Just like Goldilocks we all want a bed that is ‘just right,’ and a crib is a high priority when preparing a nursery. Infants do a whole lot of sleeping, especially in the first few years. Here are a few things to keep in mind when choosing a crib:
- Safety: protect your precious little bundle of joy
- Convenience: features that allow for many blissful hours of sleep
- Quality: design that suits your needs and materials that last a lifetime
Safety FirstFor sentimental reasons, I have saved the wooden crib painted white from my own babies but it no longer meets safety regulations and therefore is no longer usable as a crib. The slats are further apart than the now required 2 3/8 inches and it also has drop down sides that I knew at the time seemed unsafe. If you are interested in more safety information cpsc.gov is a great place to find out what to be aware of when choosing the perfect crib. Many old and used cribs do not meet safety standards. It is recommended to buy a new crib. All of the Amish-made cribs sold at Plain and Simple Furniture meet the most up-to-date safety standards.
Ease of UseAs a new grandma who has been looking at wooden cribs with my daughter, I have noticed that some things never change. For example, safety regulations have changed but the reason for a drop down side mentioned above has not changed. The drop down side provides easy accessibility, especially for new parents (and grandparents too). Modern solid wood cribs can be built with a scooped down front side for safety and convenience and the spring base under the mattress can be adjusted to three different heights as your baby grows. Slatted crib designs allow us to peek in on the little one with a quick glance and keep them in a safe place. Ease of set up is an issue too. Most new parents have enough on their mind that they don’t want to assemble dozens of small pieces. Look for a crib that comes in just a few main pieces: it will be easier to set up and will tend to be more durable as well. You will also want a crib that is easy to care for. Pay attention to the finishes: how hard they are, how resistant to scratching and chipping, and how easy to clean.
More than Just Cribs
Updated features on many cribs now allow them to be used well beyond the infant years. My new grandson has solid wood nursery furniture that will continue to grow into adulthood with him. Stage 1 is used as a crib for infants and babies. In Stage 2 the front panel of the crib is replaced with a simple rail which turns the crib into a small day bed for the toddler years. Stage 3 is a real full-sized bed which can be used through childhood, the teen years, and into adulthood. Well built, solid wood children’s furniture can make all these transitions without breaking or wearing out, so that when the time is right, it can be returned to a crib for the next generation. This bed really is ‘just right’-- for children from 0-100 years of age!
Your ‘Just Right’ Crib
One of the benefits of solid wood nursery furniture is that it can be made from a variety of wood species, and can be stained a wide range of colors, just the way you want it. Especially if you are thinking of a wooden crib that can turn into an adult bed, it’s important to choose a finish that will look at home in an adult’s bedroom (or a guestroom) as well as in a nursery. The Amish builders at Plain and Simple work with Oak, Maple, Cherry, Quarter Sawn Oak, Sap Cherry and Grey Elm, and each of these are available in at least a dozen different colors. If you are trying to find a wooden crib that will match your doors or trim, or even Grandma’s rocker which has been handed down, having all of these choices will be helpful. At least as important as the wood and stain is the design or style of your new wooden crib. Look for a style that is simple and elegant: a just right style for your home.