Best Crib Alternatives For Small Spaces: What Brings A Sleep For Your Baby?

Cribs may be the most popular choice for baby sleep. However, these products still have some room for improvement. 

If you find their drawbacks annoying, you can go for crib alternatives. There are many choices that can fit your requirements regarding security and comfort. 

This article will discuss the pros and cons of the best crib alternatives for small spaces available in the market. Let’s follow our post and find the best one for your babies! 

Do Babies Need A Crib? 

Babies do not prefer where they rest, which is an excellent sign. As a result, you should select where your kid can sleep comfortably and safely as a parent. 

The cribs bring you both benefits and drawbacks, affecting your decision on choosing them or not. 

Pros

Cribs are traditional sleeping places for babies. They offer you some benefits such as:

Safety

The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests parents utilize a crib as a sleeping area for babies as part of their safety guidelines. The crib is one of the safest options available. 

Further research backs up crib usage as a protective measure. To prevent many of the risks connected with beds, kids under two should rest in a crib.

Strangling and suffocating are two of the dangers of lying on adult beds. There are dangers even if a kid sleeps alone.

Independent sleeping

Your kid will learn to sleep alone, especially if they have been sleeping there since birth. You won’t have to move your kid from the bed to a crib this way.

It is beneficial to place the child in the cot when he is tired but not asleep. This tip will assist your baby in learning to fall asleep by himself.  

In addition, if your kid wakes up at midnight, this technique can help them learn to go back to sleep quickly. 

Monitoring 

When your child can climb and crawl, your observing mission seems to get more complicated. 

If the kid sleeps in a regular bed, you might not notice if they’ve gotten up. However, if he slept in a crib, it would not be the case.

When newborns sleep in cribs, they have to seek support to get out and in. As a result, they won’t be able to climb up and into dangerous parts of your house without any notice.

Cons 

The installation of a crib in your nursery is relatively standard. If you’re still uncertain about whether or not to bypass this option, consider the following arguments for choosing a suitable crib substitute.

Price

Cribs are not cheap. A non-toxic cot will cost much more if you are a non-toxic lifestyle enthusiast. The price range for an excellent model is $250 to $1700.

Material

The most popular materials for making cribs are MDF, plywood, or composite wood. 

After the heating process, some chemicals, such as adhesive, may release VOCs and even formaldehyde into the air. These toxins are incredibly harmful. 

Limited space

If Montessori is your parenting method, you will find a crib limiting. It hinders children’s free movement and prevents them from discovering their surroundings. 

The crib is not perfect if you want to foster independence from a young age. 

The cribs have both pros and cons

The cribs have both pros and cons

Best Crib Alternatives For Small Spaces 

Here are some of the best crib alternatives for small spaces. Remember to consider both sides of each option to determine which is best. 

Co-sleeping

One of the most controversial among families is co-sleeping. Some parents have no problems sharing their beds with their infants. Meanwhile, others disagree. 

If you want your kids to sleep on your bed, this option should be your way to go. However, make sure that the parents don’t drink, smoke, or have to sleep on the sofa. If you meet these demands, everything will be OK. 

Many parents believe that the habit will eventually come to an end by itself. The fact is that you’ll need a strategy to get out of this scenario. Otherwise, your seven-year-old kid still sleeps with you. 

In the beginning, a cuddle nest is a great help for parents. You won’t have to worry about your infant sliding out because it will provide a tiny gap surrounding them.

A bedside sleeper (or a co-sleeper) is preferable since you can have the huge bed to yourself while being close to your kid. 

Since bed-sharing receives different responses from parents, you should consider both sides before deciding.  

Pros:

  • It is safe for your child to rest in your bed, provided that you take specific measures.
  • There is no proof that infants will become insecure due to sleeping on their parents’ beds.
  • When the baby is lying next to you, you don’t have to be worrying about him. You’ll be there for him if he needs it.
  • Most parents like the closeness that comes with sleeping in the same bed.
  • When it’s time to feed or your kid wakes up at midnight, you don’t need to get out of your bed to care for him. Hence, you and your partner can sleep better.
  • This approach is perfect for limited space since you can add any cribs in your bedroom.

