Many moms like to have the crib set up a few weeks before their due date. But don't be concerned if the baby arrives prior to your infant does; tots do fine in a bassinet, cradle, or sleeper for the first few weeks or perhaps months of their lives.
Security limits: Crib manufacturers advocate discontinuing use (or converting to the product's next stage, for convertible cribs) when your child reaches a particular height, weight, or developmental stage. Height/weight limits are generally much lower on mobile or mini-cribs.
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 up themselves and fall through the window. When there's a cable in your baby screen, keep it at least three feet from the crib.
Old cribs: Cribs made before 1974, when federal crib-safety criteria went into effect, are somewhat more likely than newer versions to have safety problems. Secondhand cribs might also have splinters, lead paint, stopped (and possibly dangerous) attributes, or slats that are too far apart. Posts on a crib should no greater than 1/16 of an inch (unless they are over 16 inches to support a canopy); otherwise, clothing can catch on them and injure or choke a baby. Even versions fabricated as recently as 1991 could be unsafe, so if you are borrowing a crib or buying a used one, look out for these risks as well as for sharp edges, protruding metal, anything which can 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 by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission to make sure it hasn't been remembered.
Cribs with drop sides: The rule is simple -- don't use them. The movable railings known as drop sides were common on cribs for decades, but can pose a severe hazard for infants. If the drop side detaches or comes loose, a baby can become entrapped and strangle or suffocate from the distance between the fall side and 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 occasionally still contained in crib bedding sets, but a number of organizations, including the AAP, now dissuade them as a SIDS threat for infants.
Adjustable mattress height: Most cribs let you alter the elevation of the crib mattress by simply raising or lowering the mattress support. The opportunity to reduce the mattress is when your child starts sitting up. As kids get more active and move to pulling up and standing, they could climb and drop out of the crib.
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.
Most new cribs on the market comply with both voluntary and mandatory safety standards. For starters, make sure that yours is correctly constructed and structurally sound; the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission reports many cases where Automobiles have come apart. If it occurs, a baby's head can get trapped in the areas between the mattress and side rail.
Safe sleep hints: Get tips about crib bedding and sleep posture to lower your baby's risk of SIDS.
Babies often spend more time at 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 true bed -- typically between the ages of 3 and 2 -- you will need a hardy one.
Space savers: Children short on distance could possibly be interested in mobile 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 they can be wrapped around the house.
Stability: Give the crib a fantastic shake at the store or after you put it together at home. If it wobbles or rattles, it may have been placed together improperly.
Frame size: The crib interior ought to snugly accommodate a standard crib mattress -- at least 51 3/4 inches long by 27 3/8 inches wide. Ensure there is no space between the surfaces of the mattress and the crib walls. This poses a significant danger, as infants can get trapped in that space.
To get a foam mattress, even more significant than thickness, however, is high density; weight can be a fantastic indicator -- a heftier mattress is thicker than one that is the same size but lighter. (See our buying guide for more information on purchasing crib mattresses.)
Make sure the crib makeover is comparatively easy to do (check online reviews from parents) which you like the appearance of the brand new furniture.