Last Updated on January 28, 2021 by Ines
American Academy of Pediatrics recommends a crib, Pack ‘N Play or bassinet, as the safest sleeping place for your baby. Most parents decide on a crib, wherein a convertible model is the most popular type. But, what is a convertible baby crib?
A convertible crib is a wooden, acrylic, or metal baby crib, which grows with your child. Meaning the crib transforms into bigger beds along with the child’s growth.
Depending on the convertible crib’s type, it can transit into up to three bigger beds. It converts into one or more following beds: toddler bed, daybed, junior bed, twin-size bed, and full-size adult bed.
Convertible cribs are available in both sizes, in a mini or full-size variant.
Types of convertible baby cribs
Convertible cribs are divided based on the number of their conversions. The number in the name tells you the sum of beds that a particular model has.
However, it is not necessarily that all parts for conversions are in the original purchase. You may need to buy particular conversion kits separately.
Example: A 3-in-1 convertible crib converts into two beds.
Let’s say that our 3-in-1 convertible crib converts into a toddler bed and daybed. But our model doesn’t have a toddler bed safety guardrail included in the price.
As a result, we’ve bought a crib that can convert into two beds, but we have to purchase additional parts if we want all of them.
Convertible cribs are further divided according to their additional features into regular convertible cribs, combo cribs, convertible storage cribs, and portable convertible cribs.
The primary division of convertible baby cribs:
- 2-in-1 convertible cribs: crib + one bigger bed
- 3-in-1 convertible cribs: crib + two bigger beds
- 4-in-1 convertible cribs: crib + three bigger beds
You may find a 5-in-1 convertible crib or even the one with a higher number in its name. But that is more a marketing gimmick, as these cribs do not differ from 4-in-1 convertible cribs.
For instance, the trick about a 5-in-1 convertible crib is in the last conversion into a full-size bed. It can be with or without a footboard, resulting in two different full-size beds. That adds to the overall number of beds, but it doesn’t make a big difference. Furthermore, many 4-in-1 convertible cribs have such an option, but manufacturers do not sell them as 5-in-1 models.
Or they sell it even as a 6-in-1 convertible crib, where the sixth conversion is a bench. A bench is actually a daybed, so all 4-in-1 convertible cribs have it.
Convertible cribs with additional features
Convertible cribs with an under-crib drawer
Those convertible cribs usees otherwise unutilized space under the crib’s mattress. They have a convenient trundle drawer where you can store bedding or other baby essentials. The drawer stays under the crib throughout the daybed and toddler-bed phase.
You can read more about convertible cribs with under-crib drawer in our article The best convertible cribs with drawer underneath.
Convertible cribs with a changing table
If you want a whole nursery station, you can decide on a combo crib, where two pieces of furniture combine into one space-saving crib.
These convertible cribs have an attached changing table, with a changing pad on the top and a convenient storage space under it. Storage units are drawers, shelves, or a combination of both.
Combo cribs are space and money saver! A full-size combo crib costs less and takes less space than a regular convertible crib and a stand-alone changing table together. The same goes for mini combo cribs.
Convertible and portable cribs
These cribs stand on wheels and also converts into a toddler bed and/or daybed. These models are rare, but we’ve found some great pieces, such as the DaVinci Jenny or Babyletto Maki, which even folds down!
Do I get conversion kits with the crib?
Not necessarily! You may not get all parts for all conversions with the crib!
Read carefully if the conversion kit is included with the crib. Check up how much does it costs and if it is available in your preferred crib’s color.
If a convertible crib converts into a daybed:
Cribs that convert into a daybed have all parts for this conversion included with the crib.
If a convertible crib converts into a toddler bed:
You will need a toddler bed safety guardrail for this conversion. Some brands include it, others don’t.
You may also opt for a crib, which toddler bed doesn’t need a safety guardrail. However, I would not decide on such a model. Given how my toddler sleeps, she would wake up on the floor without a safety guardrail every day.
If a convertible crib converts into a twin-size or full-size adult bed:
Parts for this conversion are newer included with the crib! The back and front of the crib serve as the headboard and footboard of an adult bed. And you have to buy full-size rails and a suitable mattress for this conversion!
Some of the best convertible cribs of this year
The best convertible crib:
Babyletto Hudson 3-in-1 Convertible Crib
The Hudson crib is a popular choice for many parents and a best-selling model from Babyletto.
It is a modern and beautiful crib with an open design. The crib is light, airy, and available in various finishes, including two tones.
You will get all parts for its conversions with the crib, which is excellent!
Hudson is also a low profile crib, perfect for petite parents. Its low profile is the result of a carefully designed framework, with shorter legs, not lower rails!
