When you’re expecting a baby, there are a lot of things you need to think about. Your newborn will spend most of their days sleeping, which is why creating the right sleeping environment should be a priority. Crib vs. cradle, which one to choose? This is something a lot of new parents think about, but how do you pick the right one?
There are so many decisions you need to make even before your little one is born. From her name to diapers, formula, sleeping arrangements… you need to sort out her whole life! It’s a challenging task, but it can also be something both you and your partner enjoy.
After all, it makes everything seem so much more real. There’s going to be a little bundle of joy to share your life with! Even decorating her nursery can be a wonderful experience, and with a little bit of research, you’ll provide your little one with a beautiful life you’re all going to enjoy.
When it comes to the crib vs. cradle debate, it’s critical to educate yourself on both so you can make the best decision for your baby. We’re here to help by going over both of these in detail, as well as their biggest pros and cons. So let’s get started!
What is a crib?
Learning more about cribs and cradles might help you pick a side in this debate. For example, if you want to provide your baby with more sleeping space, that’s also steadier – I’d recommend going for a crib rather than a cradle.
Although cribs can be moved, they are not really intended to be portable, so they are a more permanent solution. The great thing about them is that they usually have a mattress that you can lower down as your baby gets older, making them a great choice in the long run.
Since cribs are pretty large, they’re not exactly the easiest when it comes to finding something that can fit into your bedroom. This makes them a much better choice for older babies who can sleep in their nurseries.
1. Pros of using a crib
There are numerous advantages to choosing a crib for your baby, so let’s go over some of the most important ones.
Why are cribs so popular among parents all over the world? Because they’re durable! They last for a long time, yes, but they’re also convertible – which means you can use some of them as your toddler’s first bed!
Some of the more recent models include a rocking motion. This proved to be a life-saver for parents who struggle to put their little bubs to sleep. On top of that, they’re a great choice for babies that sleep in their nurseries.
Since their walls are usually quite high, they’re a favorite choice among parents who like to go the extra mile to keep their babies safe. And who doesn’t?!
These high walls make coming out of the crib quite a challenge for your little explorer, and your pets will probably give up on trying to come inside after a few failed attempts.
If your little one is an acrobat-to-be and she can’t seem to stay still, a crib will provide her with plenty of space to move around. Plus, you’ll always know she’s safe!
2. Cons of using a crib
Now it’s time to move on to some of the most common disadvantages of using a crib.
Although they’re steady and safe, they’re also quite large and heavy. This makes them unsuitable for transport, and they’re not too mobile, either. Even fitting one through your door will probably require you to break it down, first.
The good thing about cribs is that they provide a long-term solution, but there’s a bad side to it – they’re usually a lot more expensive than other kinds of baby beds.
On top of that, they’re not exactly suitable for smaller bedrooms. Maybe you have such a room in your home, but you’d still like your baby to sleep with you. In that case, a crib might not be an ideal solution for you.
3. How to choose the best one for your baby
If you intend to use your crib for an extended period of time, the one with a lowered mattress is an excellent choice for you. It will allow you to adjust the mattress height as your child begins to sit and stand.
There are some cribs that come with teething bars, which most babies absolutely love! It allows them to chew on the bars, and the parents don’t stress about their little ones getting splinters.
Also, if you’d like a crib that you can move around your house – make sure you get one that has wheels with a safety lock.
4. For how long should you use a crib
Yes, it’s a bit expensive but, despite the cost, you won’t have to think about a new bed until your baby is almost 3 years old!
The great thing about modern cribs is that some of them can be turned into a toddler’s bed, too. You get to buy a crib for your baby, and then watch her grow in it without having to think about purchasing a new bed for a couple of years.
What is a cradle?
When it comes to crib vs. cradle, the last one might be a better choice for those who are looking for a smaller and more convenient option. Cradle’s main feature is the rocking motion, which will also help you soothe your bub and lull her to sleep.
This is an old-school way to put your baby to sleep, with parents gently swaying the cradle using their rocking mechanism. They are, however, much smaller than cribs. This makes them a good choice for young babies, but not for those who can sit or stand.
1. Pros of using a cradle
Cradles, like cribs, have numerous advantages, so let’s look at the most important ones.
Some of the more recent models are foldable, making them an excellent choice for parents looking for a portable sleeping solution.
On top of being practical, they’re also very beautiful. Who can resist that old-school classic look? I know I can’t!
In terms of performance, their rocking motion soothes the baby and helps her fall asleep faster. If you have a fussy baby who has trouble falling asleep, a cradle will change your life.
Although they’re not exactly intended for long-term use, that makes them a lot cheaper than cribs. They’re an affordable and efficient temporary solution that your little one will enjoy.
2. Cons of using a cradle
Besides the amazing benefits of using a cradle, there are negative sides that could be a deal-breaker, and here are some of them.
Unfortunately, cradles don’t come with bedding, which means you’ll have to purchase them separately. Although cradles are less expensive than cribs, this is an added expense a lot of parents would like to avoid.
On top of that, although some cradles are foldable, they’re not really suitable for transport because of how heavy they are, as well as their awkward shape. You’d break a sweat trying to pack one up…
And, one of the most important ones – your baby might outgrow her cradle quickly. In no time, you’ll have to purchase a toddler bed that will keep your little one a lot safer and more comfortable.
3. How to choose the best one for your baby
Because cradles have a rocking mechanism, you should look for one that doesn’t tilt far, as that could put your baby at risk of falling out of it. On top of that, we recommend you test out how it sways before you purchase yours.
You should make sure that it has a gentle rocking motion, that won’t allow your baby to roll inside. If this happens, your baby might hit the side of the cradle, which could lead to serious injuries.
4. For how long can you use a cradle?
If you’ve used a bassinet first, a cradle is a great transitioning tool before your little one moves to a toddler bed. Unfortunately, it’s not a long-term solution, and your baby will quickly become too big to sleep in it.
Approximately, a cradle should be used until your baby is 6 months old. Once she starts standing up, you should move on to something safer.
Crib vs. cradle – which one is a better choice?
When thinking of a crib vs. cradle dilemma, there’s one thing you need to consider: what is it that you’re looking for, exactly? Both cribs and cradles are good choices with benefits and advantages that might be a dealbreaker for some of you.
If you’re a mom to a newborn, desperately looking for a good sleeping device – a cradle might be an ideal solution. There’s one thing you should keep in mind, though: your baby will quickly grow out of it, especially if you got for a traditional design.
Because of that, you’ll probably have to think about purchasing a whole new bed pretty soon.
On top of that, cradles can be especially dangerous for active babies who know how to stand up, as they can easily tip. There are some modern cradles that are a bit more flexible, so you can use them even as your baby grows older.
There’s one thing I can promise you – if you get a cradle, you’ll eventually still have to end up getting a crib, too. Because of that, simply buying a crib as your baby’s first sleeping bed would be the best investment.
I know it’s can seem pretty expensive at first, but it’s a smart choice in the long run. Plus, it will help you stay on a budget, even though it might not look like it once you get it. Let’s think logically here: you won’t have to buy two sleeping devices before you finally get a crib.
You’ll see – your baby will grow faster than you’d think. Try to think ahead and make a smart decision. Still, your baby’s safety always comes first. Get a sleeping device that will help both of you sleep better at night.