Apart from standard cribs, which are usually one-size-fits-all, many parents choose to have mini cribs to save space in the nursery or to move around more easily. But since it is smaller than a normal one, how long can baby sleep in mini cribs? Scroll down for the answer!
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What’s the difference between a crib and a mini crib?
Since it is called a mini crib, the main difference from a standard crib is its size. While a normal crib is around 52 inches in length and 28 inches in width, a mini crib is only 38 inches long and usually has almost the same or a bit smaller width.
A mini crib usually has a much smaller and thinner mattress, to fit with its size. Another reason is that it is designed to be used widely for babies who are lighter in weight.
Similar to standard cribs, you can also find mini crib designs with some add-in features like cribs with wheels or convertible mini cribs. Those features make them just as convenient as the standard ones to be used and stored in the house.
Can a newborn sleep in mini cribs?
Absolutely. A mini crib seems to be more suitable for newborns because it offers a smaller space compared to standard cribs.
A normal-sized crib is designed to last long with the growth of your baby, but it can also be a bit overwhelming for a newborn to sleep in for the first time.
It is also easier to place a mini crib next to the mom’s bed in case you want to sleep close to your baby.
How long can the baby sleep in mini cribs?
In short, the mini crib age limit you can go for is under 2 years old. But if you spot your baby can stand fully up and reach to the top rail to climb out, it is the right time to move him to the standard crib.
There are two factors you should consider to know when to move your baby from mini cribs to standard ones or beds.
1. Your baby’s weight
After testing a variety of products used for babies, the American Association of Testing Materials carried on a test on how heavy a mini crib can hold. The results showed that to ensure safety, the maximum weight of your baby to be put in a mini crib is 35 pounds.
Generally, infants after 2 years of age can weigh about 25-32 pounds. Of course, it varies from baby to baby but an average 2-year-old baby should not stay in a mini crib.
2. Your baby’s height
The crib can withstand the weight of your baby doesn’t mean it is safe yet. Many babies at a certain stage of their growth when having a strong body movement, can stand up and climb out of the crib. Therefore, how tall your baby is is the next crucial factor.
According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, mini cribs should only be used for babies under 35 inches of height, which is around 2 years of age. But it depends on your situation. Many 2 years old can be 38 inches tall but many others can be way less than that.
Each model of the mini crib can have its height and weight limitation, too. Following the safety guideline from the manufacturer of your crib is also a wise choice.
What to do when your baby outgrows his mini crib?
If the current mini crib is becoming tight and uncomfortable because your baby has grown up, it is the right time to move to a bigger bed, a standard crib for example.
It may be easier now than the first time putting him in the crib. But, your baby will still need a bit of time and practice to adapt to the new, bigger crib. You can begin with small steps like putting him in the new crib 2 or 3 times a day for a couple of minutes.
Give your baby some toys to play with and gently talk and explain to him that this is going to be his new home. Remember to not leave toys inside the crib when he is asleep as they pose great risks of SIDS.
Since the new crib can be bigger than the old one, one way to help create a familiar sleeping environment for your baby is to monitor the room temperature. Make sure that the room is not too cold. 68 to 72 degrees Fahrenheit is an ideal range you can go for.
Many parents choose to transfer the baby straight to the toddler bed. This is possible too, but it might require a longer time and effort to help your baby adapt to his new sleeping area. Because moving from a mini crib to a bed is such a drastic change.
Extra: Should you buy a mini crib?
If you don’t have much space in your nursery or you have many babies sharing the same room, a mini crib will be a good choice. Besides, as we have mentioned earlier, a mini crib can be ideal in the case you want to place the crib right next to your bed.
However, there are some disadvantages of a mini crib you should consider before buying.
Since a mini crib is smaller than a standard one, you may have to make a transfer to a standard crib or toddler bed sooner. Generally, a mini crib can only hold an under-2-year-old while a standard one can extend for another 1 year.
Unlike standard cribs which mostly come with one size, mini cribs vary in many, depending on the manufacturer. This will be a challenge when it comes to choosing the right, fitting mattress and bedsheets.
By the same token, the prices of those mattresses, linen, and sheets can be higher compared to those that go with standard cribs. It is because they are not vastly manufactured.
Wrap it up
We hope our post above has solved your concern about how long can baby stay in mini cribs. If you don’t mind making a sooner change to a standard crib once your baby grows up, a mini should function with no worries in the first 2 years!