Frame size: The crib inside should snugly accommodate a standard crib mattress -- at least 51 3/4 inches long by 27 3/8 inches wide. Ensure there is not any distance between the sides of the mattress and the crib walls. This poses a significant danger, as babies can get trapped inside that space.
Mattresses: The two most common forms sold are innerspring and foam and the two are available in thicknesses between 3 and 6 inches. For a foam mattress, even more important than thickness, though, is high density; weight may be a fantastic indication -- a heavier mattress is denser than one that is the exact same size but lighter. (See our buying guide to learn more on buying crib mattresses.)
Safe sleep recommendations: Get tips about infant bedding and sleep posture to reduce your child's risk of SIDS.
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 simple to perform (check online reviews from parents) and that you like the appearance of the brand new furniture.
Space savers: Children short on space may be considering portable or mini-crib possibilities, each of which occupy less space than full-size Automobiles. Some fold or collapse for storage; some have wheels so they can be wrapped around the house.
Cribs with drop sides: The rule is simple -- don't use them. The movable railings known as fall sides were common on toddlers for decades, but can pose a serious hazard for infants. 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 and the crib mattress. Their sale was banned since 2011.
Adjustable mattress heightthe majority of cribs let you alter the height of the crib mattress simply by raising or lowering the mattress support. The time to lower 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 fall from the crib.
When setting up a crib, select a spot away from windows, window blinds, and draperies. Infants can strangle on the cords, and mature babies could possibly pull themselves up and fall through the window. If there's a cable in your baby monitor, keep it at least three feet from the crib.
Full-sized Automobiles, including convertibles, range from $110 to $800. Fancier Automobiles can run $800 to $1,000 or a lot more.
Stability: Give the crib a fantastic shake in the store or once you put it together in your home. If it wobbles or rattles, it may have been placed together improperly.
Safety limits: Crib manufacturers recommend discontinuing use (or turning into the product's next stage, for convertible cribs) when your child reaches a particular height, weight, or developmental stage. Height/weight limits are usually much lower on mobile or mini-cribs. Read your product manual carefully and follow instructions.
Babies often spend more time in the crib than anywhere else, so while relaxation is important, security is vital. Since most kids sleep in a crib until it is time to move into a real bed -- typically between the ages of 3 and 2 -- you'll need a sturdy one.
Most new cribs available on the market comply with the voluntary and mandatory safety standards. For starters, make sure that yours is properly constructed and structurally sound; the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission reports many instances in which Automobiles have come . If this happens, a kid's head can get trapped in the spaces between the mattress and side rail.
Many mothers like to have the crib set up a few weeks before their due date. But don't worry if the baby arrives prior to your crib does; tots do good in a bassinet, cradle, or sleeper for the first several weeks or even months of their lives.
Old cribs: 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 might also have splinters, lead paint, discontinued (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 mind from getting suck. Articles on a crib shouldn't greater than 1/16 of an inch (unless they're over 16 inches to support a canopy); otherwise, clothing can catch them on and injure or choke a baby. Even versions fabricated as recently as 1991 can be dangerous, so if you are borrowing a crib or purchasing a used one, look out for these risks in addition to for sharp edges, protruding metal, anything which can be broken off and spilled on, peeling paint, and cutouts across the railing that can trap your baby's arm or neck. Examine the item recalls from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission to ensure it hasn't been recalled.
Bumpers: Crib bumpers -- cushioned padding that attaches to the interior railings of the crib -- are occasionally still included in crib bedding sets, but quite a few organizations, including the AAP, now dissuade them as a SIDS hazard for babies.