Cons:

  • One of the most apparent disadvantages is that co-sleeping demands a large bed.
  • Because most children are noisy sleepers, you may have difficulty resting.
  • Sleep-deprived parents may have to stay in a different bedroom. As a result, one parent gets driven out of the unit instead of co-sleeping. It generates family conflict once more.
  • You can’t have a lot of privacy, which means less intimacy and maybe relationship issues for young parents.
  • You may have to change your habits. For example, if your child is already asleep, you won’t read in your room.
  • You must prepare how and when to put an end to bed-sharing. Your child will not want to leave the comfort zone of his parents’ bed.

Bed-sharing can help save a lot of space

Bed-sharing can help save a lot of space

Snuggle nest

Snuggle nest is among the best crib alternatives. You can use them until your baby knows how to turn over on his own.

The infant nest is a relatively new product on the market. They do not have any safety standards to guide and ensure their security. 

It may threaten your infant’s safety if the margins of the nests are too soft. Your infant may rest his face on the margins and will be unable to breathe.

The European Union is looking towards establishing a standard for this infant item. It will allow parents to select the greatest snuggling nests with care and attention to detail. 

You can expect some nests with permeable air mesh, allowing the infant to breathe freely.

Your infant will feel safe and secure in this compact resting room. Some of the models even offer soothing music. You can place it on the ground or on your bed to enjoy these peaceful sounds. 

When your child learns to turn, you never know. If you’re using the snuggle nest, place it in the middle of the bed. So, you will know when your kid can turn his body. 

Pros:

  • Your infant will feel comfortable by this space.
  • Purchasing a cuddle nest is a great option to start co-sleeping, but you need to prepare a large bed.
  • These items must adapt to CPSC requirements. As long as you obey the safety recommendations, it’s a secure place for your child to sleep.
  • You may play relaxing lights and music for your infant on some varieties.
  • The nests are ideal for vacationing with a newborn or visiting a friend. A compact bed for your kid is easy to transport. Some types are now even foldable.
  • These are cost-effective co-sleepers.

Cons:

  • The snuggle nest is only a short-term solution. 

Mini cribs

Parents may purchase a mini crib for their infant for several reasons.

Mini cribs are best suited for small spaces. They may also be used as an alternative sleeping place in other areas of your house.

If you or your baby’s babysitter has mobility challenges, it can be a good idea to keep a mini crib in a separate part of your house for easy access.

If you share your room with your infant but want to spend some private time with your partner, this product is a great option to consider.

A mini crib may be less expensive than a full-sized model in some situations, although it isn’t always the case. As a result, compare prices before making the purchase.

Here are the main pluses and minuses of using a mini crib, and when buying one makes the most sense.

Pros:

  • A mini crib will almost certainly cost less than a regular crib.
  • This model requires less space, which is really beneficial.
  • Many small cribs feature wheels. Hence, you will find it easy to move around or slide the cot to free up space temporarily.
  • Because they’re compact, putting together a mini crib is significantly easier for one person than setting a full-sized or conventional crib.

Cons:

  • Due to the different and often odd dimensions of mattresses, you may have a difficult time finding suitable bedding sheets.
  • If your crib has wheels, it would most likely be less durable than full-sized cribs. Mini cribs are also less in weight and have a reduced general construction. 
  • Many of these varieties can’t convert into a twin or toddler bed. Meanwhile, this feature is common in full-sized versions. 
  • Mini cribs are sometimes only a few dollars less than full-sized ones, but the full size has studier construction and can last longer. 

Travel crib

A travel crib, also called a portable crib, is a small sleeping space for your child that may be readily transportable.

Travel cribs, unlike regular cribs, have foldable metal or plastic frames with mesh sidewalls to provide both security and maximum airflow.

Many travel cribs are multiple-purpose. In addition to being utilized as a bed, they may work for fun or even as a temporary diaper change table.

In addition to being multi-functional, the most crucial advantage of having a portable cot is that it offers a secure, comfortable sleeping environment for your baby everywhere. 

You can rent this cot at hotels while traveling. However, since you don’t know how clean and safe it is, it would be best to carry your own. 

A travel crib may help your child feel more comfortable whether they’re merely entering a different house or traveling to a foreign country. 

This item can make going to bed a lot easier. It also helps preserve a sense of stability in accordance with your baby’s sleep routine.

Pros:

  • These are great crib solutions for those who travel frequently. Your kid can lie in the same bed every night.
  • Travel cribs are ideal if you need a transportable baby bed. They are lightweight and simple to set up. You can learn some tips to set them up from this video. 

