Many moms like to have the crib set up several months before their due date. But don't worry if the baby arrives prior to your infant does; tots do good in a bassinet, cradle, or sleeper for your first few months or perhaps months of their lives.
Versatility: a lot of cribs are intended to convert into a toddler bed, day bed, or even the headboard and footboard for a full-size bed. Make sure the crib makeover is relatively easy to perform (check online reviews from parents) and that you like the appearance of the new furniture.
Full-sized cribs, including convertibles, vary from $110 to $800. Portable and mini-cribs price between $100 and $400.
Safe sleep hints: Get advice about infant bedding and sleep posture to reduce your baby's risk of SIDS.
When establishing a crib, select a spot away from windows, window blinds, and draperies. Babies can strangle on the cords, and older babies could possibly pull up themselves and drop through the window. If there's a cord on your baby monitor, keep it at least 3 feet from the crib.
Stability: Give the crib a good shake at the store or once you put it together at home. If it wobbles or rattles, it may have been placed together improperly.
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, more significant than depth, however, is high density; weight can be a good indicator -- a heftier mattress is thicker than one that's the exact same size but lighter. (See our buying guide to learn more on purchasing crib mattress.)
Adjustable mattress height: Most Automobiles let you change the height of the crib mattress by simply raising or lowering the mattress support. The time to reduce the mattress is if 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.
Bumpers: Crib bumpers -- cushioned cushioning 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 discourage them as a SIDS hazard for babies.
Frame size: The crib interior should snugly adapt a standard crib mattress -- at least 51 3/4 inches by 27 3/8 inches wide. Ensure there is no space between the surfaces of the mattress and the crib walls. This poses a considerable danger, as infants can get trapped inside that space.
Most new cribs on the market comply with both voluntary and mandatory safety standards. For starters, be sure yours is properly 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 spaces between the mattress and side rail.
Babies often spend more time in the crib than anyplace else, so while relaxation is important, safety is vital. Since most kids sleep in a crib till it is time to move into a true bed -- normally between the ages of 2 and 3 -- you'll need a sturdy one.
Security limits: Crib manufacturers advocate discontinuing use (or converting to the product's next phase , 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 recommendations.
Cribs with drop sides: The principle is simple -- don't use them. The movable railings known as drop sides were more common on toddlers for decades, but might pose a severe hazard for infants. If the fall side comes or dries loose, a baby can become entrapped and strangle or suffocate in the space between the drop side and the crib mattress. Their sale was banned since 2011.
Old cribs: Cribs made before 1974, when federal crib-safety criteria went into effect, are somewhat more likely than newer models to have safety issues. Secondhand cribs might also have splinters, lead paint, discontinued (and potentially dangerous) attributes, 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 higher than 1/16 of an inch (unless they are over 16 inches to support a canopy); otherwise, clothes can catch them on and injure or choke an infant. Even models manufactured as recently as 1991 could be unsafe, so if you are borrowing a crib or purchasing a used one, keep an eye out for these risks as well as for sharp edges, protruding metal, anything that can be broken off and choked onpeeling paint, along with cutouts across the rail that can trap your child's arm or neck. Check the product recalls by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission to ensure it hasn't been recalled.
Space savers: Children short on space may be considering portable or mini-crib possibilities, both of which occupy less space than full-size cribs. Some fold or collapse for storage; some have wheels so they can be wrapped around the home.