Many moms like to have the crib set up several weeks before their due date. But don't worry if the baby arrives before your infant does; tots do fine in a bassinet, cradle, or sleeper for your first few weeks or perhaps months of their lives.
Old Automobiles: 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, stopped (and possibly 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. Posts on a crib should no greater than 1/16 of an inch (unless they are over 16 inches high to encourage a canopy); differently, clothes can catch them on and injure or choke a baby. Even models manufactured as recently as 1991 can be unsafe, so if you're borrowing a crib or buying a used one, look out for these dangers as well as for sharp edges, protruding metal, anything that may be broken off and spilled onpeeling paint, along with cutouts across the railing that can trap your child's neck or arm. Check the item recalls from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission to make sure it has not been remembered.
Safety limits: Crib manufacturers recommend 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 usually much lower on portable or mini-cribs.
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 important than thickness, though, is high density; weight can be a good indicator -- a heftier mattress is denser than one that is the same size but lighter. (See our purchasing guide to learn more on purchasing crib mattresses.)
Most new cribs on the market comply with the mandatory and voluntary safety standards. Read crib safety tips from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). For starters, be sure that yours is correctly assembled and structurally sound; the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission reports many cases where Automobiles have come . If this happens, a baby's head can get trapped in the areas between the mattress and side rail.
Babies often spend more time at the crib than anywhere else, so while relaxation is important, safety is essential. Since most kids sleep in a crib till it is time to move to a real bed -- normally between the ages of 2 and 3 -- you'll need a hardy one.
Stability: Give the crib a fantastic shake at the shop or after you put it together in your home. If it wobbles or rattles, it might have been placed together improperly.
Cribs with drop sides: The principle is simple -- don't use them. The movable railings known as drop sides were common on toddlers for a long time, but might pose a severe hazard to babies. If the fall side detaches or comes loose, then a baby can become entrapped and strangle or suffocate in the space between the fall side and the crib mattress. Their sale has been banned because 2011.
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 relatively easy to perform (check online reviews from parents) and that you enjoy the appearance of the brand new furniture.
Frame size: The crib inside 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 distance between the sides of the mattress and the crib walls. This poses a considerable danger, as babies can get trapped in that area.
Space savers: Parents short on distance could possibly be interested in portable or mini-crib options, each of which occupy less space compared to full-size cribs. Some fold or collapse for storage; a few have wheels so that they can be wrapped around the house.
Safe sleep hints: Get tips about infant bedding and sleep position to reduce your child's risk of SIDS.
When establishing a crib, choose a place away from windows, window blinds, and draperies. Infants can strangle on the cords, and mature infants could possibly pull themselves up and drop through the window. When there's a cable in your baby screen, keep it at least 3 feet from the crib.
Adjustable mattress heightthe majority of Automobiles let you change the elevation of the crib mattress simply by raising or lowering the mattress support. The opportunity to reduce the mattress is when your child starts sitting up. As children get more active and move to pulling up and standing, they could climb and drop out of the crib.
Full-sized cribs, such as convertibles, vary from $110 to $800. Mobile and mini-cribs price between $100 and $400.
Bumpers: Crib bumpers -- cushioned padding that attaches to the inside railings of the crib -- are occasionally still contained in crib bedding sets, but quite a few associations, including the AAP, today discourage them as a SIDS hazard for babies.