ISO: The Perfect Crib

Baby M has been sleeping in the cradle that was mine as a baby since he was a few weeks old. At first he was in a bassinet in our room and then I put the bassinet inside the cradle when he was 2.5 weeks old; then at 12 weeks we retired our bassinet completely.

In a few short weeks baby M and I will go to my parents' house for the summer, and he'll be sleeping in his crib there. We'll be packing up the cradle and taking it with us to return it to my parents' attic. When we get home, we'll need a crib waiting for us here. So, we're in search of the perfect crib!

We have a fairly straight-forward wish list for our perfect crib. We'd like something simple and modern-ish looking, probably in white and preferably something that doesn't scream "I need a skirt." We want solid wood, no pressed board or MDF and a non-toxic finish. It would be nice if it converts to a toddler bed and extra storage would be ideal. Made in the USA would be fabulous. Most of all, we want something affordable since we bought a more expensive mattress made of organic materials.

After much searching and pinning I came up with the following options.
Crib collage thanks to HelloBee where I'm Mrs. Stroller!

1. Pottery Barn's Skylar - $800
This is the dream crib for our small nursery that's tight on space. I love that it has three separate drawers for storage underneath, converts to a toddler bed and is very well made. However, the price is steep and the toddler conversion kit is sold separately.

2. Babyletto Modo 3-in-1 - $390
I love the two toned finish and the simplicity of the modern look of this crib. The price includes the toddler conversion kit. The only downside of this crib is that there is no extra storage and there's very little space to slide anything underneath.

3. Spot on Square Eicho - $595
I love the super thick slats on this crib. It's sturdy and modern, eco friendly and made in the USA. However the toddler conversion kit costs an extra $200.

4. Babyletto Mercer - $400
This crib is a great storage crib alternative to the Pottery Barn Skylar, plus it's a bit more modern looking, is available in a two-tone finish or all white and comes with the toddler conversion kit. It's not made in the USA, however, and I haven't been able to find it available in a brick and mortar store so I can test out the quality of the drawer.

5. Babyletto Harlow - $410
I love, love, love the base on this crib. It screams, "I definitely don't need a skirt!" However, in a small house and a tiny nursery, a solid base means giving up valuable storage space. Plus, the solid side is placed right where baby M would be looking out of his crib and into his room. How not fun to see a solid panel of white!

6. Babyletto Hudson - $370
I love the legs on this crib. They're reminiscent of much more expensive brands. It has a timeless simplicity and the toddler bed conversion kit is included in the price.

7. Nurseryworks Twinkle 3-in-1 Billy - $300
The solid head and foot of this crib caught my eye - less distraction during nap time! The toddler conversion kit is included and it can stand alone without the guard rail like a little daybed.

8. Ikea Gulliver - $100
The price on this Ikea crib cannot be beat. It gets rave reviews from everyone I know who owns it and is timeless in its simplicity. It converts to a toddler bed, but the toddler style does not have a bed rail like some of the other cribs. There is no storage underneath, but we could add a skirt and put a box under it. However, the base is reportedly made from pressed board, which means toxic glues I'm not psyched to have near my baby. And the whole thing just doesn't seem too sturdy.

9. Child Craft London - $200
This option, which is also available in white, is a little more classic looking. It converts to a toddler bed, but a security rail is sold separately.

10. Baby Mod Modena 3-in-1 Navy - $200
A navy blue crib to match baby M's nursery! I love the detail on the solid ends and the simplicity of the legs. It converts to a toddler bed and includes a safety rail. Navys are all very different so it could end up not matching baby M's nursery at all, and it may limit nursery color choices in the future should we decide to go against everything we've ever said and have a second baby.

