Safe sleep hints: Get tips about crib bedding and sleep posture to reduce your baby'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. 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.
Infants often spend more time at the crib than anyplace else, so while relaxation is important, security is vital. Since most kids sleep in a crib till it is time to move to a real bed -- typically between the ages of 2 and 3 -- you'll need a hardy one.
Old cribs: Cribs made before 1974, when national crib-safety criteria went into effect, are more likely than newer models to have security issues. Secondhand cribs might also have splinters, lead paint, discontinued (and possibly dangerous) features, or slats which are too far apart. Slats should be no more than 2 3/8 inches apart (about the size of a soda can) to prevent a baby's mind from becoming suck. Posts on a crib shouldn't greater than 1/16 of an inch (unless they're over 16 inches high to encourage a canopy); differently, clothing can catch on them and injure or choke an infant. Even versions fabricated as recently as 1991 could be unsafe, so if you're borrowing a crib or purchasing a used one, keep an eye out for these risks in addition to for sharp edges, protruding metal, anything that may be broken off and choked onpeeling paint, and cutouts across the rail which can trap your child's arm or neck. Check the product recalls from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission to make sure it has not been recalled.
When establishing a crib, select a spot away from windows, window blinds, and draperies. Babies can strangle on the cords, and older infants could possibly pull themselves up and drop through the window. When there's a cable in your baby monitor, keep it at least 3 feet from the crib.
Bumpers: Crib bumpers -- cushioned padding that attaches to the interior railings of the crib -- are sometimes still included in crib bedding collections, but quite a few associations, including the AAP, today discourage them as a SIDS hazard for babies.
Adjustable mattress heightthe majority of Automobiles allow you to alter the elevation of the crib mattress by simply raising or lowering the mattress support. The time to reduce the mattress is if your child begins sitting up. As kids get more active and proceed to pulling up and standing, they can climb and fall out of the crib.
Many moms like to have the crib set up several weeks 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 several months or even months of their lives.
Full-sized cribs, such as convertibles, vary from $110 to $800. Mobile and mini-cribs price between $100 and $400.
For a foam mattress, more significant than depth, however, is high density; weight may be a good indicator -- a heavier mattress is denser than one that's the same size but lighter. (See our buying guide to learn more on buying crib mattresses.)
Frame size: The crib interior ought to snugly adapt a standard crib mattress -- at least 51 3/4 inches long by 27 3/8 inches wide. Ensure there is no distance between the surfaces of the mattress and the crib walls. This poses a significant danger, as babies can get trapped inside that space.
Most new cribs on the market comply with the mandatory and voluntary safety standards. For starters, make sure that yours is properly assembled and structurally sound; the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission reports many instances where cribs have come apart. If this happens, a baby's head can get trapped in the spaces between the mattress and side rail.
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.
Cribs with drop sides: The principle is simple -- do not use them. The movable railings called fall sides were common on cribs for decades, but can pose a serious hazard for infants. If the drop side comes or dries loose, then a baby can become entrapped and strangle or suffocate in the space between the fall side along with the crib mattress. Their sale was banned because 2011.
Space savers: Parents short on space may be considering portable or mini-crib options, each of which occupy less space compared to full-size Automobiles. Some fold or collapse for storage; some have wheels so that they may be rolled around the home.
Safety 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.