January 20, 2005

NY Times' Designer Crib-a-palooza

The NY Times has a roundup of modernist crib options, running the gamut from the Netto Collection to, um, IKEA. The big emphasis is on convertability; designers figure that you're not gonna part with $800-1,500 for their crib unless it converts to a bed later. [Sheesh, for that money, it should rock the kid to sleep and change its own sheets, 'no what'm sayin?]

But seriously, the big news is probably the Offi and the Oeuf Cribs, Offi first:
The Offi Bebe crib has MDF rails and natural finish ply ends with cutouts. At $599, or $499 for the all-white version--slippery slope there, pal. Get white, and you're practically begging for some tole-painting on the ends--the Offi's pretty reasonably priced. But that photo is also the single best argument against crib bumbers. Seriously, what is up with all those bows?

oeuf_crib.jpgThe sides of the Oeuf Crib are each cut out of a single sheet of MDF, which looks pretty slick. There's a maple base and round steel legs, which also look great. They're not on the corners, so the crib floats a little bit; very nice touch. As is the optional changing table attachment. It's $825.

Both cribs have a downside, though. Or to be precise, they don't have a downside; you can't put the side down, so you'll be reaching the kid in and out with your back. [Now that I mention it, we do this with our crib; but if you have a bad back...]

The token cheap crib is from IKEA; it's $89, and frankly, I'd convert it to a pile of wood in the garbage before I convert it to a toddler bed. For $100, get a totally decent, totally plain Jenny Lind.

Anyway, The Offi Bebe is available at modernseed and sparkability. The Oeuf crib will be available for Spring at OeufNYC.com.

Setting Sail to Wynken, Blynken, and Nod. (i.e., a bunch of modern cribs)[NYT]


greg, you raise an interesting point with your comment about the sides of the crib. I wonder how many people actually raise and lower the sides. I know I never do.

I never used mine either - other than for changing the bedding.

More importantly, I'm told that the lowering rail is frequently the cause of problems/failures on cribs, which makes it the leading cause of recalls on cribs, which costs manufacturers lots of money. I think we'll see many more US cribs go the way of the European crib; fixed rails and a lower overall crib height.

We raise and lower ours when the baby is not sleeping. If we are putting her in there asleep, we keep them up because raising the sides wakes her up.

While my wife is not short, it is much easier for her to access the baby (changing clothes, grabbing her, putting her down) with the sides down.

Maybe our crib is just higher than others...?

Kaz, which raises another question, is there some kind of ISO standard on crib height?

My kid didn't start sleeping in a crib until 11 months, but I had to raise and lower the sides because the kid was enormous, and I just couldn't heft all of him over the high edge of the crib.

Personally, I think having a crib that converts to a toddler bed is overrated. We had huge success getting our kid excited about sleeping in (and staying all night in) a toddler bed because it was completely new (to him--a friend passed it on to us) and nothing he'd seen before.

Coming from a 6'5" future-father-of-twins, would I want to get a crib(s) where the side can lower?

And realistically, if I were to spend this much money x2, I would want to keep using it for a while. The Oeuf looks niiiice.

What cribs do you guys have? or have we gone through this before?


We have the Dana crib from PotteryBarnKids, which we recieved as a gift. It is nice, the sides lower, has three heights for the mattress(I can't imagine using a lower height and getting the kid in/out w/o lowering the sides - I guess the thinking is when you need to lower the height, it is because the child can pull themselves up), has a conversion kit.

With the price on this crib, we'll probably use the conversion kit rather than scapping it and getting a toddler bed.

As far as a standard crib height, I am not sure...

My wife and I purchased a non-drop-sided crib. It's a bit on the shorter side to accommodate my petite wife, but it works fine. Many of the reasonably priced cribs that we saw that had drop-sides were flimsy. I don't like flimsy. The Oeuf looks nice. It's similar to ours, but ours is not carved out of once piece of material and didn't cost $825, either.

I used a fixed rail Euro crib for all of my children, it wasn't as big a deal as you would imagine. By the time they were too big to be hefted from the lying down position, they were easily able to stand up. I never understood why one would need a lowering rail as you need quick access, not....'let me fidget with this for a sec first access'

I've flogged and blogged it already, but we went with the Jenny Lind, which was about as unadorned as it gets. And considering it was $700 less than the next-most-minimalist crib we could find, it was unadorned enough.

It's solid and the side lowers fine--the construction and hardware of this Jenny Lind manuf. vs others we saw was pretty dramatic--we just never lower it. (I'm 6'2", wife's 5'9")

See The Classic-est Crib for details.

Frankly, if I were buying now, I'd be tempted by the Arts & Crafts crib from Pacific Rim. I saw that at Just for Tykes in SoHo and it's pretty Sweet. (It's also on sale at modernseed.)

The Oeuf crib is tempting, too, though. If I were buying TWO? Man, that's a math I can't even begin to grasp.

We have a second hand quaker style crib. I'm 6ft, and I've never had the side down. If we hadn't had the option of the freebie I would have gone with the fixed side. Avoiding the hassle/stress of having to check the hardware of the slide mechanism to make sure Lucas hasn't "boing boing boing"ed it loose would be amazing.

Also, when they get older you only get to put them in, he's been walking since 10 months, so getting after naps and in the morning is a lot easier since he gets up to greet us.

It isn't as if you can't get "quick access" with a crib with a rail that lowers. Just because it does lower doesn't mean you have to lower it. I think a lot of people have spoken to that. If I really need quick access, I'll just reach over.

After the first week of owning the crib, I found it quite easy to quickly lower it, without having to fidget.

Uma, you must be way taller than I am, to have been able to go in and lift your kids out. Mine didn't stand until after 9 months, and was almost 25 pounds by then. It was too much for me. And it wasn't even the lifting out--it was having the kid fall asleep on me and then having to lower him into the crib without waking him up. If the side was up I wouldn't have been able to hoist him over without letting him thud onto the mattress. I'm guessing this isn't a problem for really tall people.

Sorry, I am 5'11

I'm 5'9" and still have/had problems with the giant no-standing babies. Like Moxie said, it's the putting them down when they are asleep that's the killer. I ended up with lower back problems and physical therapy with Kid #1 -- your back muscles bear the brunt because your stomach muscles are all stretched out after pregnancy anyway -- from not lowering the side. With bigger and still not standing at 11 months Kid #2, you betcha I'm lowering the side rail. We have a classic and relatively cheap crib Greg might even approve of, though.

Doesn't MDF off-gas some nasty stuff? I find it hard to pay $800 for MDF.

Yeah, MDF off-gasses, but it's apparently not as bad as pressure-treated wood or particle board, both of which also show up in kids' furniture (and IKEA furniture) with alarming frequency.

The problem is formaldehyde-based glues. Most MDF is now made with formaldehyde-free glue, but still.

Check this EPA standards guide on formaldehyde-free MDF. Of course, it's dated from the Clinton administration, so it's probably been loosened or revoked by now. :|

Greg, they have the entire Arts anc Crafts line at The Land Of Nod. Not just the crib, but the furniture that matches as well.


I thought IKEA did away with those off-gasses a while ago...?

If you're even considering paying $800+ for an MDF crib, at least check out this one from Childcraft that I found at barebabies.com:


It comes in white or natural and has no drop sides, but it's hardwood and costs less than $300. It took us a while to get it, but for a clean modern design that's actually affordable, it was worth the wait.

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