For soon-to-be parents short on space, arranging a baby room can feel a bit like a game of Tetris. In our case we were dealing with an old house, a 10×10 room, and existing hand-me-down furniture — so every square inch of vertical space counted. We were stoked when we first found out about mini cribs. For reasons that escape me they’re pretty unpopular, but if you’re in a similar living situation you might want to get one in your home ASAP.
What makes a mini crib “mini”
Mini cribs are the same width front-to-back as their standard-sized counterparts, but are only 38 inches long. This saves you a foot in length compared to the standard 52 inches. PLUS mini cribs can convert to twin or single-sized beds — standard cribs go all the way up to a full.
The unpopular choice
Honestly, I have no idea why more people aren’t excited about mini cribs! When my husband and I went furniture shopping the standard-sized cribs seemed so… enormous… as if they were big enough to comfortably accomodate our neighbor’s four-year-old. There were warnings online that a mini crib wouldn’t be enough space and that we’d have to upgrade at some point. Our larger-than-average girl has never been cramped — even when she’s loaded up with a collection of toys, blankets, and feeding supplies. Our crib will also easily last until we upgrade her to a floor bed.
Unpopularity = hard to find
The problem with mini cribs is that since they are unpopular, they’re harder to find and equip the way you want them. Brick and mortar stores will often only carry a few mini crib models (if they have any at all) and some times they won’t even have bedding or mattresses that fit! To make things even more confusing, mini crib accessories are often sold under “portable crib” gear — while the sizes are close, they can vary from one manufacturer to another so you’ll have to take measurements and shop around. We ended up having to get the crib at one store, the mattress at another, and the bedding online.
Sounds like a hassle, but for us it made a big difference. We actually bought a mini-crib with a built-in changing table on the side, which fit perfectly against the wall next to our existing drawer set and left only a few inches to spare. It was also a hundred dollars less than its full-size cousin from the same manufacturer! The mini crib was a little extra work to get, but it ended up being the perfect solution to our space problem.