Infants often spend more time at the crib than anywhere else, so while comfort is important, security is essential. As most kids sleep in a crib until it's time to move to a true bed -- normally between the ages of 2 and 3 -- you will want a sturdy one.
Frame size: The crib inside should snugly adapt a standard crib mattress -- at least 51 3/4 inches by 27 3/8 inches wide. Ensure that there is no distance between the surfaces of the mattress and the crib walls. This poses a significant danger, as babies can get trapped inside that space.
Most new cribs available on the market comply with the mandatory and voluntary safety standards. For starters, make sure yours is correctly assembled and structurally sound; the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission reports many instances in which cribs have come . If this occurs, a kid's head can get trapped in the spaces between the mattress and side rail.
Space savers: Parents short on space may be interested in portable or mini-crib options, each of which take up less space compared to full-size Automobiles. Some fold or collapse for storage; a few have wheels so they may be wrapped around the house.
Be certain the crib makeover is comparatively easy to do (check online reviews from parents) which you enjoy the look of the new furniture.
When establishing a crib, choose a place away from windows, window blinds, and draperies. Babies can strangle on the cords, and older babies could possibly pull themselves up and drop through the window. When there's a cable in your baby screen, keep it at least three feet in the crib.
Safe sleep recommendations: Get tips about crib bedding and sleep posture to reduce your baby's risk of SIDS.
Full-sized cribs, such as convertibles, vary from $110 to $800. Mobile and mini-cribs cost between $100 and $400.
Old Automobiles: Cribs made before 1974, when federal crib-safety standards went into effect, are more likely than newer versions to have security issues. Secondhand cribs might also have splinters, lead paint, discontinued (and potentially dangerous) attributes, or slats which are too far apart. Posts on a crib shouldn't higher than 1/16 of an inch (unless they're over 16 inches to encourage a canopy); otherwise, clothes can catch on them and injure or choke a baby. Even versions manufactured as recently as 1991 could be unsafe, so if you are borrowing a crib or buying a used one, look out for these risks as well as for sharp edges, protruding metal, anything that may be broken off and choked on, peeling paint, along with cutouts along the railing which can trap your child's arm or neck. Examine the product recalls from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission to make sure it has not been remembered.
Cribs with drop sides: The rule is simple -- don't use them. The movable railings called drop sides were common on toddlers for decades, but might pose a serious hazard for infants. If the drop side comes or dries loose, a baby can become entrapped and strangle or suffocate from the space between the fall side and the crib mattress. Their sale was banned because 2011.
Adjustable mattress heightthe majority of Automobiles allow you to change the elevation of the crib mattress by simply raising or lowering the mattress support. The time to reduce the mattress is if your child starts sitting up. As children get more active and proceed to pulling up and standing, they could climb and drop out of the crib.
For a foam mattress, more important than thickness, however, is high density; weight can be a good indication -- a heftier mattress is thicker than one that's the exact same size but lighter. (See our buying guide to learn more on buying crib mattress.)
Safety limits: Crib manufacturers recommend discontinuing use (or turning into the product's next phase ( for convertible cribs) when your child reaches a specific height, weight, or developmental stage. Height/weight limits are generally much lower on mobile or mini-cribs. Read your product manual carefully and follow instructions.
Bumpers: Crib bumpers -- cushioned cushioning that attaches to the interior railings of the crib -- are occasionally still contained in crib bedding collections, but a number of associations, including the AAP, today discourage them as a SIDS threat for infants.
Stability: Give the crib a good shake at the shop or once you put it together at home. If it wobbles or rattles, it may have been put together improperly.
Many mothers like to have the crib set up several weeks before their due date. But do not worry if the baby arrives before your crib does; tots do fine in a bassinet, cradle, or sleeper for your first several weeks or even months of their lives.