I recently found two more options that were recommended to me:

The Baby Mod Olivia - $270
This crib is similar to the Modo, is solid wood and has a non-toxic finish. It looks solid, converts to a toddler bed, with a rail included and is super cute! It's sold by WalMart, but is apparently made by the same company who makes the Babyletto series, only less expensive. The only problem is it isn't sold in stores, so there's no way for us to see if we like the shaded of the wood on the base.
Baby Mod Parklane - $250
This crib is also sold by WalMart, is solid wood and has a non-toxic finish. It meets our storage criteria underneath and has 137 reviews, nearly all of which give it 4 or 5 stars. It's a great price for a crib with storage, but the reviews say and photos show that there's a large gap between the mattress and drawer when it's converted to a toddler bed. A little skirt might fix the issue of being able to see into the drawer. I'm a bit concerned about the sturdiness of the drawer when toddler M decides it's a great step stool or fort. It's also not available in stores, so we can't go and inspect the drawers in person. Plus, I'm not sure I love the color of the drawer, but I could easily solve that with a touch of old navy to match baby M's bookshelves!

Our final option is to have a crib made to our specifications. We have a local furniture maker building the two hutches for our dining room right now and if we like how they turn out, we might ask him to draw up plans for our dream crib while following the CPSC's crib safety guidelines. It might end up being an economical option and we could definitely get everything on our wishlist. But of course there's a time consideration with that option. Baby M is growing like a little weed and before we know it he's going to be too big for his cradle; I'm getting a tad concerned we might not make it 'til the end of June before we need to make the crib transition! Just look at the difference twenty weeks makes:
I'm at a total roadblock. I just cannot decide which crib to buy! What are your favorite features in a crib? Any one crib you absolutely love or absolutely hate?

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  1. Anonymous6/08/2012

    LOVE the Skylar crib. I can't tell you how nice it would be to have those drawers. Plus- unless you have a skirt that goes all the way to the floor, dust seems to collect under the crib ridiculously fast, and it is a pain to move everything around to clean under! Also digging crib #2

  2. Anonymous6/08/2012

    I love No 2 (the Babyletto Modo) but would probably personally go with the Baby Mod Olivia. Good luck with your decision!

  3. I wouldn't worry too much about the toddler bed conversion. We put both of my kids in twin beds (or on a mattress on the floor) and they did fine. Also, wouldn't spend a boat load of money for something you are really only going to get 2 years of use out of for each child. Often the side rails, or conversion kits are more than just getting a new bed - especially since you're a bargain hunter anyway. All that said - I like the Parklane especially if you paint the drawer navy which would make it sort of disappear.

  4. We have the Baby Mod Olivia for our daughter who is now 2 1/2 and we absolutely love it. I had to buy it online without seeing it in person as well but I couldn't have been happier with the outcome. It has all the modern appeal but with a reasonable price tag. We got a ton of compliments on it and nobody could guess it came from Walmart. :)

    They offered free site to store shipping and our new Walmart by our house as a drive through pickup so we didn't even have to go inside! They loaded it right in our car for us. And it was HEAVY! But also made me feel good that it is strong and sturdy and will last us a long time for future kiddos.

    Oh and we got the matching dresser and it is just as cool. Made me want to order one for myself.

    Good luck!

  5. F – love checking in on you through your blog! You have such beautiful taste and have been handling new mommy hood with such grace… I just wanted to offer a few other factors to consider as you pick out your crib, if you haven't already. First, think about whether the height of the crib matters to you. We've kept both kids in their crib well into their third year… I love to be able to lean over the side rail and give them hugs and snuggles – or pick them while they are sleeping – when they're laying prone in their crib at the lowest setting. The crib I've used with both kids allows me to do that -- I'm not very tall (5'5"), but the side rail comes up to my waist, so I can stand on my tiptoes and get a full body hug with my little guy when he is sleeping!!! Some cribs with storage underneath don't make that easy. Also, hard to imagine now, but if baby two comes along you may not want to immediately convert your crib into its bed option for to-be-toddler M. - you might want to use it as the next baby's crib. And also, most cribs convert into a full-size bed. Our kids rooms are small and would never comfortably allow for a full-size bed! All that said, I don't think you can go wrong with any of these beautifully designed cribs! Best of luck with your decision & happy summer!! - Sarah (and Craig says "hi!")

  6. Maggie6/09/2012

    I went through a similar dilemma when deciding on a crib. I wanted a non toxic crib that wasn't an 'adult style' of furniture. And also one that didn't cost much. We decided on the classic Jenny Lind crib and I love it. But it might not fit your crib skier qualification...

  7. I'm loving #2, #5, and the Parklane.

    @Maggie: We have the Jenny Lind, too! I absolutely love it!


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