Better For You: Cribs With Solid Backs
- What: Solid Backed Cribs
- Why: Avoid crawling under the crib to retrieve items
- Where: Any baby store, or online
Thinking about buying a crib for your new bundle of joy? I have one piece of advice. Look at cribs with a solid back.
You might not need a crib for the first several months. If you don’t have a lot of space, a bassinet or other type of sleeping arrangement can work just as well. But crib shopping may be one of those things where you don’t want to take a screaming baby along with you. Or maybe you prefer to make a rational decision rather than choosing out of desperation when suffering from a severe lack of sleep. Or you find the idea of baby sleeping anywhere else extremely appealing.
Once you do start shopping, whether it’s before or after your baby arrives, I recommend taking a serious look at cribs with a solid side in the back. You might think that’s for practical reasons like the fact that these cribs can be turned into a headboard for a big bed later. Like most cribs on the market these days, you can buy a companion conversion kit that will turn the crib into a full-size bed with headboard. Most cribs can also convert into toddler beds with the removal of one long side and the subsequent replacement by smaller pieces. That transformation leaves an opening where active toddlers can climb in and out safely on their own.
But while I find that added utility appealing, it isn’t the main reason I strongly prefer cribs with a solid back side. I’ve spent years lying down on my stomach squished under the crib rooting around for dropped items like pacifiers. It is not my idea of fun, especially since the baby’s room is usually dark and I’m trying to manage a light in one hand and patting around with the other. Younger babies scream and older babies delightedly drop things onto the parts of me still sticking out from under the crib during these maneuvers. With a solid back side, the items shoved (purposefully or otherwise) outside the bars will, in all probability, be much easier to reach (for you, not them). Here’s the one I own:
Think most babies sleep without anything in the crib with them for the first six months? You’re right, except for pacifiers. If you hit the jackpot and get a baby who loves a pacifier and can’t sleep without it, that baby will be sleeping with one (or most likely, many more). And they will all fall out at some point.
Most cribs end up against one wall of the room for practical reasons like space conservation. Somehow, against the odds that items would fall out in equal numbers on both sides of the crib, things rarely fall onto the floor immediately in front. With a solid back, you eliminate one of the largest exit points for things to fall. That means you spend less time rolling around on the floor looking for important items like a favorite stuffed animal they can’t sleep without, or a pacifier.
I would also recommend against any cribs with storage drawers underneath. They typically add a large, shallow storage area too low to the ground to be easily accessible. In addition, I’ve rarely seen a drawer under a crib last long. The drawer is simply too heavy or the attachment points are too far apart to adequately support the weight, and they end up off track or worse. I’ve also never seen a mobile baby resist climbing onto the convenient step, which comes complete with the bars of the crib doubling as handles. As I’m sure you can imagine, that also does not extend the life of the drawer.
Instead buy a couple under bed storage containers. These are my favorite because they are slightly larger than average and glide nicer on both hardwoods and carpets. I put off season clothes, clothes in the next size up, or extra bedding there for easy access, but not anything I need to grab on a daily basis.
Just something to consider as you browse a multitude of options…