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Baby Crib Buying Guide

Choosing a baby crib or bassinet is a big decision for expectant parents. We can help you find the best bed for baby!


Perhaps the most important investment you will make when it comes to baby furniture is a crib. After all, if you’ve chosen a crib for your child’s sleeping, he will be spending a lot of time there until ready for a toddler bed, typically between the ages of 2 and 3. Cribs come in a variety of shapes, sizes, colours and price points, from full-sized cribs to bassinets & cradles. But really, there are just a few important points to consider when purchasing.


A crib will be the main focus of your nursery and can take your baby from infancy to toddlerhood. Cribs come with a variety of features which need to be considered before purchasing, as not all the features will be right for you and your baby.

Adjustable Mattress Height

An adjustable mattress height is very convenient when dealing with the changing needs of an infant. A mattress height that can be set high for the first few months while the baby is pretty stationary will help you lift and lay down your little bundle. As the baby becomes more active, you can lower the height of the mattress to prevent him pulling himself up on the side of the crib or falling out. For safety reasons, the mechanisms that allow the height to be adjusted should not be loose or easily loosened, and at any time you should be able to push down on the mattress with all of your weight without it moving.

Teething Rail

A teething rail, made of a non-toxic plastic, should cover the tops of the crib railings. All babies need to bite down on something hard when teething, and chewing on a wood crib railing is not advisable! Teething rails protect the wood as well as your little one’s mouth, and should stay in place without cracking or breaking.


Be sure the crib meets the current safety standards set out by your province. The safest way to ensure this is by buying new rather than using a second-hand crib. All baby cribs sold at Sears meet or exceed current safety standards. Also, placement of a crib in a nursery is important! Don’t place it close to items like blinds or drapes that have cords which pose a choking hazard. Similarly, wall art shouldn’t be hung near a crib, and mobiles should be safely out of reach for your baby, especially after he can sit up on his own. Finally, resist the urge to place toys in the crib with your child, as they can pose suffocation or choking hazard to small babies, and might provide step-like leverage for climbing for a more active baby.


Nowadays, getting more than a few years out of a major purchase like a baby crib is essential. That’s why the popularity of convertible cribs – ones that can adjust to suit your child’s needs through toddlerhood and the teen years – is growing. Look for the latest styles that serve as a traditional crib, drop sides to become a toddler bed, and convert to a double-sized headboard and footboard for years to come. Talk about multi-tasking!

Crib Mattresses

Once you’ve decided on a baby crib, finding a crib mattress to fit should be easy. Most come in standard sizes, with the most common measuring 51 5/8” in length by 27 1/4” in width with a thickness of 6 inches or less. Always measure first and remember, the mattress should fit snugly into the crib with a space of no more than two adult fingers between the mattress and the crib. In terms of firmness, the firmer the better. Babies need a more solid sleep surface because if they get turned over, they can’t move themselves out of face-down positions, which is a suffocation risk. Also look for a mattress that has a durable multi-layer cover that will protect the mattress from spit up or diaper accidents, and one that has vent holes which allow air and odours to escape while preventing seams from splitting.


Perhaps you’re among the growing trend of parents who would prefer to have your baby sleep in a snuggly bassinet or Moses basket. Their smaller sizes are thought to mimic the womb and create a more comfortable, peaceful atmosphere for the baby. Although they differ slightly in size and function, both are similarly convenient.

Moses Baskets

Smaller than both a crib and a bassinet, a Moses Basket is a great sleeping alternative for newborns up to 3 months. Made from natural fibers like maize, palm or wicker, they usually come with a mattress that is thinner than that of a bassinet, and two handles for easy portability. Some have stands that raise them higher, but they can generally be used right on the floor. Placing it on the floor or on a stand next to your own bed certainly cuts down on a lot of the early-morning feeding hassles, and plenty of parents report sleeping better when they have their new bundle in the same room with them.


In contrast, bassinets are a little larger than Moses baskets and can be made out of any number of materials. Their mattresses are thicker too, although not as thick as a crib mattress. Most bassinets come with a set of bedding, and are able to fit onto a stand (usually purchased separately) to raise it off the floor. Some even have a rocking mechanism to help lull your little one to sleep, or castors for very convenient portability. If you choose a bassinet, keep in mind that they are usually only used for the first few months or so; once your baby becomes more active, a sturdier crib is recommended.