how long can a baby last in a mini crib

How Long Can A Baby Last In A Mini Crib?

Have you found yourself wondering, “How long can a baby sleep in a mini crib?” We don’t blame you. Babies grow so fast in the first year of their lives. And we all want a crib that will grow with our babies while keeping them safe and secure.

In truth, most babies will probably outgrow a mini crib before they’re two years old. Now, many babies can make the transition to a toddler bed once they’re between 18 to 24 months, but there are plenty of tykes who won’t be ready until they’re three years old or even later.

That’s why most standard cribs are designed to accommodate babies up to 36 months. But that doesn’t mean mini cribs are a bad idea. After all, these things aren’t selling like hotcakes for no reason!

There is no hard and fast age when your little bundle of joy can outgrow sleeping in a mini crib.

We can’t put the finger on the exact time your baby can stay in the mini crib considering all babies come of age differently.

However, there are other factors you have to be mindful of. The most critical is the weight and height of your baby.

Some mini crib manufacturers design mini cribs that can hold babies of up to 45 pounds (20.4 kgs).

However, the recommendation is for infants weighing a maximum of 35 pounds (16 kgs).
It’s no lie that babies grow fast in the first and second years of their lives.

According to Child Growth Standards from the World Health Organization, the average height of a 2-year-old is between 32-28 inches.

The length of most mini cribs is about 38 inches long. It’s reasonable to conclude that an active and agile two-year-old can quickly outclimb a mini crib.

However, the perfect option is to heed the height and weight restrictions of the preferred model of a mini crib.

Seeing your baby sleep peacefully in a mini crib takes a lot of effort. It is not that easy to train your baby for a mini crib when all he does is cry and resist. After going through several articles on putting him to sleep in a mini crib, you finally make it happen.

When he gets used to it, you start wondering how long a baby can stay in a mini crib. Babies grow fast in their first year, so you must know when to transition to a toddler bed. Here, we will be discussing the mini crib age, how big is a mini crib, and how long a baby can sleep in a mini crib.

FAQs About Baby Crib

Both cribs and bassinets can be safe sleep choices for a newborn. However, they have several important differences. The most obvious is size — a crib takes up a lot more space than a bassinet so that a bassinet can be easier in a smaller house. Their smaller size also makes bassinets more portable.

Because they’re smaller than a full-size crib but can be used for longer than a bassinet, a mini crib is a good option to keep in your bedroom during this time. They’re easier to move around: Mini cribs are more durable than a pack ‘n play or Playard but can be similarly portable.

But what exactly is the difference in size? Usually, mini cribs are between 36 and 43 inches long. Standard cribs have to be about 53 inches long. Mini cribs can be about the same width as standard cribs (28 inches), or they can be a tad narrower ( around 24 inches ).

The CPSC, or the Consumer Product Safety Commission, recommends that mini cribs should be used only until the baby reaches 35 inches in height. Our little ‘Master Average’ is probably between 32-38 inches at two years old. Different models of mini cribs have different height and weight restrictions.

Some travel cribs (playards) or mini cribs include a bassinet. This is a perfect opportunity to save money. So if you travel a lot or want to have a pack and play, then it may be a good idea to buy one of these all-in-ones. Surprisingly, the combo options maybe even cheaper than stand-alone bassinets.

 

Things to Consider When Buying a Mini Crib

If you are opting for a mini crib, here are some points that you need to know.

Safety

Whatever crib you decide to go with, make sure it meets the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) standards. They do not allow using drop-side rails. Conducting several tests, they ensure that the crib has proper mattress support and is built using high-quality materials. The locking mechanism should work well, and the removable bases should be secure.

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), parents should keep their babies with them for a minimum of six months. When you do not have the option of a regular crib, the mini crib fits fine. You can fit it close to your bed to keep him safe.

Size

As we have mentioned, most mini cribs come in 24 x 38 inches. Some are slimmer than other models. The narrow ones are good to go for tight spaces, but they can make your baby feel constricted. It would be best to be careful while selecting the perfect mini crib for your little one. If he stays for long in the crib, then the standard cribs would go well.