  • Unlike full-size cribs, these products come with a mattress cushion, so you won’t have to buy one separately. For bigger babies, a suitable crib mattress is firmer and comfier.

Cons:

  • Many travel cribs are pretty small, making it difficult to put your kid in and out. It might be particularly bothersome if you suffer from back or knee pain. 
  • You can’t convert this crib into a bed. As a consequence, your child may outgrow it fast.

Play-yard 

Another fantastic crib alternative is the play yard, which combines the benefits of the regular cribs and travel cribs. 

The term “play yard” refers to a constructed enclosure with soft sides. The goal is to offer a secure place for your child to play and sleep in.

Some travel cribs fit into this classification. However, many play yards are too huge to travel with.

You surely want them to be secure enough for your infant to sleep. Fortunately, the CPSC has established strict standards for this sort of product. 

You can easily adjust the side height. However, finding an appropriate mattress is problematic if it’s not from the same manufacturer. 

A play yard may have additional features, such as storage pockets, diaper changing area, and bassinet compared with the travel crib. 

Pros:

  • You’ll get a secure bed that can even fit two infants. As a result, it may work well as a travel cot for twins. 
  • Play yards are great crib alternatives since they are lighter and easy to build.
  • A mattress for a newborn should not be too thick or too thin. You won’t have to worry about having a proper pad because most play yards already include one.
  • Many play yards have accessories such as a bassinet or a diaper changing table. Some versions even include lights and music that are soothing.
  • If you purchase crib alternatives with whistles and bells, you will save a lot of cash. These all-in-one cots are usually less expensive than full-sized ones. 

Cons

  • Because many of these products are low to the ground, they may be inconvenient to use for a long time. 
  • Because they are not convertible, you won’t be able to use them for months. 
  • Many of them are extremely large. As a consequence, compared to full-sized cots, it doesn’t save much room.
  • If you prefer a play yard to a crib, look for one which is designed for sleeping and has a mattress. Then, selecting the proper infant bed necessitates some extra work.

Your baby can play and sleep in the same place

Your baby can play and sleep in the same place

Bassinet 

The next option for best crib alternatives is the bassinet, especially for newborn babies. 

The bassinet’s base lifts the mattress to the waistline of a typical adult. Many parents have noticed that placing their infant down is easier with this higher design.

For example, if you have a C-section, you might not be able to fall back over the edge of the cot to lay your infant down and then pick them up. A bassinet is a preferable option in this case. 

Bassinets come in a range of colors and styles. Ruffled decorations, hoods, or storage beneath the bed are all common features. 

Bassinets also have gained fascinating features over time, such as lighting, noises, and rocking.

A bassinet is no more a suitable sleeping solution when your infant exceeds 20 pounds or can turn over independently.

Depending on their growth and development, you should plan to take your child out of the bassinet about four months of age.

Pros:

  • Because of its small size, the bassinet is generally a cost-effective alternative for most households. You don’t have to spend lots of money to make your infant comfortable.
  • A travel bassinet is portable. When you’re traveling, your baby will be able to sleep in a comfortable and familiar environment.
  • Many bassinets come with storage containers to put baby essentials like diapers, extra clothes, and other necessities.

Cons:

  • Bassinets do not last long. You can’t use the bassinet for baby sleeps once the weight capacity doesn’t fit. 
  • The price of a stand-alone model is high.

The bassinet is a popular choice

The bassinet is a popular choice

Bedside sleeper

For the first months, bedside sleepers are ideal crib alternatives. They are more spacious than bassinets, and you can attach them to your bed.

Furthermore, one side is generally lower. Hence, you don’t need to get out of your bed to care for your kid. 

The sleepers are an excellent method to keep your infants confined in the bed without having to worry about turning over on them.

It is a far better option for parents who would like to co-sleep with their infant but are concerned about their child’s security. 

Mums like bedside cribs because of their convenience and simplicity. Thanks to the attachment, they can access their child during the night easily and quickly. 

Caring for your infant after a C-section surgery can be challenging, as mobility seems limited while healing wounds. 

During the first several weeks of therapy, the bedside sleeper might be helpful.

The problem with sleepers is that they don’t last very long. You won’t be able to use them once your infant starts to roll.

