Best Crib Alternatives

Trying to find the best crib alternatives for your baby or toddler?

Then let us help you find a crib alternative you’ll love!

Cribs have been the go-to bed for young children for hundreds, if not thousands, of years.

With their barred sides, cribs keep your child contained while they are in bed, for their safety and your peace of mind.

But while cribs are a great way to keep your child safe and contained while they sleep, they aren’t ideal for every family.

So, what alternatives to cribs are there?

In this handy guide, we’ve gathered some of the best baby crib alternatives, along with their benefits, so you can find the option that’s right for you.

And if you love this guide baby sleeping options, then make sure to check out these guides on best bassinets for c section, best mini cribs, and can a baby sleep in a pack n play. Or even our guide on the best stroller alternatives.

This post contains affiliate links. See our full disclosure here

Why Not Use A Crib?

While cribs are a great place to put your child to sleep, they aren’t always the best option for everybody. There are several reasons why you might want an alternative to a crib.

Some people simply prefer having their baby sleeping on their own rather than being confined to a small space, which can affect their development.

Others may be concerned about how much time it will take for their baby to learn to roll over or climb out of a crib.

And finally, many parents choose to avoid putting their babies into a crib because they think it’s too confining without any space for their child to explore.

Other reasons why parents might not want a crib for their child include the separation between baby and parents, or the idea of having their child ‘behind bars’ or ‘in a cage’.

Cribs are also less effective for older or larger children, and can be challenging for shorter parents to use or for mothers who have had a C-section.

Luckily, cribs aren’t the only option. There are several alternatives to cribs out there, each with their own set of benefits that make them a far better option for your child.

The Best Alternatives To Cribs

Now that we know why cribs aren’t always the best option, let’s take a look at some alternatives to cribs that are available.

Bassinet Bed

A bassinet is essentially a smaller version of a crib.

It’s meant to be used as a transitional bed until your child is old enough to move up to a full-sized bed, and is designed for children that are around 1-4 months old.

Bassinets are usually made from wood, metal, or plastic, and come in different sizes. The most common size is around 30 inches long.

Unlike cribs, which use bars to confine your child, a bassinet bed typically has semi-transparent fabric walls that allow your child to see out without having a bar effect.

They are designed to hold your child in a cradle position, which makes them better suited for supporting a young baby.

Our Top Pick
SNOO Smart Sleeper Baby Bassinet - Bedside Crib with Automatic Rocking Motions and Soothing White Noise
$1,695.00

The SNOO Smart sleeper bassinet combines technology, innovation, and comfort to help soothe your baby to sleep!

This automatic rocking bassinet works off an in-built microphone, which in response to your baby’s cries, helps them to sleep with vibrations, movement, and lullabies.

But what sets the SNOO smart sleeper apart from the rest is their compatible app so you can control the bassinet with a simple touch on your phone.


12/02/2022 12:20 am GMT

Mini Crib

A mini crib is what it sounds like – a smaller crib than the standard full size.

The United States Consumer Product Safety Commission sets standardized sizes by law to ensure crib mattresses fit appropriately, and mini cribs measure less than 25.375 inches wide.

Many people think that mini cribs are the same as portable ones, but this isn’t true. Some mini cribs are foldable and portable, perfect for taking to grandma’s house or vacation, but not all are foldable. Many are meant to be non-foldable and look exactly like wooden cribs, just smaller.

You you read more about mini cribs in our guide on mini crib vs regular crib and mini crib vs bassinet.

Our Top Pick
Delta Children Folding Portable Mini Baby Crib
$159.99 $128.23

If you need a small crib for traveling or a small bedroom, this crib is an excellent option!

Not only is affordable, but it folds flat for easy storage and include casters for easy mobility.

This mini crib grows with your child with two mattress positions that let you adjust the height. So, as your child starts to stand up, you can still use this mini crib.

The crib is made from sustainable New Zealand pine and comes in 5 different colors.

And best of all, you can use it until your baby reaches up to 50lbs making it a fantastic mini crib choice!


12/02/2022 03:10 pm GMT

Pack And Play

A Pack ‘N Play is like a portable crib, but it also functions as a play area for infants. Like a crib, they have four sides, but a mesh material covers the sides. Some versions come with bassinet attachments and diaper organizers.

A Pack ‘N Play is made out of sturdy materials, strong enough to hold your baby with ease despite having mesh sides. The mesh helps increase air circulation and makes it easier for you to keep an eye on your baby while working around the house!

The American Academy of Pediatrics deems that a Pack ‘N Play is a safe sleeping environment for children, and parents may also use them as a play area if they can sit on their own. According to the AAP, play yards meet the requirements for safe sleep as long as the play yard includes a tight-fitting, firm mattress and has fitted sheets designed for that product.

Floor Bed

This option is basically what it sounds like. A floor bed is essentially a small mattress that you place at ground level for your baby to sleep on.

Without any walls or raised barriers, your child will be able to roam around freely so you need to make sure that there aren’t any hazards in the room that could harm them.

As they are so low down without walls, it is easy to get to your baby so you can pick them up or change them.

It also means that they won’t be hurt if they roll out of the bed.

On top of that, they are also easy to transport and fairly inexpensive!

Bed Sharing

Some parents choose to ditch a separate bed entirely and let their child share a bed with them.

This method eliminates the need for a separate bed altogether, and lets you stay close to your child as they sleep.

However it is important to note that the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) warns against bed-sharing for children under the age of 1 because it increases a baby’s risk for SIDS.

What’s The Best Crib Alternative For Me?

There are several things to consider when picking out an alternative to a crib.

First off, you’ll want to think about how old your child will be when they start sleeping in their own bed.

It’s not uncommon for babies to begin learning to crawl around 18 months old, and toddlers typically learn to walk around two years old.

Many child beds are also unsuitable after your child learns to roll over – this can be as early as 4 months! If your child is already too old for a crib alternative such as a bassinet, then you should avoid it for your child’s safety and comfort.

You may also like our guide to when a baby is too big for a bassinet.

Another thing to think about is convenience. This can come down to a few things. Some crib alternatives are easier to wash than others, and when you’re dealing with a young baby it’s important to be able to clean it easily.

If you’ve had a C-section, then you might not be able to bend down so a co-sleeper bassinet will be a good option.

Final Thoughts on Baby Crib Alternatives

When it comes to alternatives to cribs, there are plenty of options to choose from.

Whether you want the comforting vibration of a smart bassinet, the portability of a floor bed, or even if you simply want your baby to share a bed with you, there are so many alternatives to making your baby sleep in a traditional crib.

All the options in this guide are great ways to put your child to bed without a crib, and all of them have their benefits that suit different people better.

Now that you’ve had a chance to look at some crib alternatives out there, all you have to do is pick the crib alternative that is right for you and your baby.

And if you want to check out any more of our guides, we recommend checking out these guides on best pack and play mattresses, mini crib vs crib, and 10 tips to help your newborn baby sleep.

baby crib alternatives