When my husband and I found out we were expecting our first child, we were thrown for a loop. We had only been married for six months, we were living in Germany, and we were not trying to have a child. Once the initial shock wore off, I immediately began thinking about this new genre of shopping that I had never tried before: the world of baby shopping. WOW! So many options, so many categories. The first category I was focused on was bedding. The child needed a bedroom....and so I set about researching different cribs, furniture, etc. Since we lived in Germany this began to be a challenge. I wanted to be able to buy bedding/linens that I could access back in the States as well as Germany. But all the German cribs were beautiful....and then I stumbled onto Stokke.
Recommend this product?
If you are reading this and have read some of my other reviews, you will know that I have become a person who has a mild Stokke obsession. We own the complete bedroom set, the Xplory stroller, the Tripp Trapp chair, the Stokke Mini bassinet, the Care changing table. Our house is all things Stokke. I am enamoured with this company because of the craftsmanship of their product, their innovative designs, and their attention to details.
We first saw a Stokke display at a store in Kaiserslautern (in Germany) and I fell in love with the look of the bassinet and crib. The crib (and bassinet) is oval in shape and made out of a gorgeous wood. It is certainly different looking from any other crib I had seen while on my search for a crib. What makes this crib even better is that it will grow with your child. This crib will take you from birth to seven years and beyond. We wound up purchasing the Sleepi Mini as a separate piece (which was all because our German and the saleslady's English didn't meet halfway). You can see my review for the Sleepi Mini by
Clicking Here. While I liked what I saw, I wanted to be sure that this crib system would be able to be serviced, added to, etc. once we were back in the United States. I was happy to learn that Stokke was sold worldwide and that we could indeed go ahead and purchase the Sleepi system for our new baby.
Who is Stokke, Anyway
Stokke is a Norwegian, single family owned company whose headquarters are located in Alesund, Norway. Established in 1932 and now lead by CEO Kristine Landmark, the Stokke company strives toward creating products that are innovative and are in the best interest of the child. Taken from literature we received in Germany, a brochure on the company states, "...each Stokke product is developed to stimulate the child's on-going development through their ability to allow the bond between parent and child to grow through strong visual contact & interaction. "
What is the Stokke Sleepi?
The Stokke Sleepi is an innovative and elegant bedding system for your child. It is a crib that is designed to take your child from birth to seven plus years of age...ultimately this crib will turn into two half chairs for your child's room.
The Sleepi, which is oval in shape, is designed to mimic the contours and shape of Mommy's tummy. The Sleepi was specifically designed to help make your baby's transition into the world a gentle and peaceful one. The Sleepi crib aims to create a familiar space (aka the womb) for your baby so that he/she feels warm, safe, comfortable while resting.
Where Can I Buy the Stokke Sleepi?
The Stokke Sleepi is available for purchase at many brick and mortar stores worldwide (as I purchased mine in Germany) and online retailers. You may go to the Stokke website, located at http://www.stokkeusa.com/wheretobuy.asp for more information.
Why Chose the Sleepi?
There are many, many reasons to chose the Stokke Sleepi Crib system. I will detail the many reasons below.
The Stokke Sleepi is simply beautiful. It is crafted out of cultivated beech wood that is only grown and harvested in the beech wood belt of Eastern Europe. Every single tree in this belt is cultivated in a natural/ balanced process. This means that the trees are fully replenished from new seedlings. For those parents who are making an effort to "go green" this should be welcome news. The Sleepi comes in the following color options: white; natural; cherry; walnut. These colors are created by a formaldehyde free varnish that is completely safe for your child and the environment. I can say that this crib is sturdy and hardy! We have the "natural" finish and it is a soft, natural color. I have viewed the other color options in the store and they were all great -- true colors that show up well. The natural fit in with our flooring (both in Germany and luckily here in New Jersey) so that is why we decided on that particular color.
The Sleepi is oval in shape and this means no hard corners or edges. This oval shape is an attempt to mimic the curved, snug environment that your baby lived in for nine months while in utero. This oval shape can expand from a basinet, to a crib (the Sleepi), into a toddler bed, then a junior bed, and then (ultimately) two bedroom chairs. The Sleepi is a system that not only looks good, but has a long life-span. This wide range of configurations means your child will have an absolutely optimal sleeping environment from birth through childhood. The Sleepi is quite spacious! It really gives your child a nice area to sleep and relax! Since there are no corners, you will not find your child sleeping in a corner looking uncomfortable.