Pros:

  • A bedside sleeper is a wonderful choice if you want to try co-sleeping. Your kid can sleep close next to you, but you can have privacy on your bed. 
  • You will feel free to adjust the height of the greatest sleepers. The sleepers are perfect for those recovering from the C-section or suffering from backaches with this feature.
  • This crib alternative is ideal for breastfeeding mothers because it eliminates getting out of bed at midnight. 
  • Your infant will be comfortable in the cozy sleeping space.

Cons:

  • The best bedside sleepers are pretty expensive. You’ll also have to buy a new bed for your baby every six months or so, which will cost you more.

Moses basket

Moses baskets are best for newborn babies during the first months of their lives. They give a safe and secure confined place for your baby.

Because newborns spend the majority of their time sleeping, establishing a calm and pleasant setting for their development is critical.

These crib alternatives have remained a popular choice among parents across the world. This lovely piece of furniture also serves as an excellent sleeping place for newborns.

These versions are a fraction of the size of cots. As a result, they’re also simpler to fit into narrower areas.

Because of its lightweight and compact design, the Moses basket may accompany you everywhere you go.

The handles make the baskets simple to carry around the house or when out. Meanwhile, superb craftsmanship ensures that they remain durable and secure.

You may put the basket on a lockable stand for a peaceful night’s sleep. This feature also assists nighttime feedings and bonding since your kid can lie close to you while having their personal space.

Pros:

  • This crib alternative is the lightest and smallest baby bed available, making it convenient to move about the house.
  • The baskets are less expensive than bassinets.
  • Tiny sleeping spaces are comfier for babies.
  • However, many Moses baskets include detachable bedding, allowing you to use them for other reasons.

Cons:

  • Your baby will quickly outgrow it. 
  • If you leave this basket on the floor, it will be tough to place your kid in and take him out. Furthermore, if your flooring is chilly, it may not be the ideal option.

The baskets are ideal for limited space

The baskets are ideal for limited space

Cardboard box

Since the beginning of the 20th century, newborns in Finland have been sleeping inside cardboard boxes, dramatically decreasing sudden infant death syndrome rates. It’s possible that the content and concept of the box, instead of the box itself, are to be credited.

Every parent of a newborn in Finland receives a mother’s package. Each package contains vital supplies. The parent will use the box as the bed for their baby. 

The box’s objective is that all babies should have the same start in life, regardless of their family’s social status, region, or heritage.

The baby box has become a rite of passage for pregnant women and their families in Finland.

Furthermore, the lack of a bottle promotes breastfeeding, while the presence of a book stimulates early reading. 

Furthermore, the box encourages healthy sleep patterns to decrease the danger of SIDS.

Pros:

  • A cardboard box is cheap.
  • It’s a secure place for your child to rest. Finns have been using them for over 80 years, and infant mortality is exceptionally low.
  • Your infant will have a cozy small sleeping place.
  • Cardboard boxes are lightweight and easy to carry.
  • Regarding crib alternatives, a cardboard box is the most environmentally responsible option.
  • Finnish parents make memory boxes out of them, stuffing them with all of their child’s or family’s valuable items. 

Cons:

  • You can’t really be sure if a standard cardboard box is free of toxic components.
  • The box may not be as comfortable as other crib alternatives.

There is a meaningful story behind the idea of using cardboard boxes

There is a meaningful story behind the idea of using cardboard boxes 

Floor bed

The floor bed is the simplest on the list. All you need to do is purchase a crib mattress, lay it on the flooring, and turn your child’s crib into a floor bed.

Maria Montessori, an Italian pediatrician, promoted floor beds to boost a baby’s independence and personality.

A washable and breathable mattress is a popular pick. To make a floor bed, just set the mattress on the floor.

There will be no barrier for kids to get out of the bed because it is just a mattress on the flooring. 

As a result, you’ll want to ensure that all of the cupboards, electrical outlets, and other items in the zone are baby-proof.

Pros:

  • The floor bed is a reasonably priced choice. All you’ll need is a crib mattress.
  • A floor bed is simple to move.

Cons:

  • A floor bed isn’t a very secure crib alternative. The concept is that your kid will be free to explore the world on his own, which should lead to potential consequences.
  • If you let your child sleep on the floor, you must keep it tidy and clean at all times.
  • It’s best to avoid this option if your floor is cold. You don’t want your baby to be exposed to the chilly surface. 

The key of the floor bed is the mattress

The key of the floor bed is the mattress

Hammock

Kids sleep in hammocks in several areas of the planet. The notion is that the rocking movement relaxes babies and allows them to sleep much better.

