Babies often spend more time in the crib than anyplace else, so while comfort is important, safety is vital. As most kids sleep in a crib till it's time to move into a real bed -- typically between the ages of 2 and 3 -- you'll need a sturdy one.
Stability: Give the crib a fantastic shake in the shop or after you put it together in your home. If it wobbles or rattles, it might have been put together improperly. (Although wobbling or rattling could also be a sign that you should look for a sturdier crib.)
Many mothers like to have the crib set up several months before their due date. But don't be concerned if the baby arrives prior to your infant does; tots do good in a bassinet, cradle, or sleeper for the first several months or even months of their lives.
Adjustable mattress heightthe majority of cribs allow you to alter the elevation of the crib mattress by simply raising or lowering the mattress support. The opportunity to lower the mattress is if your child begins sitting up. As kids get more active and proceed to pulling up and standing, they can climb and drop out of the crib.
Old cribs: Cribs made before 1974, when federal crib-safety standards went into effect, are somewhat more likely than newer versions to have security problems. Secondhand cribs might also have splinters, lead paint, discontinued (and possibly dangerous) attributes, or slats that are too far apart. Slats should be no more than 2 3/8 inches apart (about the size of a soda can) to protect against a baby's head from getting suck. Posts on a crib shouldn't greater than 1/16 of an inch (unless they're over 16 inches to encourage a canopy); differently, clothing can catch on them and injure or choke a baby. Even versions fabricated as recently as 1991 can be unsafe, so if you are borrowing a crib or buying a used one, keep an eye out for these risks in addition to for sharp edges, protruding metal, anything that may be broken off and spilled on, peeling paint, along with cutouts across the railing that can trap your child's neck or arm. Examine the product recalls from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission to make sure it has not been remembered.
Safe sleep hints: Get tips about infant bedding and sleep posture to reduce your child's risk of SIDS.
Cribs with drop sides: The rule is simple -- don't use them. The movable railings called fall sides were more common on toddlers for a long time, but might pose a severe hazard to babies. If the fall side comes or dries loose, then a baby can become entrapped and strangle or suffocate from the space between the drop side along with the crib mattress. Their sale has been banned since 2011.
Mattresses: The two most frequent forms sold are innerspring and foam and both can be found in thicknesses between 3 and 6 inches. For a foam mattress, even more significant than depth, though, is high density; weight can be a good indicator -- a heavier mattress is thicker than one that is the same size but lighter. (See our buying guide to learn more on purchasing crib mattresses.)
Full-sized cribs, such as convertibles, vary from $110 to $800.
When setting up a crib, select a spot away from windows, window blinds, and draperies. Infants can strangle on the cords, and older infants could possibly pull up themselves and fall through the window. When there's a cord on your infant screen, keep it at least 3 feet from the crib.
Versatility: Many cribs are intended to convert to a toddler bed, day bed, or even the headboard and footboard for a full-size bed. Make sure the crib makeover is comparatively simple to do (check online reviews from parents) and that you enjoy the look of the brand new furniture.
Bumpers: Crib bumpers -- cushioned cushioning that attaches to the interior railings of the crib -- are occasionally still included in crib bedding sets, but a number of organizations, including the AAP, now discourage them as a SIDS threat for infants.
Security limits: Crib manufacturers recommend discontinuing use (or converting to the product's next phase ( for convertible cribs) when your child reaches a specific height, weight, or developmental phase. Height/weight limits are generally much lower on portable or mini-cribs. Read your product manual carefully and follow recommendations.
Most new cribs on the market comply with both voluntary and mandatory safety standards. Read crib safety tips from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). For starters, be sure yours is properly constructed and structurally sound; the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission reports many instances in which cribs have come . If it occurs, a baby's head can get trapped in the spaces between the mattress and side rail.
Frame size: The crib inside should snugly accommodate a standard crib mattress -- at least 51 3/4 inches by 27 3/8 inches wide. Ensure that there is not any space between the surfaces of the mattress and the crib walls. This poses a considerable danger, as babies can get trapped in that area.
Space savers: Children short on distance could possibly be considering mobile or mini-crib possibilities, both of which occupy less space compared to full-size cribs. Some fold or collapse for storage; some have wheels so they can be wrapped around the house.