Most new cribs on the market comply with the voluntary and mandatory safety standards. Read crib safety tips from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). For starters, be sure that yours is properly assembled and structurally sound; the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission reports many cases where cribs have come apart. If it occurs, a kid's head can get trapped in the spaces between the mattress and side rail.
Frame size: The crib interior should snugly accommodate a standard crib mattress -- at least 51 3/4 inches by 27 3/8 inches wide. Ensure that there is not any space between the sides of the mattress and the crib walls. This poses a significant danger, as infants can get trapped in that space.
When setting up a crib, choose a spot away from windows, window blinds, and draperies. Babies can strangle on the cords, and mature infants could possibly pull up themselves and drop through the window. When there's a cord on your infant screen, keep it at least 3 feet from the crib.
Adjustable mattress height: Most cribs allow you to change the elevation of the crib mattress simply by raising or lowering the mattress support. The time to lower the mattress is if your child begins sitting up. As children get more active and proceed to pulling up and standing, they could climb and drop out of the crib.
Stability: Give the crib a good shake at the store or after you put it together at home. If it wobbles or rattles, it may have been placed together improperly.
Space savers: Parents short on space may be interested in mobile or mini-crib options, each of which occupy less space compared to full-size Automobiles. Some fold or collapse for storage; a few have wheels so that they may be rolled around the house.
Cribs with drop sides: The principle is simple -- do not use them. The movable railings called fall sides were common on toddlers for decades, but can pose a serious hazard for babies. If the drop side comes or dries loose, then a baby can become entrapped and strangle or suffocate from the distance between the drop side and the crib mattress. Their sale has been banned since 2011.
Bumpers: Crib bumpers -- cushioned cushioning that attaches to the inside railings of the crib -- are occasionally still included in crib bedding collections, but a number of organizations, including the AAP, now dissuade them as a SIDS threat for infants.
Safe sleep hints: Get advice about crib bedding and sleep position to reduce your baby's risk of SIDS.
Infants often spend more time at the crib than anywhere else, so while comfort is important, safety is essential. Since most children sleep in a crib until it is time to move to a true bed -- normally between the ages of 2 and 3 -- you'll need a sturdy one.
Mattresses: The two most common types 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 depth, though, is high density; weight may be a good indicator -- a heftier mattress is denser than one that's the same size but lighter. (See our buying guide for more information on buying crib mattress.)
Many mothers like to have the crib set up a few months 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 your first several weeks or perhaps months of their lives.
Old cribs: Cribs made before 1974, when federal crib-safety standards went into effect, are more likely than newer models to have safety issues. Secondhand cribs may also have splinters, lead paint, stopped (and potentially dangerous) features, or slats that are too far apart. Posts on a crib shouldn't higher than 1/16 of an inch (unless they are over 16 inches high to encourage a canopy); differently, clothing can catch on them and injure or choke a baby. Even models 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 that may be broken off and choked onpeeling paint, and cutouts across the rail that can trap your child's arm or neck. Examine the product recalls by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission to make sure it hasn't been recalled.
Full-sized cribs, including convertibles, vary from $110 to $800. Mobile and mini-cribs price between $100 and $400.
Security 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 phase. Height/weight limits are usually much lower on mobile or mini-cribs.
Versatility: Many Automobiles are designed to convert into 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 enjoy the look of the new furniture.