Safety limits: Crib manufacturers advocate discontinuing use (or turning into the product's next stage( for convertible cribs) when your child reaches a specific height, weight, or developmental stage. Height/weight limits are usually much lower on mobile or mini-cribs.
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. Make sure there is no space between the sides of the mattress and the crib walls. This poses a significant danger, as babies can get trapped inside that area.
Infants often spend more time in the crib than anywhere else, so while relaxation is important, security is essential. As most kids sleep in a crib until it is time to move to a real bed -- normally between the ages of 3 and 2 -- you'll want a sturdy one.
Old Automobiles: Cribs made before 1974, when federal crib-safety standards went into effect, are somewhat more likely than newer versions to have security issues. Secondhand cribs might also have splinters, lead paint, stopped (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 head from becoming suck. Articles on a crib shouldn't greater than 1/16 of an inch (unless they're over 16 inches to encourage a canopy); otherwise, clothes can catch them on and injure or choke a baby. Even versions manufactured as recently as 1991 can be unsafe, so if you are borrowing a crib or buying a used one, keep an eye out for these risks in addition to for sharp edges, protruding metal, anything that can be broken off and spilled on, peeling paint, along with cutouts along the railing that can trap your baby's neck or arm. Check the item recalls from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission to ensure it has not been remembered.
Most new cribs on the market comply with both voluntary and mandatory safety standards. Read crib safety tips from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). For starters, make sure that yours is correctly constructed and structurally sound; the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission reports many cases in which cribs have come apart. If this occurs, a kid's head can get trapped in the areas between the mattress and side rail.
Bumpers: Crib bumpers -- cushioned padding that attaches to the interior railings of the crib -- are sometimes still included in crib bedding sets, but a number of associations, including the AAP, now dissuade them as a SIDS hazard for babies.
Full-sized cribs, such as convertibles, vary from $110 to $800. Portable and mini-cribs price between $100 and $400.
Be sure the crib makeover is relatively easy to perform (check online reviews from parents) and that you like the appearance of the brand new furniture.
Stability: Give the crib a fantastic shake at the store or after you put it together at home. If it wobbles or rattles, it might have been put together improperly.
Safe sleep hints: Get advice about infant bedding and sleep posture to reduce your baby's risk of SIDS.
Space savers: Children 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; a few have wheels so they may be wrapped around the house.
Many mothers like to have the crib set up several weeks before their due date. But do not worry if the baby arrives before your crib does; tots do fine in a bassinet, cradle, or sleeper for your first few weeks or perhaps months of their lives.
To get a foam mattress, more important than depth, though, is high density; weight may be a good indicator -- a heftier mattress is thicker than one that is the exact same size but lighter. (See our buying guide to learn more on purchasing crib mattress.)
Adjustable mattress heightthe majority of Automobiles allow you to change the height of the crib mattress by simply raising or lowering the mattress support. The time to lower the mattress is if your child begins sitting up. As kids get more active and proceed to pulling up and standing, they could climb and fall from the crib.
Cribs with drop sides: The rule is simple -- do not use them. The movable railings called fall sides were more common on toddlers for a long time, but might pose a serious hazard to babies. If the drop side comes or dries loose, a baby can become entrapped and strangle or suffocate in the space between the fall side along with the crib mattress. Their sale has been banned since 2011.
When establishing a crib, choose a place away from windows, window blinds, and draperies. Babies can strangle on the cords, and older infants could possibly pull up themselves and fall through the window. If there's a cord on your infant monitor, keep it at least three feet from the crib.