The 1st time you discovered you were going to have a baby, no matter if it was through pregnancy or adoption, most likely the thoughts right after that were on what you needed to be doing to prepare. This most likely came after a lot of jumping, shouting, running around, or plenty of other things to show excitement. Maybe you had a bit of a panic, too.
Regardless, getting ready for the arrival of a new little one is a super thrilling time in one’s life! There is a lot to prepare and plan for, though. As parents to be we need to look into parental leave times, daycare choices, insurance options, find a doctor, and choose whether we’ll be using formula or nursing our precious little ones. These are just some of the basics. Sometime after (or maybe before) that we usually turn to what items we’ll need to pick up. This includes which is the best mini crib mattress we should purchase for our dear, sweet baby.
The Best Mini Cribs – For Faster Checking
Feel free to click the links below to check the current pricing for these on Amazon.
- Babyletto Origami Mini Crib
- Delta Children Portable Mini Crib
- Dream on Me Four in One Aden Convertible Mini Crib
- DaVinci Kalani 2-in-1 Mini Crib and Twin Bed
- Bloom Alma Mini Urban Mini Folding Crib Frame
Mini Crib Mattress – The Short List for Faster Checking
- Dream On Me 3″ Playard Mattress
- Milliard Mini-Crib Memory Foam Mattress Topper
- Dream On Me Foam Pack and Play Mattress
- DaVinci 100 Percent Non-toxic Mini 50-Coil Crib Mattress
You’ll want to get your nursery ready and come up with a complete list of things you’ll need to buy, of course. Our tiny humans need so many things, after all. Most likely you’ll have a baby shower thrown by friends, relatives, and even those we work with, so be sure to create a registry and list things you’d want in your nursery. This makes things so much easier.
In the past a baby shower was only thrown for the 1st baby people had so that brand new parents could feel more prepared. Now we see baby showers taking place with almost all new babies coming into the family, though they might get smaller after the 1st baby. However, when anyone is expecting a baby, it’s always a very cheery time and everyone wants to celebrate!
The smaller showers are typically referred to as sprinkles due to them being smaller after the 1st child. Usually people bring supplies (such as clothes, diapers, wipes, books, etc) instead of bigger things that you likely already have from your 1st baby.
Over time the things we needed have grown and changed. For example, strollers used to be seen as similar to a bassinet with wheels attached where the baby laid down. These days there are so many different types of strollers that can carry a variety of babies (and different numbers of babies), all with different attachments, some that connect to a car seat, or are made to go for a job with.
Years and years ago parents would hold their baby on their lap on a car ride, but now thankfully we have a car seat that can help keep our kids safe until they’re big enough to ride safely without one.
The baby monitor used to be something you could listen in to your child with to make sure they were safe, but now they have both audio and video so you can watch your sweet baby. Some even track movement and vitals. The type of formula has grown to use all kinds of different plant based milks, too, and there are nipples for bottles that have different speeds and sizes. Rashes from diapers are easily taken care of with creams and powders, and the diapers themselves come in a variety of types as well.
Having so many options is wonderful. Everyone I know has become so accustomed to these things. We can pick whichever option works bet for our needs, and our baby’s needs as well. One thing, though, didn’t change for a very long time. The thing that near everyone has absolutely needed. That thing is the crib.
The Best Mini Cribs
Typically you’ll find that mini/portable cribs will end up focusing on being portable and smaller than your normal ones. If you’ve come to the conclusion that this is the kind of crib you’d like to get then you should think about what other features are also necessary for your needs. After all there are plenty out there that have some other cool features that you might find useful. Below are the most popular in the marketplace:
1. Babyletto Origami Mini Crib
This is a light and durable mini crib made of pine wood and comes with wheels, a 1 inch thick mattress, and can be folded up quickly so it can be stored or traveled with. Available colors are white, blue, and black and it of course meets all CPSC and ASTM Safety Standards.
