When you hold your bundle of joy for the first time, it's hard to imagine that your infant will soon be a toddler and then a preschooler. However, growing is what babies do best, and you can prepare for those changes with a bed that grows along with your child, such as a convertible baby crib. Some models take your baby through the toddler years, while others convert to a full-size bed your child can use all the way through high school. While these cribs start out in the nursery, their style is anything but juvenile. Whether your personal taste trends toward a Traditional or Contemporary look, Overstock.com offers cribs that look right at home with your existing decor, including classic sleigh styles and Modern metal-and-wood combinations. Easily coordinate your nursery's appearance with a wide variety of colors and finishes, from a sleek urban grey to timeless white or elegant cherry. Offerings from well-known brands like Child Craft, Kolcraft, and Sealy are easily adjustable, so you can quickly change the bed's setup when your little one experiences those sudden growth spurts. Read on to learn more about how convertible baby cribs keep up with your child's changing needs.
Stages and Types of Convertible Cribs
Convertible cribs start as standard infant cribs, with a front piece that raises and lowers for easy access to your baby. These cribs allow you to adjust the mattress to a lower height as your child grows, which helps prevent active climbing. Most models include slats on the front piece to improve airflow and allow baby to see the room.
Toddler Beds or Daybeds
The next conversion stage after a crib is the transition to a toddler bed or a daybed, and these two styles are nearly identical. A toddler bed eliminates the front piece of a crib and replaces it with some sort of safety rail that allows easy access for a little one while helping to prevent accidental falls out of the bed. The type of safety rail depends upon the model you choose. Overstock.com offers models with rails that cover about half the length of the bed to models that extend the full length of the bed and feature a small cutout so a toddler can climb inside. A daybed simply eliminates the safety rail entirely so the front of the bed is completely open.
Many convertible cribs transition into a full-size bed. The back of the crib, which is usually the tallest piece, becomes the headboard of a full-size bed. The front of the crib becomes the footboard. This conversion requires full-size bed rails, which are usually sold separately.
If a little one visits you only once in a while, a hideaway crib may be a sufficient option. Most hideaway cribs are smaller than standard cribs, and they usually fold flat for compact storage. Hideaway cribs typically include rolling casters for easy movement around the room. Even when fully assembled, most hideaway cribs fit through standard doorways so you can move a sleeping tyke into another room.
As the name suggests, mini cribs are smaller than standard-size cribs. The mattress for a standard-size crib is 52 inches long, and a mini-crib mattress is 38 inches long. Several mini-crib models convert to twin-size beds, but you usually can't convert them to full-size beds.
Convertible Crib Features and Accessories
Storage and Changing Tables
Thousands of diaper changes are in your future, and that particular task is easier when a changing table and all the necessary supplies are close by. Several convertible cribs include a matching changing table that attaches to one end of the crib. Shelves or cubbies hold diapers in the early days and toys or books as your little one grows.
Perhaps you were lucky enough to receive a hand-me-down crib, but you might find that some of the parts are missing when it's time to convert the bed. Overstock.com carries conversion kits for several major brands. Depending on the type of conversion, kits usually include standard rails and hardware.
Most convertible cribs include the supplies necessary to convert the crib to a toddler bed, including safety rails. However, replacement safety rails are available if you misplace the included rail or simply want a different style of rail. A typical safety rail is roughly half the length of the bed and attaches to one end, allowing your child to climb in or out on the open end. Longer rails attach to both ends of the bed and leave an opening in the middle.
Convertible Baby Cribs FAQ
At what age should you convert the crib to a toddler bed?
Most children transition from a crib to a toddler bed sometime between the age of 18 months and 2 1/2 years old. Experts advise making the transition before a child is able to climb out of the crib unassisted. Most toddlers can climb over the crib rail when they are about 35 inches tall.
How long can a child sleep in a convertible crib?
Cribs that convert to full-size beds can accommodate a child well into adulthood. If the crib converts only to a toddler bed, the suggested limits depend upon the manufacturer. Typical recommendations are to use toddler beds for children who are under 50 pounds and 35 inches tall.
Do you need a new mattress when you convert the crib?
A standard-size crib mattress transitions perfectly to a toddler bed because the shape of the bed remains the same. A conversion to a full-size bed requires a new mattress. Conversion to a larger-size bed also usually requires the addition of a box spring.
Can you convert a crib to a twin-size bed?
Standard-size convertible cribs are designed to become toddler beds or full-size beds, but most don't offer the option to convert to a twin-size bed. Some mini cribs allow for conversion to a twin-size bed. Mini cribs have back and front pieces that aren't as wide as those on standard-size cribs, which allows those pieces to become the headboard and footboard of a twin-size bed.