Infants often spend more time in the crib than anywhere else, so while relaxation is important, security is essential. As most children sleep in a crib until it is time to move into a true bed -- normally between the ages of 3 and 2 -- you'll want a sturdy one.
Bumpers: Crib bumpers -- cushioned padding that attaches to the inside railings of the crib -- are sometimes still contained in crib bedding sets, but quite a few associations, including the AAP, today discourage them as a SIDS hazard for babies.
Space savers: Children short on space may be considering portable or mini-crib options, each of which occupy less space compared to full-size Automobiles. Some fold or collapse for storage; some have wheels so that they may be wrapped around the home.
Full-sized cribs, including convertibles, range from $110 to $800.
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 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're over 16 inches high to support a canopy); otherwise, clothes can catch them on and injure or choke an infant. Even versions manufactured as recently as 1991 can be dangerous, so if you're borrowing a crib or purchasing a used one, keep an eye out for these risks as well as for sharp edges, protruding metal, anything which may be broken off and choked on, peeling paint, and cutouts along the rail which can trap your child's neck or arm. Examine the product recalls from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission to ensure it hasn't been recalled.
Stability: Give the crib a fantastic shake at the shop 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 should start looking for a sturdier 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. Be sure that the crib makeover is relatively simple to do (check online reviews from parents) and that you like the appearance of the brand new furniture.
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 can pose a serious hazard for babies. If the drop side detaches or comes loose, then a baby can become entrapped and strangle or suffocate from the space between the fall side along with the crib mattress. Their sale was banned since 2011.
Frame size: The crib interior should snugly accommodate a standard crib mattress -- at least 51 3/4 inches by 27 3/8 inches wide. Ensure 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 inside that space.
For a foam mattress, even more significant than thickness, however, is high density; weight may be a good indication -- a heavier mattress is thicker than one that's the same size but lighter. (See our purchasing guide to learn more on purchasing crib mattresses.)
Most new cribs available 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 cases in which Automobiles have come . If this occurs, a kid's head can get trapped in the spaces between the mattress and side rail.
Safe sleep hints: Get tips about infant bedding and sleep posture to reduce your baby's risk of SIDS.
Safety limits: Crib manufacturers recommend discontinuing use (or converting to the product's next phase , for convertible cribs) when your child reaches a particular height, weight, or developmental phase. Height/weight limits are usually much lower on portable or mini-cribs.
When establishing a crib, select a spot away from windows, window blinds, and draperies. Babies can strangle on the cords, and older babies could possibly pull themselves up and fall through the window. If there's a cord on your baby monitor, keep it at least three feet from the crib.
Many mothers like to have the crib set up a few months before their due date. But do not worry if the baby arrives prior to your infant does; tots do fine in a bassinet, cradle, or sleeper for the first several months or even months of their lives.
Adjustable mattress height: Most cribs allow you to change the elevation of the crib mattress simply by raising or lowering the mattress support. The opportunity to lower 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.