Many moms like to have the crib set up a few weeks before their due date. But do not worry if the baby arrives before your crib does; tots do good in a bassinet, cradle, or sleeper for the first several weeks or even months of their lives.
Versatility: a lot of cribs are designed to convert to a toddler bed, day bed, or even the headboard and footboard for a full size bed. Make sure that the crib makeover is relatively easy to do (check online reviews from parents) and that you like the appearance of the brand new furniture.
Adjustable mattress heightthe majority of Automobiles let you alter the height of the crib mattress by simply raising or lowering the mattress support. The opportunity to lower the mattress is when your child begins sitting up. As children get more active and proceed to pulling up and standing, they can climb and drop out of the crib.
When setting up a crib, choose a place away from windows, window blinds, and draperies. Infants can strangle on the cords, and older infants could possibly pull themselves up and drop through the window. If there's a cable in your infant screen, keep it at least 3 feet in the crib.
Safe sleep hints: Get tips about infant bedding and sleep position to reduce your baby's risk of SIDS.
Space savers: Parents short on space may be considering portable or mini-crib options, both of which occupy less space than full-size cribs. Some fold or collapse for storage; a few have wheels so that they can be rolled around the house.
Most new cribs on the market comply with both mandatory and voluntary safety standards. Read crib safety tips from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). For starters, be sure yours is properly assembled and structurally sound; the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission reports many instances where cribs have come . If it occurs, a baby's head can get trapped in the areas between the mattress and side rail.
For a foam mattress, more significant than depth, though, is high density; weight may be a good indicator -- a heftier mattress is thicker than one that is the same size but lighter. (See our buying guide to learn more on purchasing crib mattresses.)
Security limits: Crib manufacturers recommend discontinuing use (or converting to the product's next stage, for convertible cribs) when your child reaches a specific height, weight, or developmental phase. Height/weight limits are generally much lower on mobile or mini-cribs. Read your product manual carefully and follow recommendations.
Stability: Give the crib a good shake at the store or once you put it together in your home. If it wobbles or rattles, it may have been put together improperly. (Although wobbling or rattling could also be a indication that you need to start looking for a sturdier crib.)
Bumpers: Crib bumpers -- cushioned cushioning that attaches to the inside railings of the crib -- are sometimes still included in crib bedding collections, but a number of associations, including the AAP, now discourage them as a SIDS threat for infants.
Frame size: The crib interior ought to snugly accommodate 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 surfaces of the mattress and the crib walls. This poses a significant danger, as infants can get trapped inside that area.
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 to a true bed -- normally between the ages of 2 and 3 -- you'll want a hardy one.
Old Automobiles: Cribs made before 1974, when national crib-safety standards went into effect, are somewhat more likely than newer models to have safety issues. Secondhand cribs might also have splinters, lead paint, stopped (and possibly dangerous) attributes, or slats which are too far apart. Slats should be no longer than 2 3/8 inches apart (about the size of a soda can) to prevent a baby's mind from becoming suck. Posts on a crib should no greater than 1/16 of an inch (unless they are over 16 inches high to support a canopy); otherwise, clothes can catch on them and injure or choke an infant. 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 dangers as well as for sharp edges, protruding metal, anything which can be broken off and spilled onpeeling paint, along with cutouts across the rail that can trap your child's neck or arm. Check the item recalls from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission to ensure it has not been remembered.
Cribs with drop sides: The principle is simple -- do not use them. The movable railings called fall sides were more common on cribs for a long time, but might pose a serious hazard for infants. If the fall side detaches or comes 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 because 2011.
Full-sized cribs, including convertibles, vary from $110 to $800.