A mini crib is an excellent choice for anyone who can not fit a standard size crib into their home. Though, because it is smaller, many parents wonder how long their baby can sleep in a mini crib. They wonder if their purchase is worth it or they should find an alternative.
A mini crib is an attractive choice for a small nursery, smaller apartment, shared room, or grandparent’s home. A mini crib is also a perfect option for co-sleeping with your newborn.
Since the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommended room-sharing as the safest sleeping place for newborns, sales of mini cribs have greatly increased.
But many parents who have chosen to follow AAP guidelines couldn’t fit a standard size crib into their bedroom. Today’s lifestyle also forces young families to live in city centers, in small apartments or urban lofts, where is no room for a regular crib. So they have started looking for a smaller alternative.
Recently, we are getting more and more questions if the purchase of a mini crib is reasonable. Parents, of course, are primarily interested in how long their baby will be able to sleep in the mini crib. The answer is not as simple as it may seem at first glance, but I will try to answer as accurately as possible.
American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends co-sleeping, at least for the first six months of a baby’s life. However, they pointed out that this refers to sleeping in the same room, not in a shared bed!
How long can baby sleep in the Mini Crib?
That mostly depends on the following factors:
- Baby’s growth and development
- Mini crib’s size
- The type of a mini crib you choose
It depends on your baby
The use of a mini crib may be limited by height, weight, and stage of a child’s development. Most of them are usable until your child is ready for a toddler bed, which is usually when he is around two years old.
According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) regulations, children outgrow the mini crib when they are 35 inches tall. Because at this height, children do not reach the maximum weight that a mini crib withholds, its use depends mostly on the toddler’s height, not weight.
However, it is important to consider the child’s stage of development as well! In other words, your child can use a mini crib until he reaches 35″ or begins to climb out, whichever comes first.
Note: Toddlers can’t climb out of the mini crib any sooner than from the regular one. Mini cribs have a smaller footprint than standard cribs, but their height does not differ!
Comparing the height of the average American child with the length of most mini cribs gives the same results. Kids can sleep in mini cribs until about two years old.
Of course, there are exceptions when they can sleep in a mini crib even longer. And vice versa, coming from a tall family, there is a good chance that baby outgrows the mini crib a little bit earlier.
The length of use depends on a mini crib’s size
Unlike standard cribs, the government does not regulate the mini cribs’ size. Any crib that is smaller than a standard crib is therefore qualified as a mini crib.
In theory, a crib that is only a bit smaller than the standard model belongs to mini cribs. Your child could sleep in such a mini crib much longer than two years that I have stated above.
However, most mini cribs are approximately the same size. The inner dimensions of most mini cribs in the US are around 38 inches (96,52cm) long by 24 inches (60,96cm) wide. The average height of a two-year-old child is a bit under 3 feet tall (36″). That confirms the theory that most children can sleep in a small crib until about the age of two.
The “unofficial standard” for mini cribs is also crucial for choosing the right crib mattress. Most mini crib mattresses fit this size, so deciding on a “standard US” mini crib saves you a lot of stress!
Is there a mini crib that your child can use longer?
Yes! Not only standard size cribs, but mini cribs come in different shapes and types too. You can choose between a stationary mini crib, mini portable crib, mini combo crib, and mini convertible crib.
Some mini convertible cribs, such as DaVinci Colby, converts to a twin-size bed, which considerably prolongs its duration.
The Bottom Line
Either you are facing space issues, or you are a grandma on a mission to provide a safe sleeping place, is choosing a mini crib over other smaller sleeping gear (bassinets, Pack ‘N Plays, co-sleeping nests, etc.) the best decision you can make!
Mini cribs have to go through rigorous testing to meet all required federal safety standards! They are as safe as regular cribs! The mini crib is also a more stylish alternative to a Pack ‘N Play and a more long-term solution than a bassinet.
Most kids can use a mini crib for up to two years when they are old enough to transition into a toddler bed.