TEN BEST: Cribs
Name: Bonavita's Metro Lifestyle Crib
Why It's Great: A convertible crib is an excellent way to really extend a nursery budget. When one piece, like Bonavita's Metro Lifestyle Crib, converts from crib to toddler/daybed (just by removing four bolts!) to full-size bed (with the addition of a full size mattress, of course), you're getting a lifetime of investment. (Just be sure your child's room is large enough for a full size bed!) This particular model, with its stylish and cosmopolitan lines, is perfect for parents who want modern and traditional, as well as 18+ years of use!
We also like: Bonavita's La Madre Lifestyle Crib ($430), which combines bamboo veneers with sustainable wood, is handsome and sophisticated. We also like the dramatic angles of Jardine's Rubbed Black Claremont Lifetime Crib ($350).
Name: Bratt Décor Venetian 3-in-1
Why It's Great: Iron cribs evoke such vintage glamour and elegance, it's no wonder they're popular for girls' rooms (but they can work for boys', too). Available in four finishes, Bratt Décor's Venetian crib gives you multiple looks for one price. Add the four posters for a poster bed, or add the cross bars and fabric for a canopy-style bed. It also converts to a toddler bed and a daybed.
Name: Graco by La Jobi's Ashleigh Convertible Crib
Why It's Great: Any convertible crib will give you value for your money, but Graco cribs are more than just affordable. They're made by La Jobi, a respected nursery furniture company. The Ashleigh Convertible Crib has a sophistocated sleigh design with wainscot detail, and converts to a toddler bed, daybed and full-size headboard.
We also like: IKEA's Gulliver crib ($99) is a fabulous bare bones modern style crib that is extremely popular among hipsters and belt-tighteners.
Best Modern, Affordable
Name: Baby Mod by Million Dollar Baby Roxanne 3-in-1 Crib
Why It's Great: If you're craving a modern crib, but can't quite justify the hefty cost, this Baby Mod crib is the answer to your wishes! It's perfect for space-challenged new parents, with a storage drawer below. It also converts into a toddler bed when needed. Made by Million Dollar Baby, it's imported from New Zealand and is constructed of all wood – no pressboard. Best of all is the price tag, just under $300 and available only at walmart.com, where you can have it shipped to the Wal-Mart store nearest to you for free pick-up.
We also like: DwellStudio for Target Silver Lake Crib ($300) also has a drawer underneath.
Best Modern, Splurge
Name: Netto Collection Moderne
Why It's Great: If you like clean, contemporary lines, take a good look at Netto's Moderne crib. Their designs are simple, with white lacquered wood combined with ebony-stained ash or natural oak wood. There's storage underneath, plus three of their four designs convert to toddler beds. Netto created the modern nursery category five years ago and they are still the best. Keep an eye out for their new Louis collection, debuting in 2009. For a considerably lower price point, try CUB by Netto Collection – the CUB sleeper retails for $499-$625.
We also like: The muu Sam crib ($1,375) lets you customize the design with personalized snap-in/snap-out panels.
Name: Cariboo Gentle Motions Bassinet
Why It's Great: The Cariboo Gentle Motions Bassinet combines two of the things babies like best – small, confined spaces and rocking motions. The straps can be adjusted so baby can sleep with her head slightly elevated, which helps with reflux, colic and congestion.
We also like: If you're into ultra-modern, check out Monte Design's ninna-nanna rocking bassinet ($395). The Lullaby Moses basket ($200) paired with the rocker stand ($80) gives you an ultra-portable option.
Name: Arm's Reach Sleigh Bed Bassinet
Why It's Great: Some parents love the idea of co-sleeping with their child, but are worried about the safety of sharing a bed. That's where Arm's Reach Sleigh Bed Bassinet comes in. The bassinet sidles up next to mom's side of the bed and attaches to the mattress so she can breastfeed with ease or reach out and touch her baby. Unlike other co-sleepers, this one's classic design is more likely to fit in with your own grown-up furniture. When baby outgrows the sleigh bed, at about 18 months, it converts to a child's love seat.
We also like: The Arm's Reach Deskette ($299) later converts to a child desk.
Name: Stokke Sleepi
Why It's Great: With so much inevitable "throw away" in the world of baby gear, it's great to find a piece of furniture that won't be relegated to the basement when your bundle of joy outgrows the crib. The Stokke Sleepi Crib starts as a bassinet, grows into a crib and then converts to a toddler bed, with adjustable height positions. Or, it can be made into two chairs. It's like having a life-size Lego set as furniture.
We also like: Bloom Baby's Alma urban cot/crib, available in 2009, is much shorter and narrower than traditional cribs, plus it folds.
Name: Angel Line Round Crib
Why It's Great: Round cribs are quite dramatic and unusual, and give babies a 360-degree view of their surroundings. They're great for small rooms, but can work in the center of a room, as well. The downside of this crib type is that most outlive their usefulness when your child reaches 35", and they cannot be converted into a toddler bed. Round cribs tend to be quite expensive, starting at $800, with the exception being the Angel Line Round Crib (which includes a mattress).
We also like: Fine Round Cribs' Guinevere and Camelot models ($1099-$1299) have doors that open up to make placing baby inside easier, and allow adults to curl up inside with baby, too!
Name: Q Collection Junior Cielo
Why It's Great: For parents whose top concern is to create a healthy nursery, an environmentally-friendly crib (and mattress) is the place to start. Made of sustainable, locally-sourced wood, formaldehyde-free (which no other crib is) and finished with non-toxic VOC-free paints or stains, Q Collection Junior's Cielo crib is the best of its type. It also converts to a toddler/daybed, increasing its longevity, which is extremely kind to the environment. We just wish they converted to full size beds to further lengthen their life.
We also like: The Nurseryworks Studio Crib ($2100) has a hideaway changing table and cabinet, plus it converts to a toddler daybed with a built-in desk.
BONUS: Additional Faves
Swing/Hammock – Kanoe Baby Hammocks ($290)
Travel – BABYBJÖRN Travel Crib Light ($250)
Cradle – Continental Rocking Cradle ($130)
Sleigh – Restoration Hardware Baby amp Child's Marlowe Sleigh ($999)
Toy – Tot Tutors Touch Her Heart Doll Crib ($50, not pictured)