Frame size: The crib interior should snugly adapt a standard crib mattress -- at least 51 3/4 inches by 27 3/8 inches wide. Make sure that there is no space between the sides of the mattress and the crib walls. This poses a considerable danger, as babies can get trapped in that area.
Stability: Give the crib a good shake at the store 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 indication that you need to start looking for a sturdier crib.)
Safe sleep hints: Get tips about infant bedding and sleep position to reduce your child's risk of SIDS.
Infants often spend more time at the crib than anywhere else, so while relaxation is important, security is essential. Since most children sleep in a crib till it is time to move to a real bed -- typically between the ages of 2 and 3 -- you will need a hardy one.
Many moms like to have the crib set up several months before their due date. But don't worry if the baby arrives prior to your crib does; tots do good in a bassinet, cradle, or sleeper for your first several months or even months of their lives.
Space savers: Parents short on space may be interested in portable or mini-crib options, both of which take up less space than full-size cribs. Some fold or collapse for storage; a few have wheels so that they may be wrapped around the home.
Most new cribs available on the market comply with both voluntary and mandatory safety standards. For starters, be sure that yours is properly constructed and structurally sound; the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission reports many cases in which Automobiles have come . If it happens, a baby's head can get trapped in the spaces between the mattress and side rail.
For a foam mattress, more significant than thickness, however, is high density; weight can be a good indicator -- a heavier mattress is thicker than one that's the same size but lighter. (See our purchasing guide to learn more on buying crib mattresses.)
Cribs with drop sides: The rule is simple -- do not use them. The movable railings called drop sides were more common on cribs for decades, but can pose a severe hazard for babies. If the fall side comes or dries loose, a baby can become entrapped and strangle or suffocate from the distance between the drop side and the crib mattress. Their sale has been banned since 2011.
Old Automobiles: Cribs made before 1974, when national crib-safety criteria went into effect, are somewhat more likely than newer versions to have security issues. Secondhand cribs might also have splinters, lead paint, discontinued (and potentially dangerous) features, or slats which are too far apart. Articles on a crib should no greater than 1/16 of an inch (unless they are over 16 inches high to encourage a canopy); differently, clothing can catch on them and injure or choke an infant. Even versions manufactured as recently as 1991 could be dangerous, so if you are borrowing a crib or purchasing a used one, keep an eye out for these dangers in addition to for sharp edges, protruding metal, anything which can be broken off and spilled on, peeling paint, and cutouts across the railing that can trap your child's arm or neck. Examine the item recalls by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission to ensure it has not been recalled.
Full-sized cribs, including convertibles, range from $110 to $800. Portable and mini-cribs cost between $100 and $400. Fancier cribs can run $800 to $1,000 or a lot more.
Safety limits: Crib manufacturers recommend discontinuing use (or turning into the product's next stage, for convertible cribs) when your child reaches a specific height, weight, or developmental phase. Height/weight limits are usually much lower on mobile or mini-cribs. Read your product manual carefully and follow recommendations.
Versatility: a lot of Automobiles 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 relatively simple to perform (check online reviews from parents) which you enjoy the look of the new furniture.
Adjustable mattress heightthe majority of cribs allow you to alter the height of the crib mattress simply by raising or lowering the mattress support. The opportunity to reduce the mattress is if your child starts sitting up. As kids get more active and proceed to pulling up and standing, they could climb and fall out of the crib.
Bumpers: Crib bumpers -- cushioned cushioning that attaches to the interior railings of the crib -- are sometimes still contained in crib bedding sets, but quite a few organizations, including the AAP, today discourage them as a SIDS hazard for babies.
When setting up a crib, select a place away from windows, window blinds, and draperies. Infants can strangle on the cords, and mature infants could possibly pull themselves up and drop through the window. If there's a cord on your baby screen, keep it at least 3 feet in the crib.