If you expect to have more than one child, then consider a mini crib as an option, instead of a bassinet. It will be something that you can use again in the future for a longer span of time.

Mini cribs for small spaces are fantastic!

I used a mini baby crib for my second child for several reasons. The long and short of it is my kids are born big. I learned from experience that a bassinet would be short-lived in my house. For space and price, I chose the mini-crib instead of a crib.

What is a Mini Crib?

A mini-crib is an alternative to a bassinet. A bassinet lasts at best four months. While a mini-crib has all the features of a bassinet, its small and often on wheels, but its larger (in between the size of a bassinet and a crib). So a mini-crib will last longer.

What is a Portable Crib?

It confused me and still does what a portable crib is. Is it synonymous with a pack n play? Is it a mini crib? Is it a travel crib?

A portable crib is smaller than a full-sized crib. Its on wheels and it folds. Its often called a porta crib. Like the name suggests, you can travel with it.

Often times if you search for a portable crib, a pack n play appears. What started happening was there was a demand for smaller cribs for smaller places. The term mini crib was born. The mini crib is a porta crib when it folds and is on wheels. Yet there are models that do not fold and are not on wheels.

Whats important about the term porta crib or portable crib is bedding. Finding mini crib bedding can be hard, not only because of the size, but also because of these confusing terms. Portable crib bedding often, but not always, fits a mini cribs dimensions.

When Would a Mini Crib Work for You?

If you answer yes to any of these questions, then it will:

Q: Are your children close in age? The older one is not out of a crib yet.
A: A mini crib will give you at least a years mileage, save on space and provide the perfect transition to a full-sized crib.

Q: Live in a studio or one-bedroom apartment and dont have much room for a big crib?
A: A mini crib is perfect for small spaces. If its on wheels, you can conveniently move your baby around your home for day and night activities.

Q: Do you have a pretty spacious home, but are expecting your 3rd or 4th child? Are the older children sharing a room, but the only other room available for your baby is either your bedroom or the smallest room in the house?
A: A mini crib is your solution to a tight situation.

Q: Are you considering a pack n play as your child first crib because its smaller, portable and multi-funcational?
A: A pack n play seems like a good idea for naps, but it doesnt have a mattress.  Just think about your baby sleeping for long periods of time on a board.

What Age Can Mini Cribs Be Used Until?

Youll hear stories of children lasting up to 18 months in a mini crib. Others barely last 8 months.

If you are expecting to use a mini-crib to transition your child from newborn to toddler bed, 9 times out of 10 it won’t work.

The parents whose baby lasts a short amount of time in a mini crib are frustrated that before they know it they have to buy another piece of baby furniture and transition their baby to a full-sized crib. All of which can be a hassle, unless you keep this in mind:

A mini crib is not the last baby bed you will get for your child. It will be your first. It all depends on how fast your baby grows. What a mini crib gives you is time.

Time to get used to your baby in a small apartment or crowded house. Time to figure out how youll arrange your furniture, your life style, sleeping arrangements with older children.

Expect the mini-crib to last you from newborn to one year, tops a year and half. It all depends on how big your baby is born and how fast your baby grows. If your baby is in the 90th percentile, it will be shorter. If your child is in the 50% percentile, you just might get away with using the mini-crib for more than a year.

If you hear or read stories of people saying their child grew out of a mini-crib in less than 6 months, just imagine how fast their baby would have grown out of a bassinet.

Tip! To figure out how big your baby will be Ask your parents, in-laws and brothers and sisters who have children. It is very likely that your baby will fall in line with the size and growth of other babies in your family.

For example, babies on my side of the family were born small. My husbands side of the family, on the other hand, had big babies, who grew fast. When I was pregnant, I carried big. So I knew that most probably I was going to have a big baby. And I did. Two big tanks. Still a mini-crib lasted me longer than a bassinet. Worked so well in our small apartment.

It’s still worth it as an alternative to a bassinet. Remember, not as a replacement for a regular crib. Down the line youll need that.

Two Kids and One Small Space

My older child was on the brink of being ready for a big boy twin-sized bed, but not quite yet. He still needed the crib that converted into a toddler bed. But I didn’t want to buy another full sized crib since I would be changing the whole nursery in a few months to accommodate two kids. So I chose the Mini-Crib with wheels because it fit in my bedroom. I transitioned the baby to sleep right outside my bedroom door. Then the final transition was a small space for the baby in her older sibling’s room, aka the closet. It was still his room. He had to get used to the idea that there was a little baby he was going to share it with. By taking a smaller footprint in his room, it was a gradual move. By ten months the younger one was ready for a full-sized crib and the older for a twin bed. She could have stayed in it until she was one years old, no problem. When I changed the room completely, they got used to each other and loved sharing the same space.

Of if you have an older child who is in a crib or toddler bed then the small footprint of a mini-crib is a great introduction into the shared sibling space.

Still Wondering if a Bassinet or Play Yard is Better?

Youve probably seen your girlfriend do it, use a play yard for napping and even at times for much longer sleep periods. Your parents might have said, Oh, honey I kept you in a play pen all day long. They made them bigger then. Seeing and using a play yard in a house is common. In a small house or an apartment, its a luxury that you cant afford in terms of space.

So you have to look at each piece of furniture you bring to your small space as being able to seamlessly function in it and not overcrowd it. Mini-crib on wheels fit just that criteria.

In case you are wondering about government regulations. There are federal guidelines for a bassinet, but they do not have strict regulations. That means some manufacturers comply and other dont. How to figure that out is tough. Good news! As of February 2017, there will be new federal regulations regarding play yards. Prior to this regulations for play yards and bassinets were not as strictly enforced as they were for cribs. The mattresses are often thin. People often try to compensate for this by adding extra padding or blankets, which can cause some serious damage to your child. Not to scare you, sometimes even death.

Personally, I prefer a crib (mini or regular-sized) rather than a pack-and-play for a newborn.

Related Posts:
•  For a high-end, ultra portable mini crib, check out Bloom Alma Mini-Crib.
•  Still set on a bassinet, see Contours 3-in-1 Combo Bassinet.
•  My take on whether to even get a bassinet in, To Bassinet or Not Bassinet in a Small Space.
•  Want to buy one system from age 0 to age 10, then youve got to look into the Stokke Sleepi System.
•  A Mini Co-Sleeper is another great option for a Mini-Crib, see Arms Reach Mini Co-Sleeper.

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