Basics Sleep

Cradle vs Crib: How To Decide Between The Two

If you are soon to welcome a little bundle of joy into your life, then you’ve probably already started to think about their sleep routine.

After all, the better a baby sleeps, the more refreshed mom and dad will be, so a lot is riding on your decisions. No pressure!

But with cribs, bassinets, Moses baskets and cradles to choose from, things can get pretty confusing.

So in this comprehensive guide, we will explore the pros and cons of cradles and cribs, helping you make an informed choice that suits your baby’s needs and your lifestyle.

Let’s jump right in.


Cradles have been a traditional choice for generations, offering a cozy and intimate sleeping environment for newborns. Here are some of the key advantages and disadvantages:

Pros of Cradles

  1. Compact Size: Cradles are generally smaller than cribs, making them an ideal choice for smaller nursery spaces or for parents who prefer to keep their newborn close by in their bedroom.
  2. Portability: Many cradles come with wheels or are designed to be easily moved from room to room. This portability can be a game-changer for parents who want to keep a close eye on their sleeping baby.
  3. Rocking Motion: A soothing rocking motion is a hallmark feature of cradles. The gentle swaying can mimic the feeling of being rocked in a parent’s arms, aiding in calming fussy babies and promoting better sleep.

Cons of Cradles

  1. Limited Lifespan: Cradles are generally smaller and have weight limitations, meaning they are suitable for the first few months of a baby’s life. As your little one grows, you may need to transition to a larger sleep space.
  2. Safety Concerns: Some cradles may not meet the latest safety standards, posing a risk to your baby. It’s crucial to choose a cradle that adheres to safety guidelines and regulations.


Cribs have become a staple in modern nurseries, offering a more extended usability period and a variety of features. Let’s explore the pros and cons:

Pros of Cribs

  1. Long-Term Use: Cribs are designed to accommodate a growing child. Many can be converted into toddler beds and even full-sized beds, providing a durable and long-lasting sleep solution.
  2. Safety Features: Modern cribs come with a range of safety features, including slat spacing regulations, non-toxic finishes, and sturdy construction. This ensures a secure sleep environment for your baby.
  3. Ample Storage: Some cribs come with built-in drawers or shelves, offering convenient storage for baby essentials. This can be a practical solution for smaller nurseries with limited space.

Free Interior of Baby Room Stock Photo

Cons of Cribs

  1. Space Requirements: Cribs are generally larger than cradles, requiring more floor space in the nursery. This can be a consideration for parents with limited room to spare.
  2. Immobility: Unlike cradles, cribs are stationary and lack the rocking motion. While some cribs offer a convertible design with a rocking feature, it’s essential to weigh the importance of motion in your decision-making process.


In the cradles vs. cribs debate, the choice ultimately depends on your lifestyle, space constraints, and personal preferences.

Cradles offer a cozy and portable solution for the early months, while cribs provide a more extended usability period and a range of safety features.

Consider the unique needs of your family and prioritize safety and comfort when making your decision.

But remember, whether you choose the gentle sway of a cradle or the enduring stability of a crib, both options can provide a secure and comfortable sleep haven for your precious little angel.

Must Read: The Ultimate Guide To Baby & Toddler Sleep

Tori is mama to 3 year old Isabella and co-founder of Rockinbaby. She has a BSc in Psychology, is a certified yoga teacher and is a working mom. In her free time Tori loves cooking delicious foods and baked treats, entertaining and working out. Learn more about Tori here.

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