Early Crib for Newborn
You’ll likely want a safe place for baby to sleep in addition to the crib. You can find so many options for room-sharing bassinets, bed-side sleepers, bed-sharing.
Room Sharing ∙∙∙ Many parents end up having their baby sleep in their room for the first few months – especially if you are breastfeeding. Having a baby in the same room makes those frequent middle of the night feedings and diaper changes so much easier. The AAP says the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) drops significantly if the baby is in the same room as you. Here are some of (the many possible) portable bassinet options for having the baby sleep in your room:
HALO Swivel Sleeper Bassinest: I loved this for where my son slept at night. The Bassinest swivels over your bed. Baby is close and you don’t have to get out of bed for middle of the night feeds. The sides easily push down so you can get the baby out to nurse without having to sit up. I hear from women who had c-sections that it was particularly helpful. I didn’t have a c-section, but I had a rather difficult physical recovery with him. It was really nice having him at the same height as my bed and having sides that pushed down since I wasn’t able to sit up. ALSO, it was great because he was high enough that his 1½-year-old sister couldn’t climb on top of him. The one con is that it is heavy and difficult to move once it is set up. But that can also be considered a positive thing because it would have been impossible for his sister to tip over!
Recently, they’ve come out with the Halo Bassinest Portable Stand. This is an awesome accessory for the Halo Bassinest. You can easily remove the bed portion of the Bassinest and move it to the portable stand. I see this as being very useful during the day. At night baby can sleep in the Bassinest stand next to mom’s bed, and during the day baby can nap or rest somewhere else in the house with the portable stand.
UPPAbaby Bassinet: If you get the UB Vista stroller, you can use the bassinet that comes with the stroller for your newborn sleep space. You just need to buy a separate bassinet stand. There are no bells and whistles, and you can’t see through the sides like many other bassinets, but it’s definitely a cost and space saver if you already have the Vista stroller.
SNOO Smart Sleeper: This thing looks AMAZING but it’s $$$$$. It’s too much to spend for a normal person, but if you have lots of money to burn, it looks incredible. It has breathable mesh walls, white noise, gentle rocks, motion response to crying, and includes a swaddle that keeps baby on it’s back. I imagine this would have been a lifesaver when my son had colic. I’m not sure how many people can afford this, especially when you can only use it for about six months. If you are one of those people, it may be worth every penny if you have a particularly fussy sleeper or colicky baby! Update: You can now rent the Snoo!
babyletto Bowery Bassinet: A very aesthetically pleasing newborn bassinet! It’s another one that doesn’t have any extra bells and whistles, but it looks nice and does the job. It can be converted to a toy box when you no longer need it as a sleep spot.
Chicco Lullago: A portable bassinet that sets up easily. This is wonderful if you want something you can move around or bring on vacation.
Tiny Love 3-in-1 Napper: This comes highly recommended. It has three different recline positions, soothing movements, and a musical toy.
Additional bassinets, for room sharing:
Bedside Co-Sleepers ∙∙∙ While the bassinets mentioned above can be placed next to your bed, the ones below are intended to be right up against your bed, sharing the bedside.
Bed-Sharing ∙∙∙ For safe bed-sharing, look at something like these:
Before starting your crib search, ask yourself, do you want a regular crib or a convertible crib? You can get a crib that stays a crib, or one that can transform into a toddler bed. Some can even be used as a headboard for a full-size bed. That’s a very personal decision. For me, I don’t care if my crib converts. I don’t think it’s worth an extra cost for one that does. My kids were close in age and we didn’t want to buy a second crib. This meant we couldn’t convert the crib for our oldest, even if we had wanted to. However, I have several friends that loved converting theirs to a toddler bed and then using one side for a full-sized headboard.
How much money should you spend on a crib? If you spend a lot of money on a gorgeous Restoration Hardware crib, your baby will chew on the rails destroying it (read: me). Isn’t that Murphey’s Law? I have multiple friends whose kids smeared poop on their cribs. Keep those things in mind before you spend a small fortune on a crib that may be used as a teething toy, poop art canvas, and jungle gym.
The crib possibilities are endless. Find a style you like, that fits your budget and then move on to finding a crib mattress and adorable crib sheets. Skip the bumpers and pillows for at least the first year. If you are purchasing a brand new crib, it will comply with current safety standards. But if you are buying a used crib, be sure to check for recalls and find out when the crib was manufactured. I’ll put a few cribs here at a range of prices, to help you get your search going and give you an idea of different styles.
The IKEA Sniglar Crib is a simple unfinished wood crib. You can leave it unfinished, or paint it any color you choose. Best of all, it has an affordable price tag of $79.99. You do have to attach this crib to a wall to prevent it from tipping over.
