Babble Best Picks:
Deciding on a baby crib can feel like one of the biggest purchases a new parent will make. Not only does a crib set the tone and style for the entire nursery, but it's where your child will spend a large portion of his or her day. And with the vast majority of cribs now designed to convert into big-kid beds, your crib purchase could ideally last four to 10 years. Read More ↓
The most important thing to focus on is safety, which is why you should consider buying new rather than a cheaper second-hand crib. With all of the recent recalls and safety changes (drop-side cribs were banned in the U.S. in December 2010), it's best to get a crib straight from the manufacturer. If you do use a second-hand crib, make sure that the railings are fixed, the crib slats are less than 2 3/8 inches apart, and there's less than two-fingers width between the mattress and the crib.
As for the price, expensive doesn't necessarily equal "better." Yes, you'll pay more for stronger wood, unique designs, and environmentally friendly materials, but we found plenty of stylish, safe cribs for a fraction of what a designer crib costs. Read through our extensive list of baby cribs to find the style and price point that works for you. (Did we forget one? Nominate your favorite.) - Michelle Horton
BEST MODERN UNDER $200 | IKEA Gulliver
If you have the patience to decipher an IKEA instruction manual, the Gulliver is actually quite easy to build and will leave you $400 to $800 richer than if you went with a similarly modern crib. Clean, simple lines, solid construction, and a built-in toddler bed conversion (meaning you won’t have to make any additional purchases) make this a no-brainer for budget-conscious style mavens. And because the new Gullivers can now fit any standard-size crib mattress (rather than a special Ikea mattress), you can afford to splurge on a pricier, healthier mattress since you haven’t blown all of your savings on the crib.
For those who prefer a pop of color, IKEA makes a similarly simple Somnat crib in pink, green, and blue for only $99. Trust us, they look even cooler in person.
(Read through our Readers’ Choice section for more affordable modern cribs.)
Get it from IKEA, $139