Adjustable mattress height: Most cribs allow you to alter the elevation of the crib mattress by simply raising or lowering the mattress support. The time to lower the mattress is if your child starts sitting up. As children get more active and move to pulling up and standing, they could climb and drop out of the crib.
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 there is not any space between the surfaces of the mattress and the crib walls. This poses a considerable danger, as infants can get trapped in that space.
Most new cribs on the market comply with both mandatory and voluntary safety standards. For starters, be sure that yours is properly constructed and structurally sound; the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission reports many instances where cribs have come apart. If this occurs, a baby's head can get trapped in the areas between the mattress and side rail.
Full-sized Automobiles, such as convertibles, vary from $110 to $800.
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 can pose a severe hazard for babies. If the fall side detaches or comes loose, then a baby can become entrapped and strangle or suffocate in the distance between the drop side and the crib mattress. Their sale has been banned because 2011.
Stability: Give the crib a good shake at the shop or once you put it together at home. If it wobbles or rattles, it might have been placed together improperly. (Although wobbling or rattling could also be a sign that you should start looking for a sturdier crib.)
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 generally much lower on mobile or mini-cribs. Read your product manual carefully and follow instructions.
Be certain that the crib makeover is relatively simple to perform (check online reviews from parents) and that you enjoy the appearance of the new furniture.
Babies often spend more time at the crib than anywhere else, so while relaxation is important, security is essential. As most kids sleep in a crib until it's time to move into a real bed -- typically between the ages of 2 and 3 -- you will want a hardy one.
Space savers: Parents short on space could possibly be interested in mobile or mini-crib options, each of which occupy less space compared to full-size cribs. Some fold or collapse for storage; a few have wheels so that they may be rolled around the home.
Bumpers: Crib bumpers -- cushioned cushioning that attaches to the interior railings of the crib -- are occasionally still included in crib bedding sets, but quite a few associations, including the AAP, now dissuade them as a SIDS hazard for babies.
When setting up a crib, select a spot away from windows, window blinds, and draperies. Infants can strangle on the cords, and older babies could possibly pull up themselves and drop through the window. If there's a cable in your infant monitor, keep it at least 3 feet from the crib.
Mattresses: The two most common types sold are innerspring and foam and both can be found in thicknesses between 3 and 6 inches. To get a foam mattress, more important than thickness, however, is high density; weight may be a good indication -- a heftier mattress is denser than one that is the exact same size but lighter. (See our buying guide for more information on purchasing crib mattresses.)
Safe sleep recommendations: Get advice about crib bedding and sleep position to reduce your child's risk of SIDS.
Old Automobiles: Cribs made before 1974, when federal crib-safety criteria went into effect, are somewhat more likely than newer versions to have security problems. Secondhand cribs may also have splinters, lead paint, stopped (and potentially dangerous) features, 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 head from getting suck. Posts on a crib should no higher than 1/16 of an inch (unless they are over 16 inches to support a canopy); differently, clothing can catch on them and injure or choke a baby. Even versions fabricated as recently as 1991 could be dangerous, so if you are borrowing a crib or purchasing a used one, look out for these risks as well as for sharp edges, protruding metal, anything that can be broken off and spilled onpeeling paint, and cutouts along the rail which can trap your baby's arm or neck. Examine the product recalls from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission to ensure it has not been recalled.
Many moms like to have the crib set up a few months before their due date. But do not worry if the baby arrives before your infant does; tots do fine in a bassinet, cradle, or sleeper for your first few months or perhaps months of their lives.