The magic of convertible cribs: a curious buyer's guide

As you are rounding out your baby registry, you must decide on one big item: the crib. While it may seem like a simple choice, cribs come in a variety of designs, shapes and styles. One of the most versatile and popular styles is the convertible baby crib.

A convertible crib is a piece of furniture that adapts to the changing needs of growing children. You can initially set the bed up as a crib, but can modify it when your baby becomes a toddler by removing one side, to make a daybed. Other models let you remove both sides to make a toddler bed. Some baby convertible cribs are sturdy enough that you can choose between the daybed and toddler bed options. When your child is ready for a twin bed, the sides you removed to make a toddler bed will return as a headboard and footboard for the new frame.

Pros

The most obvious advantage to purchasing a convertible baby crib is longevity. With several different stages, it can last for 18 years or more. Since convertible cribs are used for a longer period of time, they tend to be designed and built with more sturdy materials. Additionally, it saves you the hassle of having to go to the store every few years to buy a new bed. Instead of buying 2-3 beds over the course of your baby's childhood, you will only buy one, which will also save you money.

A convertible crib is also an eco-friendly choice, since you won't have to discard old furniture. This applies as well to the other nursery furniture you will buy to match the crib. The dresser you buy to match the crib won't have to be replaced when you get a completely different style of bed frame. Convertible cribs are available in as many classic designs and colors as standard cribs. For example, you can buy a sleek and timeless black convertible crib with matching shelving that will never go out of style.

Cons

While convertible cribs are a great value in the long run, they tend to be more expensive than other cribs initially. Some brands also do not include the hardware for conversions, requiring you to spend a little money out of pocket any time you do a switcheroo. You may also have to buy a convertible crib rail for your toddler if you are worried about her falling out of bed. Remember, too, that convertible cribs take up a little bit more space than standard cribs. You will also still need to get a new mattress each time as well.

Another thing to consider is whether or not you intend to buy another crib for any possible siblings. Fancy white convertible cribs are great for little girls, but if the bed gets passed down to a little brother, he might prefer something in a different style. If you only want to purchase one crib to use for all your children, it may be better to spend less money on a basic standard crib.

If you are looking for a crib that will stand the test of time and save a little dough in the process, a convertible crib may be right for you. Whether you choose the convertible style or opt for a more standard choice, Sears can help you find the perfect crib for your new arrival.

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