2. Delta Children Portable Mini Crib
This is a great mini crib that is well built and far passes CPSC and ASTM standards. It is also JPMA certified. It can easily be folded, comes with wheels, and boasts a mattress that is 1 inch thick and can be used in 2 different positions so it can be adapted to your baby’s needs.
3. Dream on Me Four in One Aden Convertible Mini Crib
This is a very sturdy mini crib that surpasses CPSC Safety standards and meeets ASTM standards, and it also satisfies JPMA standards. Colors available are cherry, grey, black, espresso, French White, and standard white.
4. DaVinci Kalani 2-in-1 Mini Crib and Twin Bed
This is a great mini crib that makes it super easy to reach your baby within, comes with a waterproof 1 inch mattress, and has 2 different positions for that mattress. Colors available are chestnut, black, espresso, ebony, grey, and white. It also meets both CPSC and STM safety standards.
5. Bloom Alma Mini Urban Mini Folding Crib Frame
The Bloom Alma is in reality a bassinet, but can be used as a mini-crib. It can comfortably be used for babies up to age 1 or possibly older based on their size. It is very simple to put together, can be folded easily for travel/storing, and available colors are coconut white, green, and cappuccino.
6. DaVinci Mini Alpha Rocking Crib
Move this mini crib around with ease as it comes with wheels. Those wheels can also be removed if you’d like to use this to rock your baby to sleep as well.
7. Babyletto Hudson 3-in-1 Convertible Crib
This is a great mini crib that ships with a convertible kit so it can be transformed into both a day bed and a toddler bed as your little one gets older. Available colors are espresso, natural/white, gray/white, white, espresso/white, and slate.
8. Union 3-in-1 Convertible Crib
This is a great convertible crib that meets both CPSC and ASTM safety standards and is JPMA certified as well. If you purchase attachments you can convert this into a bed that is usable up through the teens!
Choosing a Mattress for Use
Let’s shift gears and discuss mattresses. The crib that you go with might or might not come with a mattress, or maybe it does but you’d rather get a different one. Regardless of the reasoning, you’ll want to learn a bit about some crib mattress options.
Now, as mentioned before, be sure you never use a soft mattress. Only those that are marked as firm. Those marked as soft mattresses can be dangerous as they have been shown to increase the risk of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) and suffocation in infants. Still concerned about SIDS? Look into the Owlet or the Snuza Hero.
2 Kinds of Crib Mattresses
- Foam: these are made by manufacturers with polyurethane. They are less heavy than the below innerspring mattresses, aren’t as expensive, and only weight between 5-13 lbs.
- Innerspring: these are the kinds of mattresses that are very similar to an adult mattress. They are made with springs or coils, and typically weight between 15-30 lbs.
Either of the above can be used for your baby’s bed. Many parents do tend to use foam since it is more affordable and be lifted out with much more ease when you need to change any sheets. Also, the foam versions aren’t as bouncy so they won’t be as easy for your future toddler to turn into a trampoline when they get older. On the flip side, though, the innerspring mattresses do tend to offer more support, and might be better for the spine of your dear baby. They also boast more durability than their foam counterparts. You need to choose which one is more important for your needs, and be sure to consult with your pediatrician if you feel like you need another opinion on the matter.
Best Mini Crib Mattress
Below we take a look at the most popular mattresses in the marketplace today:
1. Dream On Me 3″ Playard Mattress
This mattress is very easy to clean and meets ASTM standards and federal flammability regulations. It is antibacterial, waterproof, and resistant to mildew, mold, and odors. It fits great in mini cribs and travel cribs, and is set for babies between 3 and 45 lbs.
2. Milliard Mini-Crib Memory Foam Mattress Topper
This is a great mattress that fits well into mini cribs, but it doesn’t fit well for travel cribs. It actually forms to your baby’s body, and has great comfort and support as well. The sizing is 38″ x 24″ x 2″ and comes with a waterproof, machine washable cover to help with protection.
3. Dream On Me Foam Pack and Play Mattress
This is a waterproof, antibacterial mattress that prevents mildew and odors from soaking through into the foam itself, and it has reinforced binding. It is also stain resistant, and meets ASTM standards and federal flammability regulations.
