My husband and I have been doing a lot of research on cribs in preparation for the arrival of our first child. This is one of the most important items we will buy for our baby, so we want to make the right decision. It’s been pretty overwhelming so far, but the big question for us is whether we need a convertible crib or a standard crib. It seems most stores are pushing you towards convertibles and once I see the price tag on one of the puppies I can’t blame them, but do we really need one?

To help me decide, as my planner, I put together a list of pros and cons for each. If other first time parents have questions about the same thing, I thought it might be helpful to share. When I first started shopping, I thought we’d go for the convertible crib. I mean, it turns into a toddler bed and then turns into a double or full size bed. We never have to buy another bed again. But upon further thought, I’m starting to see some advantages to a standard crib. In typical fashion, right now I’m just overwhelmed with too much information.

Convertible cot:


long-term savings

continuous use

Environmental friendly



storage rails


stuck in the same bed forever

The biggest advantage of convertible cribs is long-term savings. While you’ll likely spend more upfront than a standard crib, since these can convert into a toddler bed and then a double or full-size bed, you don’t have to keep buying a new bed for your growing child. Often times, the toddler cot stage is skipped when going from a standard crib to the bed for economic reasons. It hasn’t been used for long and looks like a waste. But many kids have difficulty transitioning directly from the crib to the bed, so this toddler bed conversion is very convenient.

Another convenience that convertible cribs provide is space. If you are planning to have more than one child, the crib is usually used for a few years and then must be stored until you need a second child. With a rollaway crib, the first child can continue to use it no matter how old the second is at birth. This saves parents from having to find storage space for a large crib. If your plan is to use a convertible crib for multiple children, be sure to check to make sure your specific crib can be backward converted. Some cribs cannot be converted into cribs once they have been converted to full-size beds.

Convertible cots are also friendly to our environment. They don’t need to be thrown away, as they can be used before the kids go to college, so there’s no waste.

Standard crib:


cheaper upfront

Flexible styles (new beds can be purchased in a few years)

save space


expensive long term

Must buy new bed for growing child

The first obvious advantage of buying a standard crib is cost. Typically, a standard crib costs about half the cost of a convertible crib. So, especially for first-time parents with substantial upfront costs, saving money on nursery staples can be great. In theory, when our baby outgrew the crib, our finances would recover from the initial hit (assuming I stopped drooling over all the cute baby boutique clothes) and could buy another bed .

Don’t get me wrong though, not all standard cribs are cheap. In fact, there are as many or more as convertible cribs. For me, the quality cannot be compared. If you buy a standard crib for the same cost as a convertible crib, you’ll get better quality, sturdier furniture.

Most of the other advantages of standard cribs are more like disadvantages of convertible cribs. A standard crib will save a little space because you don’t have bulky conversion rails that must be stored before use. It is recommended that you purchase all conversion kits with your convertible crib in case the manufacturer discontinues your crib before you are ready to convert.

For me, the biggest advantage of a standard crib is that I don’t have to decide before my baby is born what kind of bedroom look they want for a lifetime. I love design so much that I don’t want to redecorate at some point, and I’m pretty sure when my kids grow up I’ll be ready for a new look, which includes a new bed. Another downside of planning to keep the same bed forever is what if **out of breath** your perfect child uses the crib as a teether? I’ve heard that many parents have experienced this. By the time they’re ready to convert the crib into a bed, it’s already covered in the teeth marks of their lovely razor cherub.

Overall, I feel like the market is pushing parents towards convertible cribs, not that that’s necessarily a bad thing. But I like to make my own decisions rather than follow the crowd. Search on Babies R’ Us and there are 298 convertible cots to choose from, only 12 standard cots. Both types of cribs have their pros and cons. For all parents, this is a personal decision based on many different factors, so do what is best for you and your growing family.

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