Last Updated on January 23, 2023 by Ines
Mini Crib vs. Standard (regular or normal) Crib
The most distinct difference between a standard full-size crib and a mini crib is, of course, their size. Standard size cribs are bigger, so your child can use them longer. But are they better too? It is hard to tell. Comparing a mini crib vs. standard crib can not give the overall winner, but it can provide guidelines to help you determine which one is the best choice for your needs!
What is the difference between a mini crib and a regular, standard size crib?
As I have already written, and it’s obvious to everyone, is the difference in their dimensions. But that’s not all. Yes, mini cribs are a smaller version of standard size cribs, but their features are not exactly the same.
The size of MINI CRIBS, comparing to FULL-SIZE CRIBS
Standard size cribs:
The size of standard, full-size baby cribs is defined by law. Following U.S. regulations, a standard size baby crib’s interior dimensions must be 52 3⁄8 ± 5⁄8 inches (133 ± 1.6 centimeters) in length and 28 ± 5⁄8 inches (71 ± 1.6 centimeters) in width.
That is very convenient when choosing a suitable crib mattress. You see, dimensions of normal size crib mattresses are also regulated by the government. That’s why is finding a fitted crib mattress for a standard crib much easier!
The size of the mini cribs is, on the contrary, not determined by law. So any baby crib that is smaller from a regular crib is defined as a mini crib. However, in most cases, their inner dimensions are around 38″ (96,52cm) by 24″ (60,96cm). That is great because most mini crib mattresses correspond to those measurements.
The size of mini cribs is not standardized the way the size of regular cribs is. Because of that, mini cribs can be in various sizes and shapes!
Carefully check the dimensions of a mini crib you intend to buy, and check up if you can get a fitted crib mattress.
What about the height of crib’s railing? Is there a difference between mini crib’ and full-size crib’ railing?
No, the railing’ height on both types is the same. A mini crib is as safe as any standard size crib, and your child won’t climb out sooner than from a regular crib.
Mini crib vs. full-size crib, the difference in features
You can choose amongst so many different models of standard size cribs. The choice of regular sized convertible cribs is the biggest. But you can pick a combo crib with an attached changing table, a full-size crib on wheels, or even a foldable full-size crib.
But don’t underestimate mini cribs because they are available with all the features I listed above. Most mini cribs stand on wheels. Lots of them are also foldable. But a mini crib can be even convertible, or have an attached changing table.
What is the difference between the convertibility of a full-size crib and mini crib?
- Convertibility of a standard size crib has no limits. There are 2-in-1, 3-in-1, 4-in-1, or even a 5-in-1 convertible models.
- A mini crib can convert into a daybed and twin bed! There is no room for a toddler safety guardrail, so mini cribs don’t convert into a toddler bed. Also, be careful when buying a 4-in-1 mini convertible crib. Numbers can mislead you, thinking you will get more then you will. The forth conversions of a mini crib is a twin bed without a footboard. Such cribs convert into two beds, a daybed and twin bed with or without a footboard.
Standard size cribs vs. mini cribs – possible conversions:
|CONVERSIONS||Standard crib||Mini crib|
|toddler bed with a safety guardrail||✓||X|
|toddler bed without a safety guardrail||✓||X|
|twin bed with headboard and footboard||X||✓|
|twin bed without a footboard||X||✓|
|full-size adult bed with headboard and footboard||✓||X|
|full-size adult bed without a footboard||✓||X|
The number in convertible cribs’ names doesn’t tell you precisely what you get! For example, while one 3-in-1 convertible crib converts into a daybed and toddler bed, can other skips a toddler bed, and convert directly into a full-size bed.
No matter if we are talking about a mini or full-size convertible crib, you should always read into which beds converts your selected crib. Check up if you have to buy a conversion kit, or you receive it with the crib.
Mini combo crib vs. full-size combo crib
Combo cribs are convertible cribs with an attached changing table. The changing table can be attached to the left or right side of the crib. If a combo crib converts into a twin or full-size bed, a detached changing table transforms into a stand-alone nightstand.
The convertibility of mini and standard combo cribs is the same as I have already written above.
Full-size portable crib vs. mini portable crib
Although rare, there are good full-size portable cribs that stand on wheels. Some can even fold-up. Due to their size, they are less portable than mini cribs. The portability of a regular crib refers only to the moving around the house. Its folded dimensions are also larger from mini portable cribs, so it occupies more space when not in use.
Moving a mini portable crib is much easier, its folding is faster, and it folds up much smaller too. A folded mini portable crib takes up less space when it is not in use! Although you can fit them into the car without disassembling, these cribs are not meant for travel as classic travel cribs.
When is mini crib a better choice as a normal-sized crib?