The modern look of the babyletto Hudson 3-in-1 Convertible Crib is very popular. If you like this one, take a look at the babyletto Mercer. It has a storage drawer underneath, which is is wonderful if you live in a small space.
I’m a huge fan of the vintage look of the DaVinci Jenny Lind Crib. The price varies based on which color you choose.
The Franklin & Ben Mason 4-in-1 Crib has a nice elegant look and the storage drawer is a huge selling point for me!
Organic mattresses – Your baby and toddler will spend so much of his/her life sleeping and in close contact with the mattress. It is worth the time to research this one a bit. Most mattresses are made with chemicals either known to or thought to have harmful effects on our bodies. One flame retardant, TDCPP, used in many mattresses is the same one that was removed from kids pajamas in the 1970s because it was shown to cause cancer! Yet we still have it in mattresses?! Some studies show that the toxic chemicals released from most mattresses increase the rate of SIDS deaths. Not a whole lot is proven yet, but there is enough evidence that I decided that it is worth the cost to get a non-toxic organic crib mattress.
Regular non-organic mattresses – See Lucie’s List’s list of recommended regular/non-organic mattresses.
Playard and/or Travel Crib
While you don’t need a playard, it’s certainly nice to have. Your needs totally depend on your living space, if you need one when you travel, and your personal preferences. I recommend getting a playard that has a diaper changer if your home has more than one level. It will also serve as a worry-free play spot and another place for baby to sleep. A lighter travel one is nice to have if you travel a lot. I bought one gently used since the good ones can cost about $200-$300 when buying new. You may find that just having one – to use both at home and travel – suits your needs.
- Playard / Temporary Crib / PNP – If you get one that will be used often at home, my personal opinion is to get one with a diaper changing station and not waste money on the newborn napper. Plus, the newborn nappers are not approved for safe sleep. If you think you want the newborn napper, consider getting one with a reversible changer/napper. That will give you the easy option to use it as a changer instead of napper. Here are just a few to look at:
- Travel Crib – While the Playards are not too difficult to close up and carry, the size, weight and/or set-up time make them not ideal for frequent travel. If you travel a lot and need a safe sleep spot, I recommend getting a different travel crib. A lightweight travel crib is ideal when going to a childless friend’s house, or when traveling somewhere without a safe sleep place for the baby. These two will work for your kid for several years. I cannot say which one is better because it depends on your specific use and needs.
BABYBJÖRN Travel Crib: The BABYBJÖRN is very easy to set up and take down. The mattress consistently lays flat on the ground and is thicker and more comfortable than the Lotus. (Note: babies don’t care about a comfy mattress.) This one feels a tiny little bit more durable than the Lotus.
Lotus Travel Crib: The Lotus is more compact, can fit as a carry-on and can be worn as a backpack. The cool zipper door if a fun feature for toddlers, and helpful for infants if they need to be nursed or soothed to sleep. You can purchase a separate conversion kit to convert it to a bassinet if you want that for a newborn. Other fun accessories you can purchase that would be useful if you will use it as a place space outdoors: a sun shade and a mosquito net. Some parents complain that the mattress doesn’t always lay completely flat on the floor.
SnuggleMe Organic & DockATot
Many parents use these padded loungers as a place for baby to sleep. I do have safety concerns about that, as does the Consumer Product Safety Commission. On both their websites, they warn against using these in a crib, bassinet or other contained area. They are not safe for unsupervised sleep. But they are wonderful for supervised naps or lounging.
The SnuggleMe Organic is a padded lounger for a baby. It was founded by a mom of seven! This is made in the USA with high-quality, non-toxic, GOTS certified fabric and dyes! It’s “hug” is designed to be comforting to baby. It is easy to travel with and comes with a storage zipper bag that will help keep it clean when traveling. Parents love the minimalistic style. Use it as a supervised lounging spot.
The DockATot is a new product since I had my first two babies. It gets fantastic reviews. It is pricey, but parents claim it is worth the high price tag. It’s machine washable, portable, breathable, hypo-allergenic and made in Europe.
UPDATED: With my third baby, I borrowed a DockATot from a friend. It’s been pretty fantastic. I leave it on my bed and rest her there when I’m getting stuff done in the room. With the DockATot, I don’t worry about her rolling or falling off the bed. It does have a pretty hefty price tag though, so I’m not sure I’d purchase it on my own.
Continue to: Baby Sleep Stuff
You’ll want some things to keep baby warm, help them sleep better and potentially see or hear them without walking into their room. In the early days, you will be doing lots of laundry so you will definitely want several lightweight blankets. I also recommend swaddles and wearable blankets.