Frame size: The crib inside 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 distance between the sides of the mattress and the crib walls. This poses a considerable danger, as infants can get trapped in that space.
Cribs with drop sides: The rule is simple -- do not use them. The movable railings called fall sides were more common on toddlers for a long time, but can pose a severe hazard to babies. If the fall 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 has been banned because 2011.
Bumpers: Crib bumpers -- cushioned cushioning that attaches to the interior railings of the crib -- are sometimes still included in crib bedding sets, but a number of organizations, including the AAP, today discourage them as a SIDS threat for infants.
When establishing a crib, choose a place away from windows, window blinds, and draperies. Babies can strangle on the cords, and mature infants could possibly pull up themselves and fall through the window. If there's a cable in your infant monitor, keep it at least 3 feet in the crib.
Space savers: Parents short on space may be considering portable or mini-crib options, both of which take up less space compared to full-size Automobiles. Some fold or collapse for storage; some have wheels so that they may be wrapped around the house.
Security limits: Crib manufacturers advocate discontinuing use (or converting to 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.
Adjustable mattress height: Most cribs allow you to change the height of the crib mattress simply by raising or lowering the mattress support. The time to reduce the mattress is when your child starts sitting up. As kids get more active and move to pulling up and standing, they can climb and fall from the crib.
For a foam mattress, more significant than depth, though, is high density; weight may be a good indication -- a heavier mattress is denser than one that is the same size but lighter. (See our buying guide to learn more on purchasing crib mattress.)
Versatility: Many Automobiles are designed to convert to a toddler bed, day bed, or even the headboard and footboard for a full size bed. Make certain that the crib makeover is comparatively simple to do (check online reviews from parents) which you enjoy the appearance of the new furniture.
Most new cribs 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 where cribs have come apart. If it happens, a kid's head can get trapped in the spaces between the mattress and side rail.
Infants often spend more time in the crib than anyplace else, so while comfort is important, safety is essential. Since most kids sleep in a crib till it is time to move into a real bed -- normally between the ages of 3 and 2 -- you will want a sturdy one.
Old Automobiles: Cribs made before 1974, when federal crib-safety standards went into effect, are more likely than newer versions to have security problems. Secondhand cribs may also have splinters, lead paint, stopped (and possibly dangerous) features, or slats that are too far apart. Slats should be no more than 2 3/8 inches apart (about the size of a soda can) to protect against a baby's mind from getting suck. Articles on a crib should no higher than 1/16 of an inch (unless they are over 16 inches high to encourage a canopy); otherwise, clothing can catch them on and injure or choke an infant. Even versions fabricated as recently as 1991 could be unsafe, so if you are borrowing a crib or purchasing a used one, keep an eye out for these risks as well as for sharp edges, protruding metal, anything that can be broken off and choked onpeeling paint, along with cutouts across the railing which can trap your baby's neck or arm. Examine the product recalls by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission to make sure it has not been remembered.
Many mothers like to have the crib set up a few months before their due date. But don't be concerned if the baby arrives prior to your crib does; tots do fine in a bassinet, cradle, or sleeper for the first few months or perhaps months of their lives.
Safe sleep hints: Get advice about crib bedding and sleep posture to lower your child's risk of SIDS.
Stability: Give the crib a good shake at the shop or after you put it together in your home. If it wobbles or rattles, it may have been put together improperly.
Full-sized cribs, such as convertibles, range from $110 to $800. Mobile and mini-cribs cost between $100 and $400.