Portability

how long can a baby last in a mini crib3

Most mini cribs are portable, unlike regular cribs. Newborns need to stay close to their moms, so that portable mini cribs will make this easier. Not only in the bedroom, but you can also drag it to the living room when you want to chill around and keep the baby close at the same time. These lightweight cribs come with wheels that have locks not to be moved.

With the foldable design, you can collapse it to keep it in your car trunk. You need to remove the mattress to fold flat. This is a great option if you often visit his granny and store for your second baby.

Versatility

We’ve been saying all along that most babies outgrow their mini cribs by age 2. But there is a way you can get around that pesky little "rule."

A convertible mini crib has features that can grow with your baby for the first few years of his life.

Some models, for example, convert to a daybed when you remove one of the rails. Others even come with a toddler rail to be converted into a bed when the time is right.

The length of use depends on a mini crib’s size.

Unlike standard cribs, the government does not regulate the mini cribs’ size. Any smaller crib than a standard crib is therefore qualified as a mini crib.

In theory, a crib that is smaller than the standard model belongs to mini cribs. Your child could sleep in such a mini crib much longer than two years that I have stated above.

However, most mini cribs are approximately the same size. The inner dimensions of most mini cribs in the US are around 38 inches (96,52cm) long by 24 inches (60,96cm) wide. The average height of a two-year-old child is a bit under 3 feet tall (36″). That confirms the theory that most children can sleep in a small crib until about two.

The “unofficial standard” for mini cribs is also crucial for choosing the right crib mattress. Most mini crib mattresses fit this size, so deciding on a “standard US” mini crib saves you a lot of stress!

Mini Crib Vs Standard-Sized Crib Vs A Bassinet

As the name suggests, a mini crib is a miniature version of a standard-sized crib. In length, most standard cribs are 20 inches longer than a mini crib.

The width of both cribs differ slightly, but the mini crib is an ideal choice for households with tight or limited spacing.

The portability feature of mini cribs makes it easy and appropriate to switch from room to room.

And even when a baby spends at their grandparent’s house or the babysitter, some mini cribs are collapsible and can tag along. 

Also, the thickness in size of a mini crib is slightly thinner than that of a standard-sized crib.

Unlike the standardised mattress and sheets size for a full-sized crib, the mattress size for mini cribs varies so much.

This is because mini crib manufacturers make their brands as per their design, and a mattress fit for a particular brand may not fit another mini crib.

Also, finding the correct sheet for your mini crib might be challenging. It’s vital to find the right bedding that fits your baby’s mini crib to avoid risks such as suffocation. 

Typically, standard-sized cribs hold up to 50 pounds (22.68 kgs) and can convert into a toddler bed or full-size bed.

Mini cribs may be a perfect solution for your newborn or less 2-year-old baby. It’s more warm and cosy for newborn babies.

Also, it’s easier to position mini cribs next to your bed. However, when the baby comes of age, they might as well transition to a convertible standard-sized crib. 

With some comparable features between a mini crib and a bassinet, it’s sensible why some parents might confuse a mini crib with a bassinet.

Bassinets are smaller, more portable, and babies outgrow them by four months. 

The drawback of a mini crib is that babies outgrow it much quicker than a standard crib. One way or another, your baby will need a bigger and spacier bed. 

 

How long a baby can stay in a mini crib depends on the weight and height. Be cautious and monitor when your child tries to escape the safety rails on their own.

When making this purchase, always opt for a mini crib that is safety tested and approved. 

The Disadvantages of Mini Cribs

When you have a small nursery or need to fit a crib into a room with an older child, a mini crib is an attractive option. Grandparents often purchase mini cribs to provide a safe place for their infant grandchildren to sleep when they visit. However, this type of crib has some disadvantages to consider before buying one.

Outgrow Quickly

The main disadvantage of a mini crib is that the baby outgrows it much faster than a standard crib. A mini crib mattress usually measures about 38 inches long by 25 inches wide, almost 20 inches shorter than the 59 inches of a standard crib. 

Therefore, a baby might outgrow a standard crib around three years of age, he might outgrow the mini crib before his second birthday.