- The first one is obvious. When you don’t have enough space.
- If you intend to use a crib beside your bed, choose a mini crib instead of a bassinet. It is a better and safer alternative to the bassinet because it’s sturdier and more stable. You can also use it longer than a bassinet.
- Many parents with twins decide for two mini cribs as they occupy less space in the nursery.
- Mini portable cribs are perfect for grandparents’ or caregivers’ house. When the crib is not in use, they can easily store it away into small spaces.
- A mini crib is also a good solution for smaller shared rooms with the older sibling.
Pros and cons of mini cribs comparing to standard size cribs
- They take up less room, which is very convenient for smaller flats, urban lofts, or grandparents’ house.
- Mini cribs have better portability than regular cribs.
- They cost less from standard size cribs.
- Mini cribs are lighter from full-size cribs.
- Mini cribs are a better alternative to baby bassinets.
- Your child will outgrow the mini crib sooner that a standard size crib.
- Mini cribs are usually a little less stable than regular cribs, as they are lighter.
- As their dimensions are not standardized, you might have trouble finding a fitting crib mattress.
- Although they are cheaper from standard size cribs, their value is smaller.
Pros and cons of regular cribs comparing to mini cribs
- The variety of full-size cribs is greater than mini cribs.
- Your baby can use it longer than a mini crib.
- Full-size cribs are in general sturdier and more durable from mini cribs.
- Standard cribs have better value for the money. You get more for your money!
- A standard, full-size crib can be the only bed for your child.
- Their dimensions and dimensions of regular-sized baby crib mattresses are standardized, so finding a proper crib mattress doesn’t cause you problems.
- Standard size crib weight more, so it is usually more stable from a mini crib.
- Standard size cribs cost more than mini cribs.
- Their portability is worse from mini cribs.
- Regular cribs take up more space in the room.
Frequently asked questions about mini and full-size cribs
1. Is a mini crib big enough?
A mini crib is certainly big enough for a baby, but you have to keep in mind that she will outgrow it sooner than a regular crib.
Because the length of a convertible mini crib is shorter, your child will outgrow its daybed sooner too.
2. How much smaller is a mini crib?
As I already wrote, unlike standard cribs, mini crib’s dimensions are not regulated by the government. So, any crib smaller than a standard size crib is a mini crib.
However, the majority of mini cribs have dimensions 38″ by 24″, so they are 14″ shorter and 4″ narrower form standard cribs.
And don’t forget, mini cribs have the same height as full-size standard cribs!
3. How long can my baby use a mini crib?
That depends on the mini crib’s design, its dimensions, and the size of your baby. While most babies use a mini crib till one and a half years, some outgrow it when they are one, and others still sleep in it after their second birthday.
However, if you decide on a convertible mini crib, your child will be able to use its bigger beds for several years.
4. Can you use regular crib sheets on a mini crib?
No, I strongly advise you don’t use regular crib sheets on a mini crib. In theory, you could use them, but that wouldn’t be safe for your baby!
Stuffing the rest of the regular sheet under the mini mattress is an improvised solution, which could pose a potential risk for your baby!
Crib sheets must fit snugly to ensure the safety of your baby! A fitted sheet prevents suffocation and lowers the risk of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome)!
Like most mini cribs, your probability measures 38″ by 24″ too. Finding crib sheets for such dimensions is not hard anymore. Manufacturers have adapted to the growing demand for mini cribs, therefore the supply of fitted sheets is also much higher.
However, if you have an unusual mini crib, finding a proper crib sheet might be a little harder. You may have to order the bedding from the manufacturer. That will limit your options for patterns and colors and will cost more as well.
5. What is the weight limit for a mini crib?
The weight limit for mini cribs is not standardized. Every baby grows at a different rate, so it is better to pay attention to the child’s height, not weight.
Manufacturers usually recommend that your child should stop using a mini crib when he or she begins to climb or reaches 35” in height.
These are also CPSC (Consumer Product Safety Commission) guidelines. After their tests, mini cribs hold up to 45 lbs or even more. For example, a mini crib can easily hold up the weight of 39″ children, who can with such height easily climb out of the crib. That’s why is the child’s height lots more important than the weight!
If there is a weight limit, it is specified by the manufacturer and labeled on the box, instructions, or the crib itself.
6. Are all mini cribs the same size?
No, they are not! The size of mini cribs is not regulated by the government. Any crib smaller than a standard size crib is categorized as a mini crib.
However, because of the convenience, the majority of mini crib measure around 38″ by 24″.
7. Is a mini crib the same size as a Pack ‘N Play?
No, the size of the mini crib is not the same as the size of Pack’N Play. They are both available in different dimensions and shapes. So, it depends on a certain model of a mini crib or Pack ‘N Play.