Like most of my blog posts, they are born from real-life. While I do have some projects going on, I'm also busy setting up my household to host a long term guest with 2 little ones! They will be staying with me for a month while they wait to 'close' on their new home as they are relocating across the country. This includes a toddler who just turned 2 years old and his baby brother who just turned 5 months.
Because we let someone use our crib and changing table a few years ago they conveniently never returned it (which was basically fine... we knew we weren't planning on having any more children) we decided this long term guest with babies would be the perfect time to invest in a portable crib to keep on hand here at the house. Our guest has a pack-n-play but those have the thin little mattress pad with the uncomfortable metal support bars under it and we do NOT want to make this adorable little one sleep on that for a month! So... off I went to research portable crib choices.
While I anticipated having to purchase a full sized crib in order to get the safety and comfort and nice look I wanted for the guest room, it ends up the mini cribs come in a great 'folding' option for easy storage! This was perfect for us. I wanted the look and safety of a larger 'real' crib (verses a pack n play) but this way I can easily fold it up and store it away when not in use. It's beautiful while it's out, but for guests without children, I'm sure they appreciate the extra open space in the guest room.
And that is how this post was born.
After I found the crib I wanted (photo below) I then had to find the correct sized mattress, the correct size sheets (difficult and confusing) and the bedding. In the end, I was able to spend about 2 days researching and I'm thrilled with my choices. However, in searching and reading online reviews I found the biggest reason for poor reviews was based on the reader not paying attention to sizes and complaining the sheets and bedding didn't fit.
It does get a bit confusing... but I thought I'd post some of my research and the products I ended up purchasing. It might help someone else looking for a similar set up.
The portable 'folding' crib I chose in 'natural' wood color....
Dream On Me 2 in 1 Portable Folding Stationary Side Crib, Natural
From the ManufacturerThe Dream On Me, 2-in-1 portable folding crib, features a United States Patented rail system for ease in converting crib to playpen with one hand. The unique hinges allow the crib to fold flat for compact storage or travel. Included is the stationary (non drop side) rail design which provides the utmost in product safety. Made of solid Pine and having a beautiful Non-toxic finish, this portable crib is one of the most convenient portable cribs on the market. 1" Mattress pad and all tools for easy assembly included.
Here is what you need to remember and repeat to yourself - your crib is not 'standard' it's mini. This means your mattress, pads, crib sheets and bedding all need to fit to the mini 38 X 24 size (or whatever the size of your particular brand and model of mini or portable crib is).
Many people replace the little thin 1" mattress pad that some cribs come with (some come with nothing) with a 3" mattress or a 5" mattress. This is where it gets tricky to find the correct sheets because you cannot just buy any standard crib sheet. They must be for a portable or mini crib which is 38 inches and not the standard 52 inches.
Searching for sheets: Make sure you search for mini crib sheets or portable crib sheets.
5" pocket does not mean it will fit a 5" mattress. It means it will fit a 3" mattress. There has to be enough of a pocket to go under the corners and hold them in place.
A 3" pocket will fit a 1" mattress pad.
5" pocket for a 3-4" mattress and a pocket depth of at least 6.5" for a 4-5" mattress.
Affordable sheets for 3" mattress: If you have a 3" mattress and need a mini/portable crib sheet that fits (38 X 24 mini mattress but 3" thick and not the 1" cheap pad they send with most portable cribs) American Baby and TL Care make affordable options (Under $6 each for these jersey sheets with enough 'stretch' they are easy to fit on almost any mini or portable crib mattress.)
A sheet that will fit a 5" mattress like these that are 6.6 inches (from their product description) are available here in 4 different colors and 2 different sizes (both standard and mini) so again; make sure you are looking for the 38 X 24 size if you are searching for the portable or mini crib.
I personally bought the Luvable Friends brand (2) - here and one of these because I loved the argyle beige design. These two links fit the 5" mini crib mattress I purchased.
When you purchase the bumper pads, comforters, etc. they do sell 'sets' that usually include a sheet, comforter and either bumper pads or a diaper bag, etc. Remember to buy the "portable" or "mini" crib size. It's easy to start clicking on links and following links on the pages and end up on a 'standard' size bedding set without realizing you've left your 'mini' search. Just keep in mind; PORTABLE and MINI or the 38" X 24" description. And keep in mind the bedding sets will assume you have a 1-3 inch mattress so if you've opted for a deep 5" mattress, the sheets with the set might not fit but you can use them on the changing pad or your Graco Pack N' Play instead.
Helpful frugal hint for that extra 'fitted' sheet that comes with the set: (Since I bought a 5" mattress, the sheet that comes with the bedding set doesn't fit the depth. Instead, I cut the fitted sheet that came with our jungle animal set off at the corners and edge to remove the elastic; and re-sewed it with a simple straight seam to make it a regular sheet. You could also use the fabric this way to sew a simple curtain valance for the nursery window as the fabric is the perfect match to your bedding!)
Other similar items available through Amazon you might be interested in;
Dream On Me 2 in 1 Portable Folding Stationary Side Crib, Natural
Dream On Me 4 in 1 Aden Convertible Mini Crib, Espresso
Dream On Me 3 in 1 Portable Folding Stationary Side Crib, Espresso
They also have FULL SIZED standard cribs available in the 'folding' style: this kind uses the standard sized mattresses you can buy almost anywhere. Yes they come in various colors and styles - here is a white crib but if you click on it, you can search other styles and colors at Amazon if you wish. All standard bedding, pads and off the rack 3- 4" mattresses are for full sized cribs.