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 SPLURGE | Stokke Sleepi
The Stokke Sleepi just might be the most lusted-after baby crib on the market - and for good reason. It's not just the unique oval shape or even the solid wood construction that convinces otherwise-sane parents to spend well over $1,000 on a baby crib. In fact, there might be justification for such an extravagant purchase.
The Sleepi is perfect for families in a cramped space, parents who are more on the petite side, and those who would like to move their crib around the house (the Sleepi easily rolls through doorways). It will also last you far longer than any other crib you'll purchase since it expands from a bassinet to a 10-year-old kid's bed to, finally, two chairs. How cool is that?
See what our Babble tester thought of the Stokke Sleepi toddler bed.
The big downside, of course, is the cost. The crib and bassinet set costs $1,000, the oval-shaped mattress is $260, the junior bed conversion kit is another $160 - and don't forget the oval-shaped sheets and bedding to top it off. But despite all these purchases, the Sleepi is incredibly easy to assemble into a solid, sturdy, well-made piece of furniture that will last for decades.