Infants often spend more time at the crib than anyplace else, so while relaxation is important, security is vital. As most kids sleep in a crib till it's time to move to a real bed -- typically between the ages of 3 and 2 -- you'll want a sturdy one.
Most new cribs available on the market comply with both mandatory and voluntary safety standards. Read crib safety tips from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). For starters, make sure yours is correctly constructed and structurally sound; the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission reports many instances where cribs have come apart. If it occurs, a kid's head can get trapped in the areas between the mattress and side rail.
Safe sleep recommendations: Get tips about crib bedding and sleep position to reduce your child's risk of SIDS.
Cribs with drop sides: The principle is simple -- do not use them. The movable railings known as fall sides were more common on cribs for decades, but might pose a serious hazard to babies. If the drop side detaches or comes loose, a baby can become entrapped and strangle or suffocate in the distance between the fall side along with the crib mattress. Their sale was banned because 2011.
Adjustable mattress height: Most Automobiles let you alter the height of the crib mattress simply by raising or lowering the mattress support. The time to reduce the mattress is if your child starts sitting up. As kids get more active and move to pulling up and standing, they can climb and fall out of the crib.
Mattresses: The two most frequent forms sold are innerspring and foam and the two can be found in thicknesses between 3 and 6 inches. For a foam mattress, more significant than depth, though, is high density; weight can be a fantastic indicator -- a heavier mattress is denser than one that is the exact same size but lighter. (See our buying guide to learn more on buying crib mattress.)
Bumpers: Crib bumpers -- cushioned padding that attaches to the interior railings of the crib -- are occasionally still included in crib bedding collections, but quite a few associations, including the AAP, now discourage them as a SIDS threat for infants.
Frame size: The crib interior ought to snugly adapt a standard crib mattress -- at least 51 3/4 inches long by 27 3/8 inches wide. Make sure that there is not any distance between the surfaces of the mattress and the crib walls. This poses a significant danger, as infants can get trapped in that area.
Many moms like to have the crib set up several weeks before their due date. But don't be concerned if the baby arrives before your infant does; tots do good in a bassinet, cradle, or sleeper for the first several weeks or even months of their lives.
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 usually much lower on mobile or mini-cribs. Read your product manual carefully and follow instructions.
Old cribs: Cribs made before 1974, when national 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, stopped (and potentially dangerous) attributes, or slats that are too far apart. Articles on a crib shouldn't higher than 1/16 of an inch (unless they are over 16 inches high to support a canopy); differently, clothing can catch on them and injure or choke a baby. Even models fabricated as recently as 1991 can be dangerous, so if you're borrowing a crib or buying a used one, look out for these risks as well as for sharp edges, protruding metal, anything which may be broken off and spilled on, peeling paint, and cutouts across the rail which can trap your child's neck or arm. Check the product recalls by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission to make sure it has not been recalled.
When setting up a crib, choose a place away from windows, window blinds, and draperies. Babies can strangle on the cords, and mature babies could possibly pull themselves up and fall through the window. If there's a cord on your infant monitor, keep it at least 3 feet in the crib.
Space savers: Parents short on space may be considering mobile or mini-crib options, each of which occupy less space than full-size Automobiles. Some fold or collapse for storage; a few have wheels so that they may be rolled around the house.
Stability: Give the crib a good shake at the store or once you put it together at home. If it wobbles or rattles, it might have been placed together improperly. (Although wobbling or rattling could also be a sign that you should start looking for a sturdier crib.)
Full-sized Automobiles, including convertibles, vary from $110 to $800.
Versatility: a lot of Automobiles are intended to convert into a toddler bed, day bed, or even the headboard and footboard for a full size bed. Be sure the crib makeover is relatively easy to perform (check online reviews from parents) and that you enjoy the look of the brand new furniture.