Amby is an Australian company that has been producing hammocks since 1989. Thousands of parents have employed hammocks from this brand, despite the lack of solid scientific articles on this topic.

Pros:

  • In comparison to other crib alternatives, you can use hammocks for longer.
  • Your baby sleeps in a cozy little space, and the rocking movement may help him relax.

Cons:

  • The cost of a baby hammock is pretty high.
  • You can’t be certain they’re safer options than cribs. It is advisable to let newborns sleep on a level surface. The hammock doesn’t meet this requirement, potentially leading to respiratory issues.

You can use the hammock for a long time

You can use the hammock for a long time

Tips For Choosing Crib Alternatives

How can you know which crib alternatives are suitable for your kid? Here are some things to think about while looking at sleeping options.

Baby’s age

Bassinets are ideal for newborns. However, they come with weight and height restrictions.

Like Moses baskets, bedside sleepers, and co-sleepers, when your kid learns to roll or climb over the edge, they can become risky.

Keep track of your child’s skills, as well as his weight, age, and height. Then, before deciding on crib alternatives, compare them to the manufacturer guidelines.

Consider your baby's age first

Consider your baby’s age first 

Sleeping space

One of the main reasons parents choose something over the crib is that they do not have enough space for one. 

There are several options for baby sleeping solutions. However, they differ in size and style.

Consider the size and form of the space you’re struggling to fit the furniture into, as well as the form of the aperture where it will go. 

Numerous unique baby cribs are available for small areas but don’t forget to obey the excellent sleeping rules.

Preference

Perhaps you want your kid to have their own bedroom or share with a sibling.

Consider where you want your baby to sleep, and then pick the non-crib solution that suits best for your home.

Lifespan

Sometimes the actual life span is limited since your child is going to outgrow it. 

For example, a bassinet for a six-month-old can only fit in it for another month. It’s a good idea to buy a bed that your baby can use for a long time.

Some other factors may affect your decision

Some other factors may affect your decision

Frequently Asked Questions 

Here are some frequently asked questions about the best crib alternatives for small spaces. Let’s check! 

1. What crib alternatives are best for small spaces?

The options above are all beneficial in terms of space-saving. The most effective options are mini cribs. Besides, you can choose a portable crib, such as the travel crib.

2. What are the best crib alternatives for a six-month-old baby?

Mini, play-yard, and travel cribs are the ideal crib alternatives since they are more robust and can last for up to one year.

3. What are the best crib alternatives for a one-year-old baby?

A one-year-old child is quite energetic. You’ll need something sturdy to handle all of the bouncing and crawling. If you have a mini cot, you can use it to rest your infant for another few months.

If you don’t have a tiny cot, you may need to move your kid to a floor bed or a toddler.

If you use a crib mattress, a floor bed is a terrific option that you can put up quickly until buying a floor bed frame.

4. Where can you use a travel crib?

A travel crib might be helpful if you need a comfortable and pleasant area for your kid to play and sleep while you are busy. 

Some parents like to use the travel crib as ordinary baby cribs. Parents who travel frequently are more likely to encounter this problem.

Additionally, your baby will sleep better even if you are on holiday or away from home because this crib alternative is portable. 

5. Crib vs. bassinet: which is better? 

Both of them are safe sleeping places for newborns. The size, though, is the fundamental difference between the two.

Conventional non-toxic cribs are costly and take up far more room than a bassinet. Bassinets are a good option if you have a little area or room.

You can attach the stylish bedside bassinet to your bed, allowing your child to sleep right next to you. 

The sole disadvantage of a bassinet is that you must transfer your child as soon as they begin rolling since they pose a threat of falling due to their height.

A crib, on the other hand, may last a lifetime. You can convert it to a toddler bed or day bed with the adapter kit.

Final Words 

Cribs are ideal for your baby to sleep in. However, some parents find these pieces of furniture inconvenient in terms of size. Fortunately, you have a lot of choices for the best crib alternatives that fit your requirements better. 

Aside from the size, there are also other essential factors to consider, such as lifespan, baby’s age, and your personal preference.

Hopefully, you will find this article beneficial. If you need any further information, please feel free to ask. Thank you for being interested in the post! 

Related Articles:
Where Should Newborns Sleep? (Crib, Cradles, and Basinet)
How to Choose a Crib Mattress for Your Nursery

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