When setting up a crib, select a place away from windows, window blinds, and draperies. Babies can strangle on the cords, and older infants could possibly pull up themselves and drop through the window. When there's a cord on your infant screen, keep it at least three feet in the crib.
Security 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 generally much lower on portable or mini-cribs. Read your product manual carefully and follow instructions.
Stability: Give the crib a good shake in the store or once you put it together at home. If it wobbles or rattles, it might have been put together improperly. (Although wobbling or rattling could also be a indication that you should look for a sturdier crib.)
Adjustable mattress heightthe majority of Automobiles let you alter the height of the crib mattress simply by raising or lowering the mattress support. The opportunity to reduce the mattress is when your child begins sitting up. As kids get more active and move to pulling up and standing, they can climb and fall from the crib.
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 that there is no distance between the surfaces of the mattress and the crib walls. This poses a considerable danger, as infants can get trapped in that area.
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 that yours is correctly assembled and structurally sound; the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission reports many cases in which Automobiles have come apart. If it happens, a baby's head can get trapped in the spaces between the mattress and side rail.
Full-sized Automobiles, including convertibles, vary from $110 to $800. Fancier Automobiles can run $800 to $1,000 or a lot more.
Space savers: Parents short on space may be interested in portable or mini-crib options, both of which occupy less space than full-size Automobiles. Some fold or collapse for storage; a few have wheels so that they may be wrapped around the house.
Mattresses: The two most common forms sold are innerspring and foam and the two can be found in thicknesses between 3 and 6 inches. For a foam mattress, more significant than thickness, though, is high density; weight can be a fantastic indicator -- a heftier mattress is denser than one that's the exact same size but lighter. (See our purchasing guide for more information on purchasing crib mattresses.)
Infants often spend more time in the crib than anywhere else, so while comfort is important, security is vital. Since most children sleep in a crib till it is time to move into a true bed -- typically between the ages of 2 and 3 -- you'll want a hardy one.
Bumpers: Crib bumpers -- cushioned cushioning that attaches to the inside railings of the crib -- are occasionally still included in crib bedding collections, but quite a few associations, including the AAP, today dissuade them as a SIDS hazard for babies.
Old cribs: Cribs made before 1974, when national crib-safety standards went into effect, are somewhat more likely than newer versions to have safety issues. Secondhand cribs may also have splinters, lead paint, discontinued (and potentially dangerous) attributes, or slats that are too far apart. Articles on a crib should no greater than 1/16 of an inch (unless they're over 16 inches high to encourage a canopy); otherwise, clothing can catch on them and injure or choke a baby. Even models fabricated as recently as 1991 could be unsafe, so if you're borrowing a crib or purchasing a used one, look out for these risks as well as for sharp edges, protruding metal, anything which may be broken off and spilled onpeeling paint, along with cutouts across the rail which can trap your child's neck or arm. Examine the product recalls by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission to ensure it has not been recalled.
Many moms like to have the crib set up several weeks before their due date. But don't worry if the baby arrives before your infant does; tots do good in a bassinet, cradle, or sleeper for the first several months or perhaps months of their lives.
Versatility: Many cribs are designed 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 comparatively easy to do (check online reviews from parents) and that you enjoy the look of the brand new furniture.
Cribs with drop sides: The rule is simple -- do not use them. The movable railings called drop sides were common on toddlers for decades, but might pose a serious hazard to babies. If the fall side detaches or comes loose, then a baby can become entrapped and strangle or suffocate in the space between the drop side and the crib mattress. Their sale has been banned since 2011.
Safe sleep hints: Get tips about crib bedding and sleep posture to lower your child's risk of SIDS.