Safety is the highest priority when shopping for a crib. But style and value are also important to today’s parents. For all three, convertible cribs fit the bill. Loaded with the latest safety features and amenities, and offered in far more options than other crib styles, convertible cribs are well worth the look.
What is a Convertible Crib?
Stages of a Convertible Crib
Stage 1: Crib
All convertible cribs are stationary, meaning the sides are fixed and there is no drop-side. (In fact, drop-side cribs became illegal to sell in June of 2011.) Like any standard crib, a convertible crib will have an adjustable mattress support that lowers as your baby develops. Lower the mattress when your baby can sit up, and again when he or she can stand. Convertible cribs use a standard size crib mattress unless they are specified as mini-cribs or portable cribs.
Stage 2: Toddler Bed
Remove the front panel of the crib and position the mattress at its lowest level. Add the guardrail (sometimes sold separately) to prevent falling out. This transition is typically made between the ages of 18 months to 3 years but many experts encourage waiting as long as possible. Other reasons to switch are that your child regularly tries to climb out of the crib or has reached 3 ft. in height.
Stage 3: Toddler Daybed
Remove the guardrail, leaving the front of the bed completely open. The two side panels and back panel of the original crib remain in place. The daybed stage is suitable at the same time as the toddler bed stage, but there’s no guardrail to prevent your child from falling out of bed.
Stage 4: Full-Size Bed
Add a full-size bed conversion kit (rarely included) and a full-size mattress to create a full-size bed your child can use until adulthood. The back panel of the crib becomes the headboard and the front panel of the crib sometimes serves as the footboard. It’s time to make this transition when your child no longer fits comfortably in their toddler bed or toddler daybed, or when they suggest they’re ready for a real big-kid bed.
Convertible Crib Types
- 2-in-1 Convertible Crib: The simplest convertible crib changes from a traditional crib to a toddler daybed.
- 3-in-1 Convertible Crib: Sure to last at least through preschool, this type can go a couple of different ways. Take it from crib to toddler bed with guardrail to daybed or from crib to daybed to full-size bed.
- 4-in-1 Convertible Crib: In for the long haul, this crib can also be enjoyed as toddler bed with guardrail, a daybed with an open front side, and a full-size bed.