Non-Standardised Sizes

Standard cribs have specific size guidelines for the mattress and the frame that make it easy to find exactly what you are looking for. With a mini crib, on the other hand, manufacturers can make cribs of slightly different sizes and refer to them all as mini cribs. 

This makes it more difficult to find what you are looking for because you have to read the fine print to discover the size of the frame and the size of the mattress.

Difficulty Finding Bedding

how long can a baby last in a mini crib2

Crib bedding needs to fit snugly to ensure it does not pose a suffocation risk for the sleeping baby. Whereas all baby stores carry bedding for standard cribs, mini crib bedding is more difficult to find. 

You can purchase it online if your mini crib is the most common size, but if you have an unconventional mini crib, you may have to special order the bedding from the manufacturer. This limits your options for patterns and colours and can be an added expense.

Fewer Mattress Options

Mini cribs typically come with a mattress that fits in the crib, but there are few options if you want to purchase a different mattress. This is because not as many companies manufacture mini cribs, and those that do might not make them in the correct size for your frame. 

Crib safety standards require no more than 1/2 inch between the mattress and the frame when it is centred in the crib or no more than 1 inch when it is pressed up against the other side. Therefore, you must buy a mattress exactly the correct size for your mini crib.

Pros and Cons of a Mini Crib

Considering a mini crib? Here are some key points to think about:

Pros

  • Size – A smaller crib could make the difference between a baby sleeping in the main bedroom with you or having to sleep in their bedroom at night; smaller furniture means there is more room to navigate. That smaller size might also mean more flexibility when trying to fit multiple groups in the same room (if you have been blessed with twins or more!) or co-locating your new baby in with an older child.
  • Price – Since many cribs aren’t used for quite as long as other baby beds, they tend to be priced accordingly, if only slightly cheaper. If you’re looking to enter the baby furniture market on a more reasonable basis, the lower price might be attractive.
  • Portability – Because they are designed for the first years of your baby’s life, many cribs often come with features that enhance portability; your favourite mini crib will likely come with wheels so that you can move the baby into a living area for their daytime sleeps to be closer to you. There is also a good chance that the mini cripple is way less than its standard-sized counterpart.

Cons

  • Size – That smaller size limits how long your baby sleeps in the mini crib. If your baby is in a higher percentile (bigger than the average), then you may find that your baby spends less time in the mini crib than their peers.
  • Bedding – You might find that your favourite print is unavailable in sheets and bedding for a mini crib size, only full-size cribs. I also bumped into a situation where I couldn’t find extra sheets for my mini crib at the baby store closest to me; I had to travel further to shop. Something to keep in mind if you live out of town or in a more rural area. You could skip worrying about top sheets and blankets if you use a baby sleeping bag instead.
  • Build quality/stability – Due to the nature of the materials used to construct it, to make it more portable, your mini crib may be less heavy-duty and prone to only lasting as long as it needs to. You might find you need to buy a new mini crib for every child.
  • Overall value – While they might be cheaper initially, if you consider the value of the time spent using a mini crib versus a standard or full-sized crib, you might find a slightly greater initial investment is a better deal.

There are so many options for how your baby will sleep. As long as the highest priority is always safe sleep, you have nothing to worry about. Sweet dreams!

Conclusion

A baby can stay in a mini crib is usually a top concern for many parents.

While a full-sized or a standard-sized crib may be one of the most pricey baby gear, a mini crib might seem a feasible option. 

Mini cribs are affordable, smaller and occupy minimal space than a full-sized crib.

Also, most mini cribs are portable, making it seamless to move from one room to another.

It may seem appropriate for some parents to consider a mini crib as a perfect option in your little one’s nursery.

Still, it’s best to be knowledgeable before making this necessary purchase. 

To ensure your baby’s safety and well-being, we have all the information about mini cribs. 

What your baby needs is all that matters. Mini cribs are best for small apartments and tight spaces. Also, they are a great option to keep your baby near you all the time. 

The estimated mini crib age limit is up to 2 years. Then you will need to switch to a regular crib for more space and comfort. Hopefully, this article will help you decide on what is best for your new arrival right now.

 

Scroll to Top