They easily transform from a baby's crib to a toddler's bed or daybed.
They can also be made into twin or full-sized beds with the addition of optional side rails.
Because the convertible crib will remain in your baby's room for years, choosing the right type and style is extremely important.
These 4 tips can help.
Tip #1: Safety First All new baby cribs sold in the US will pass safety standards required by the Consumer Product Safety Commission standards.
However, cribs manufactured before 1990 may not conform to the latest safety guidelines.
If you are given a used crib by a relative, or if you decide to buy a used crib from Craigslist or eBay, make sure the crib has not been recalled for safety issues.
You can do this by going to the Consumer Product Safety Commission's website.
If you purchase a new convertible crib, either at your local furniture store or online, the crib should have a Juvenile Product Manufacturers Association (JPMA) certification.
If the crib has a seal of approval from JPMA, it meets all current safety standards.
Tip #2: Choose the Right Size If you intend to use the convertible crib after your child outgrows his or her toddler bed, you will want to make sure the crib will convert to the right sized bed with the optional side rails.
Some cribs will convert to twin-sized beds, while others convert to full-sized.
Many children's bedrooms will not have room for a full-sized bed, plus a dresser, a desk, and other furniture needed by older children.
For this reason, you should look beyond the style and make sure you will be able to use the crib as long as possible.
Some manufacturers also make Mini-cribs, which take up less space in the nursery but still convert to a twin-sized bed.
This size would be perfect for parents who wish to keep their baby in their own room for a while.
Tip #3: Choose the Right Price Convertible cribs are sold in a very wide range of prices, from under $200 to well over $1,000.
Any new crib will conform to modern safety standards, but different brands may be sturdier than others, and may have finishes that will last longer.
These things are not always easy to see in a brand new piece of furniture, but may become more evident as you use the crib over time.
The price itself is not always the best indicator of value.
Tip #4: Choose the Right Style And now - the fun part.
Convertible cribs come in hundreds of different styles and colors.
Choosing a style that fits with the baby's nursery décor will be easy - but will it also fit into a toddler's bedroom, or even a teenager's? Are there other pieces of furniture available that will match? Does the style look right with the crib bedding that you have in mind? Almost all available cribs are made in colors and finishes that will stand up over time.
Painted cribs are usually black or white, and wooden finishes are natural blond wood, or cherry, maple or walnut.
Most of these finishes can also be mixed or matched with other pieces of bedroom furniture, even if the pieces come from different manufacturers.
I hope these tips have given you some ideas for your new baby's nursery, and will help you choose the perfect convertible crib for your baby.