4. DaVinci 100 Percent Non-toxic Mini 50-Coil Crib Mattress
This is a great innerspring mattress that is waterproof, flame retardant, tear resistant, weighs less than 8 lbs, and will fit almost every mini crib out there. Measurements are 37″ x 24″ x 5″.
Choosing the Best Mini Cribs
Buying a crib is a big deal. It is always the main focus in a nursery, and it is where your dear sweet baby spends the majority of their time. Some parents believe that a crib only needs to be pretty, but there are plenty of other things to remember when choosing the best option.
These days there are a ton of different styles available, so how can you pick one? Well, here are a few things for you to think about:
- Level of Safety: This has to be the most important thing you think about. Below are some concerns for safety that you should be thinking about before purchasing.
- Follow the Directions: In the event your crib needs to be put together, make sure that you follow along with the directions very closely. Don’t skip anything as it could potentially cause harm to your dear baby.
- Avoid Using Drop Sides: The CPSC doesn’t certify any cribs with drop sides anymore as it was connected to over 35 infant deaths.
- Be Certain it’s Certified: Being certified by the CPSC (Consumer Product Safety Commission) means that the product satisfies specific standards of safety. When a crib isn’t safe it can cause serious harm to a baby. If the crib you’re looking at isn’t certified by the CPSC then skip onto the next one.
- Be Aware of Other Certifications: There are additional safety associations to the CPSC that look at the safety of these kinds of items. The JPMA (Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association) makes use of a 5 step process that surpasses both federal and state conditions. There is alo the ASTM (American Society for Testing and Materials) that examines different products, and is a non-profit. Look at it like this: if you find a crib that is certified by the JPMA then it is a great choice for safety. If it is CPSC and ASTM certified then it’s a very good option to go with.
- Avoid Other Bedding: Never use a soft mattress, and only use the firm mattress that comes with the crib. A soft mattress will mold to the baby’s face and raises the risk for SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrom) as well as suffocation.
- No Pillows/Bulky Blankets: Remember not to use any bulky blankets or pillows in the bed with your infant as they don’t have any musce control. They can suffocate themselves if they roll onto a thick blanket or pillow. Use warmer sleepwear if you’re worried about them getting cold, instead.
- Safe Placement: Make sure the crib is kept away from any curtains, cords, and blinds. Babies can get tangled up in these things very quickly, and this can lead to injury and even strangulation.
- Spaces: Look at the spacing between the bars of the crib after you add in the mattress. They should not be any wider than 2 fingers. If they are your sweet little one can get hurt or stuck in between them.
- Look it Over: After you’ve put everything together and positioned the crib be sure to look everything over again. Check for any sharp edges, loose materials/items, screws sticking out, or anything else that could hurt your sweet little one.
- Sizing: Be sure you’re measuring everything properly. Since cribs come in so many different sizes make sure you’re getting the right fit, and that everything fits with everything else.
- Colors: Know the gender of your baby? Pick a matching color if it suits your tastes. If you don’t you can choose a more neutral color. Planning for more kids? You might want to stick to the neutral colors so you can keep using the crib for additional children. If the crib is more than 10 years old, however, be sure to get a new one as safety features and standards are changed over time.
- Don’t Buy Used: If you can buy a new crib instead of one that has previously been used. Older ones might not meet current safety standards, could be in bad condition, or could just have wear and tear that make them unsafe.
In Terms of Customer Reviews
Reviews for the mattresses and mini cribs gives plenty of useful information, however there wasn’t a lot of overlap with any of the negative comments/reviews left on anything we read.
The positive reviews left mentioned plenty of the good features about different products, but the negative reviews usually focused on problems with their delivery (something was broken or missing), not liking the way it looked in their nursery, or the size of the product.
To put it differently, the performance and functionally was never a problem. Do make sure to read reviews for yourself, though, if you’re ever looking to buy anything online.