Portability and Functions
**The Sleepi has wheels on the crib, which means that should you need to, you may move the crib to anywhere you need/want to. The wheels are lockable for added safety. The Mini (bassinet) also has the wheels. This came in handy as we liked to keep our son in the bassinet for safety when he wasn't sleeping. A Stokke representative explained to me that this function (of toting your child from room to room while in the bassinet) helped to regulate the sleeping patterns of your baby. This helps to stimulate your child to interact more and sleep less during the day. In essence, the Sleepi encourages your child to begin the pattern of sleeping through the night at an early stage. I can attest to this -- my son slept through the night from about two months on...and he was breastfed! Also, you can gently "rock" your baby while he/she is in the crib. You can rock the Sleepi on the wheels, which can be soothing and calming for a cranky, tired, teething baby/toddler.
**The Sleepi is safe. The crib meets/exceeds with ALL international safety standards.
** The Sleepi weighs 176.37 pounds (without bedding). It is strong and durable! Yet, despite the weight...it is quite easy to wheel around!
**The Sleepi has an adjustable bed base. It adjusts to four different heights to fit the needs of your growing baby. To adjust, you need a screwdriver and some sort of key that enables you to adjust the height of the mattress. When your baby is small, you would keep the mattress at the highest height. As your baby develops and gets older, you would lower the mattress. This also helps the parents' backs! The Stokke salesperson explained to us that this feature would help us not place any strain on our lower backs. Sounded good to us! My husband is 6'2 and I am 5'2. Neither of us have ever had any problem placing our son in or taking our son out of his crib -- at any height. About six months ago we lowered the Sleepi to the lowest height since our son began to try and climb out. The sides of the crib do not lower, which some people may not like. Since the Sleepi is all we know in the way of cribs, this has never bothered us. Even at the lowest height, neither myself or my husband have ever complained about having to take our son out of the crib.
**The Sleepi is easy to dismantle, according to my husband. In his opinion, this makes it easy to really move around (from floor to floor, should you need to). I do not know personally how to dismantle this crib...but if my husband says it is "easy" then it must be. Funny, because when he initially put this crib together...oh, how he cursed. My goodness! But now he claims that it wasn't that bad. I remember it took him about one and a half hours to assemble the Sleepi.
**The Sleepi comes with a foam mattress. It is said promote excellent breathing...The foam mattress comes rolled up and you must let it expand for at least two days. I was disappointed with the mattress for many reasons. The first reason being was that it left a gap between the sides and the mattress. The second was that it was not rock hard. All of my friend's cribs had mattresses that felt like cement! I was extremely worried about my son suffocating. I contacted Stokke ASAP and they sent me another mattress. Still had gaps, though this was firmer. Called back Stokke, and they sent me another mattress. Less gaps, and firmer. Since my son was due at that point in a week...I just kept the last one they sent. With a bumper there was no gaps...but when we took the bumper off, there were some slight gaps. Since we used the Angelcare monitor, my fears about his breathing were eased. About four months ago I became aware that these Stokke mattresses were recalled..! I felt vindicatated. I called Stokke and they sent me another mattress. This time, it was a great fit and super-firm! I should add that each time I complained and got another mattress, it was always free of charge.
**The Sleepi's varnish also includes a protective coating that helps to keep scratches and teethmarks at bay. This coating also helps maintain a smooth finish to your crib and while cleaning, it feels as if your rag is just gliding along. I love this!
Our Experiences with the Stokke Sleepi
We purchased this crib on the Euro, which means that we paid more for it than we would have had we purchased it here in the States. This crib isn't cheap. We purchased the whole system, though...the Mini, the Keep, the Care, the Sleepi, the mattress, and the extensions for the crib. I understand that if you were to purchase here, just the Sleepi, you would pay approximately $960.00. Some people may find this realle expensive, but we looked at this furniture as furniture for life. It would grow and expand with our child from infancy through adulthood (when those two chairs would be in place). For us, the price was worth it.
