The 10 Best Wood Cribs
This wiki has been updated 20 times since it was first published in April of 2015. Every parent wants to keep their baby away from harmful chemicals and materials, which is why these wood cribs are so great. Your newborn will be able to snooze in style and comfort in one of these aesthetically attractive models. Coming in a variety of designs to suit any decor, some can also convert into toddler and teen beds, so you won't have to replace them for years. When users buy our independently chosen editorial recommendations, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki. Skip to the best wood crib on Amazon.
A Brief History of Cribs
Usually made to rock, their primary purpose was to keep the baby in one place and entertained while the mother performed her daily duties.
Cribs are so strongly associated with raising babies that you'd think that they had been around since the dawn of time. However, cribs actually date back to only the 19th century C.E.
Before that, babies usually slept with their mothers. Bedrooms as we know them didn't really exist; most beds resembled the four-poster models we have today, with drapes around them to keep the heat in. The infant would usually sleep with her mother, while the lucky father slept in a completely different bed entirely.
The closest thing babies had to cribs were cradles and bassinets. Usually made to rock, their primary purpose was to keep the baby in one place and entertained while the mother performed her daily duties.
Adults began sleeping in iron beds in the 17th century C.E., mainly as a response to concerns about bug infestations. As you might expect, that concern extended to infant beds as well, leading to iron bassinets and bed with chain running along the sides. These beds were then painted white...using lead paint that babies loved to gnaw and nibble on. Listen, our ancestors weren't the brightest (probably because they ate lead paint as babies).
Lead paint poisoning would go a long way towards explaining another fad that came along just before cribs were widely adopted: baby cages. Don't worry, these aren't what you think they are, unless you think they're cages for babies.
Cages. For babies.
A doctor named Luther Emmett Holt wrote a book about the importance of "airing out" children in 1894. He believed that subjecting babies to the elements would toughen up their immune systems.
After WWII, a focus on baby safety led to the demise of baby cages, because apparently hanging a baby out a tall building and letting it soak up smog was undesirable. This led to an explosion in popularity for modern cribs — modern, that is, except for the safety features.
Up to 200 babies a year died as a result of unsafe crib features until the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission passed regulations concerning their build. Since then, deaths caused by faulty cribs have plummeted, with most of them caused by antique cribs still in use.
Today, cribs are found in just about every house with a newborn in them, and many homes have several, including pack-and-plays and other portable models. They're safer than they've ever been, and presumably more comfortable as well.
You have to add your own lead paint, though (don't do this).
Choosing the Right Wooden Crib
Having a baby is a completely overwhelming process. You have to prepare to have your life turned upside down, you have to learn a whole new set of rules and regulations, and oh yeah...there's the stuff.
So much stuff.
It will seem like the stakes behind every purchase are life-and-death, and nowhere is this more apparent than when you're crib shopping.
Make sure the slats are close together so that the baby can't get stuck or slide out.
The most important thing you can do is get a new crib, one that's been tested and certified to meet all current safety regulations. You may love how that antique crib looks in your nursery, or your mom may try to sell you on that hand-me-down bed that's been in the family for generations, but be aware that the risk to your child will go up exponentially if you get an older model.
Also, avoid drop-side rail cribs at all costs. They were responsible for dozens of fatalities, due largely to children getting in between the gaps and suffocating. The good news is that it's illegal to buy, sell, or even donate them now, so the only place you could possibly get them is from a relative.
Make sure the slats are close together so that the baby can't get stuck or slide out. Also, be careful with headboards with cutouts, as they're great places for heads to get lodged in.
If you're already stressing about how much your little bundle of joy is costing you, it may be worth it to consider a convertible crib. These can turn into toddler and child beds as your kid ages, saving you from having to buy at least a couple pieces of furniture.
With a little bit of research and some time devoted to shopping, you should be able to find a fantastic crib that your baby will be happy to never ever sleep in.
Making the Crib as Safe as Possible
A baby's crib isn't just where they sleep — it's also where they're most likely to injure themselves.
You can take action to minimize the danger of this happening, however. Typically, that means keeping the crib free of everything but the bare necessities.
You can take action to minimize the danger of this happening, however.
Make sure you have a firm mattress that fits snugly in the crib. The firmness is important, as it can reduce the risk of SIDS. Also, check to make sure that there aren't any spaces between the mattress and the slats where your baby can wedge herself, and keep her on her back when she sleeps.
Don't leave any soft toys, blankets, comforters, or any kind of pillow in there while she's there, either. These all pose suffocation hazards. It's probably smart to eschew the use of bumper pads as well.
Keep the crib well away from windows, as the cords to your blinds can represent a choking hazard. Also, if you have pets, don't let them climb inside either before or after the baby is born, as you don't want them feeling like it's their space — one they need to guard.
Beyond that, all you can really do is monitor your infant as much as possible and hope for the best.
Oh, and put the lid back on that can of lead paint, will you?
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