Main characteristics of this convertible crib:
- stylishly rounded spindles
- Hudson is a full-size baby crib with stationary sides
- it can convert into two bigger beds: a toddler bed and later into a daybed
- you will get a safety guardrail with the crib
- Hudson has a metal spring support and takes any standard size crib mattress
- the position of the mattress is adjustable to four different heights
OUR REVIEW: Babyletto Hudson 3-in-1 convertible crib review
A timless convertible baby crib:
DaVinci Kalani 4-in-1 Convertible Baby Crib
Kalani is the most popular model from DaVinci. It is one of the best-selling convertible models since 2014!
Main characteristics of this covertible crib:
- Kalani is a static, full-size crib that converts into four bigger beds
- Kalani’s conversions are: toddler bed, daybed, and full-size adult bed
- the crib has a four-level mattress support
- metal spring support and slats around the whole crib allow good air circulation
- it has a toddler safety guardrail, which is included in the price
- as for any convertible crib, you have to buy a conversion kit and a full-size mattress for the last transformation
OUR REVIEW: DaVinci Kalani 4-in-1 convertible crib review
The best mini convertible baby crib:
DaVinci Kalani 2-in-1 Mini Convertible Baby Crib
Kalani is an elegant mini crib, designed for smaller nurseries or for the grandparent’s house. With soft, subtle curves it mirrors its big sister DaVinci Kalani 4-in-1 crib’s timeless design.
Main characteristics of this mini convertible crib:
- it is a mini crib, with assembled dimensions: 40″ x 28.625″ x 38.125″
- four mattress levels allow you to adjust the mattress height to your child’s growth
- it is a great alternative to a bassinet, as it provides a safe and sturdy sleeping place for your baby
- it is a 2-in-1 convertible crib, which converts into one bigger bed → in Kalani’s case into a twin-size bed
- you need a twin-size bed conversion kit for the transformation
- unfortunately, a conversion kit is not included in the price
As you can see, this model skips the daybed and toddler bed stage. That is common for a mini crib. Babies outgrow them faster, so those two don’t have a lot of value.
Another great feature of the DaVinci Kalani 2-in-1 mini crib is its low profile. Since cribs with dropping sides are not safe, low-profile cribs become very popular among short moms. Leaning over the rail and placing a sleeping baby into the crib is much easier with those cribs!
Most affordable convertible crib:
Union 3-in-1 Convertible Baby Crib
Union Crib has a simple yet elegant design. With clean lines and minimalist styling, it is a perfect choice for modern nurseries. It is a full-size 3-in-1 convertible crib, so it transforms into two bigger beds.
Main characteristics of this convertible crib:
- it is a safe and affordable baby crib
- it converts into a toddler bed and daybed
- you need to purchase a toddler safety guardrail separately
- the crib is available in seven different colors, including some rare choices like emerald and lagoon
- it has a four-level mattress support
- Union 3-in-1 convertible crib has slats all around the crib, so you can see your baby from any angle of the room
OUR REVIEW: Union convertible baby crib review
The best 4-in-1 convertible mini crib:
Dream On Me Aden Mini Convertible Baby Crib
We deliberately chose this model, because it is a perfect example of confusion. Some will claim it is a 3-in-1, another it is a 4-in-1 convertible crib. Why? Because of a footboard. The crib can transform into a full-size bed with or without a footboard.
- Dream On Me Aden is a mini crib with the same features as standard full-size cribs, just in smaller dimensions
- a crib with a three-level mattress support
- it can be a lifetime bed for your child
- Dream On Me Aden’s conversions are: toddler bed, daybed and twin-size bed with or without a footboard
- its toddler bed doesn’t require a safety guardrail
- you have to buy a twin-size conversion kit for the last transformation
You can find more about Dream On Me Aden in our article: Best mini cribs for small spaces
What is a convertible baby crib?
- It is a full-size or mini crib that can transform into different bed options. → It is a crib that grows with your child!
- Most convertible cribs are made of wood, but you can opt for a metal or acrylic convertible model as well.
- You don’t need to convert the crib if you don’t want to. → You can use it only as a crib.
- Toddler beds are with or without a safety guardrail. → Carefully read if you will get it with the crib.
- If the crib converts into a full-size bed, you need to buy the conversion kit and a mattress.
Why would you decide on a convertible, not a regular baby crib?
First of all, there is not a lot of regular cribs on the market. And second, purchasing a convertible crib will save you money. Convertible cribs offer an opportunity to use them longer than regular baby cribs.
Baby’s Little Place tip: If you already know you will convert the crib, we always recommend buying the conversion kit and/or toddler safety guardrail at the same time. There are a few reasons for that. First, you can get a discount. Second, when your child gets to the full-size bed stage, manufacturers might won’t sell your crib model anymore, or it will be out of stock. Spare yourself those troubles.