We loved the fact that this Sleepi system grows from a crib to a toddler bed to a junior bed to two half chairs (as long as you purchase the extension sets). We also loved the look of this crib. The wood was absolutely beautiful and so was the design. I loved the oval shape and clean, rounded lines.
Assembling this crib was my husband's job so I cannot say how that went. I can report that it took around one and a half hours and he cursed a lot. The level of difficulty is reflected by how many curses he utters. The first time he put the Sleepi together must have been somewhat hard because I remember all the bad words. But now my husband knows what he is doing and was able to reassemble the crib once we moved back to the States in rapid time!
The crib is made of natural, durable beech wood. Please keep in mind if you choose the natural color that will be variations of color (although slight) throughout the wood. Since we ordered the Keep and the Care, too (armoire and changing table) it was really noticeable at first to see the differences in color. I called Stokke and they kept replacing our furniture because I told them they gave us the wrong color. Finally they sent out a rep from their corporate office in Germany named Ingo. Well, Ingo explained to me about the nature of the wood and how since it is all natural, with no paint...then some of the wood will indeed look different. I felt really, really stupid. I had already sent the furniture back and gotten new replacements a few times. All for nothing. Now, we can hardly see a difference in color but I wanted all potential consumers who may order the natural color to be aware of this!
The crib is great because it has wheels. This means you can wheel it wherever you would like. We find it helpful if we want to clean underneath or change the layout of our son's room. When he was around three months, occasionally I would use the wheels to help me "rock" him if he seemed unusually cranky. This worked well and the soothing motion did seem to really help ease the crankiness.
The foam mattress was a disappointment at first but now I am happy to say that the new mattresses being sold (yes, you must buy the mattress separately) are MUCH firmer and have NO GAP. The foam mattress has worked well for us....very light and airy yet seems to be quite comfy.
The Sleepi has four adjustable heights and we have gone from the 1st all the way to the 4th in seventeen months. Once my son started being able to climb, we lowered it to the lowest height possible so that there was no chance that he could jump out. Now that he is tall, he can get his legs up over the rails....yet the crib is at the absolute lowest height. Our son is tall for his age and so this may have something to do with this ability.
When we first purchased the Sleepi, linen options were very few and far between. We wound up purchasing the Tales bedding set from Stokke. It is quite cute, with blue and green and orange animals...but the sheets shrink a lot! Since this is not a bedding review, I won't go into too much detail. I am happy to say that now there are many more companies who manufacture bedding options for the Sleepi and a quick online search will lead you in the right directions.
Cleaning is simple: mild soap and water! When we have guests coming over, I will use my Method Wood for Good cleaning spray and cloth to clean the wood furniture. I then, because I am paranoid, wipe that with water so my son doesn't get any residue in his mouth (even though Method is non-toxic).
This crib is just beautiful but it is not without some flaws. First, there was the mattress problem. Since Stokke issued a recall, I am satisfied that they properly addressed and fixed this problem. The second flaw is really only a flaw if you have an active child who likes to climb, swing, and dive. We do have this kind of child. Our son likes to stand in his crib and shake the sides. He also likes to climb around, do tumbles in his crib and off of the sides. As a result of this, the six bolts that hold the crib together need to be tightened from time to time. What would begin happening is that the places where the panels join together would rattle and be a tad loose. You can tighten the bolts by hand, which is a temporary fix. You really should tighten the bolts with an allen wrench. The third flaw is that if you purchase this Sleepi with the intent of using it all the way through to the chair stage, then you cannot resuse for a second or third, etc. child. I know some parents have toddlers or older children who then have another baby. They simply whip out a crib that they own that is not in use, buy a new mattress...and they are set. If you use your Sleepi throughout infancy into the older child stage, you would have to buy another crib. Or, I guess you could time your next baby with your other child graduating high school...but that doesn't sound too much fun for me!
Our Bottom Line
The Stokke Sleepi Crib is a beautiful, durable, and innovative crib that will last our family for (hopefully) generations to come. I also love the fact that this company is conscious of the environment and takes an active role to protect our Earth.
Over these past seventeen months, it has held up well and provided our son with a cozy, spacious, and wonderful place to rest and relax. It is expensive, which may turn away some people. But if you look at it as an investment for a sleeping system for years to come, the price is not that bad. If we ever have another baby, we will 100% positively purchase another!
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Amount Paid (US$): 1000