Buying Guide for Your Crib
Alright, so by now you should have a good idea of what you should be thinking about and looking for in your crib, but what kind should you choose to buy? With so many options out there, it can be hard to choose. Below is a quick summary of some of your main options:
Traditional / Standard (Includes Multi-Functional and Convertible)
This will be the sleeping space you baby first rests in. They will typically be used up til age 2-3, or until they grow too big to stay in it. There are cribs out there that have a hinged side rail, which is different than a drop-side rail.
Some of the cribs in this class tend to have multiple function, which means they might have a changing station attached. Others might be convertible, which means that as your baby ages they can be converted into a bigger toddler bed or more.
If you only need a safe space for your baby to sleep at night/for naps then this type of crib is likely a good option to go with.
The travel option includes fold-able cribs that you bring with you when you travel. They are made to be temporary cribs/playpens when you are not at home, or if your baby needs to nap at a babysitter’s house. Some include the option to have a changing station attached.
The Pack-n-PLay is a good example of a travel crib. People might even use a travel crib as a full time crib since they are a less costly option. Some people disagree as they say that while travel cribs work great if used as they are made to be used, they aren’t a good option to be durable in the long term as a crib full time. There are also those that might say that travel cribs are much safer these days, and get rid of the risk of your baby being stuck between the bars/climbing over the sides.
Mini / Portable Crib
These kinds of cribs are more small and more affordable than your typical crib type. They might have wheels to be able to be moved around, and typically are portable since they can be folded and taken wherever you go (not unlike a travel crib).
Some might claim that babies grow too fast and outgrow these, but many users and the makers say that they can be used up to age 2, which is a time that many decide to move from a crib to a bed.
Still, some people say that it can be difficult to find good mattresses or bedding for these, but there are plenty of good options available online through Amazon and other shops. Also, most people give these good reviews (specifically those with only a smaller amount of space, who share their room with the baby, or who have smaller rooms).
Choosing Sheets for Your Crib
Some really great crib sheets increases your little one’s comfort levels, and can sometimes mean that they sleep longer and wake up less. After all, don’t you enjoy sleeping on nicer sheets? Since there isn’t usually a safety concern here you can opt for whatever styles and designs you like.
Just like with every single other thing for your little one there are tons of styles and options to choose from. Here are a few helpful tips to keep in mind when choosing:
- Materials: Avoid flannel sheets if not in a cold area as they trap your little one’s heat and keep them warm/hot. Instead usually go for cotton sheets as they breathe better and keep your baby cooler.
- Thread Counts: Shows us how many threads are in a square inch of the sheet. The higher the thread count the more comfy/soft the sheet is. Avoid anything under 200 if you can. The skin of your baby will be too sensitive for this. For something super soft and nice go over 500.
- Ditch the Bedding Sets: These often sound like a great option, but usually when they’re being made manufacturers don’t focus on quality due to costs. By getting things separately you tend to get a higher quality of item. This includes things like bumpers, which many people don’t use and could even be risky for your baby. The AAP (American Academy of Pediatrics) doesn’t recommend them. Ask your pediatrician for advice if you’re conflicted on using them or not.
- Weave Type: Shows how different threads end up being sewn together, and relates to softness/strength of the sheet. Common options tend to be sateen (smooth and comfortable) and standard (most common weave – not quite as pleasant but should hold up better over time).
- Caring for Sheets: Make sure you wash the sheets in the crib every week, at the very least. This helps to clean out any germs that aren’t seen and keeps the sheets nice and fresh for your baby. By using cold water you can avoid any sort of washing-related shrinkage. Always wash brand new sheets before your baby lays down on them to get rid of formaldehyde, colorants, and more. Always wash sheets if your little one happens to be sick.
We mentioned this above: some articles out there might list various negatives when it comes to mini or portable cribs. However, if you actually read the specific reviews of users you’ll see how much people enjoy them. This is especially true of those living in smaller areas who need to save space or need to travel with and/or fold their crib.
Really, you just need to choose what works best for you and your current living environment. You will always be the best one to decide what it is you and your family needs. If you have any safety concerns always go over them with your pediatrician, and keep the safety of your baby at the top of anything you decide to do.