.

What size mattress do you need?

According to Nook, “North American crib mattresses measure between 51-53 inches in length and 27-28 inches in width (thickness can range from 4 to 6 inches)”. Again, double check that your crib and mattress are compatible before you buy.

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What are the pros and cons of standard cribs?

Standard cribs are popular for a reason so let’s look at why that is the case and of course highlight any drawbacks of using one.

Pros

  • Children sleep comfortably in a standard crib from young babies to when they are older toddlers. They can have a long shelf life.
  • Many standard cribs can be converted into toddler beds or other pieces of furniture to increase their value for money and eco-credentials.
  • Since they are a standard size it is easy to buy mattresses and sheets to fit.
  • There is a lot more choice of standard cribs to buy.

 Cons

  • A standard crib takes up more room in your home and if space is a premium for you, this could be a big drawback.
  • They are not typically portable or easy to move between rooms.
  • They are often expensive.

Should you opt for a mini crib or standard crib?

Standard cribs are the most popular option for new parents but mini cribs are gaining interest as a way to maximise space and storage. You should opt for the crib that suits your space, your budget and your long term plans for where your child will sleep.

How long can a baby stay in a mini crib?

A baby can stay in a mini crib until they have outgrown it as a toddler. This might be as young as a 1 year old or much later into toddlerhood.

Is a mini crib big enough for a toddler?

It depends on the age and size of the toddler but generally speaking toddlers will outgrow a mini crib by 2 years old.

Is a bassinet bigger than a mini crib?

Most bassinets are quite a bit smaller than a mini crib and do not have the high bars you expect to see on a crib to prevent falls as children grow. 

Can you use a mini crib as a bassinet?

Yes, some people choose to do this and it works well for them. Just play around with a setup that works for you, your space and your budget.

What is the weight limit of a mini crib?

There is a very broad answer to this question that may not help that much until your own child grows. It is recommended that you stop using a crib when children start to climb out or are 35 inches tall (around 22-40 pounds). Since every child is different it is important to keep tabs on your child’s growth and development when they sleep in a crib.

Can you use ordinary crib sheets in a mini crib?

No, you should buy mini crib sheets to fit the mattress. It is important that sheets have a snug fit on your baby’s crib mattress to prevent loose material bunching up and potentially suffocating them.

mini crib vs standard crib

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