Cribs with drop sides: The principle is simple -- do not use them. The movable railings known as drop sides were common on toddlers for decades, but might pose a severe hazard for infants. If the drop side detaches or comes loose, a baby can become entrapped and strangle or suffocate from the distance between the fall side and the crib mattress. Their sale was banned since 2011.
Safe sleep hints: Get tips about crib bedding and sleep posture to lower your baby's risk of SIDS.
When setting up a crib, select a place away from windows, window blinds, and draperies. Infants can strangle on the cords, and older babies could possibly pull up themselves and drop through the window. When there's a cord on your infant monitor, keep it at least 3 feet 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, today discourage them as a SIDS threat for infants.
Infants often spend more time in the crib than anywhere else, so while relaxation is important, safety is essential. Since most children sleep in a crib until it's time to move into a true 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 somewhat more likely than newer models to have security problems. Secondhand cribs might also have splinters, lead paint, discontinued (and possibly dangerous) attributes, 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 protect against a baby's head from becoming suck. Posts on a crib shouldn't higher than 1/16 of an inch (unless they're over 16 inches high to support a canopy); otherwise, clothes can catch them on and injure or choke an infant. Even models 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 which may be broken off and spilled onpeeling paint, and cutouts across the railing which can trap your child's neck or arm. Check the product recalls from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission to ensure it hasn't been remembered.
Space savers: Parents short on space may be considering mobile or mini-crib possibilities, both of which occupy less space compared to full-size cribs. Some fold or collapse for storage; some have wheels so they may be wrapped around the house.
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 put together improperly. (Although wobbling or rattling could also be a indication that you need to look for a sturdier crib.)
To get a foam mattress, more important than depth, however, is high density; weight can be a fantastic indication -- a heavier mattress is thicker than one that is the exact same size but lighter. (See our buying guide to learn more on buying crib mattress.)
Be sure the crib makeover is comparatively easy to do (check online reviews from parents) and that you like the appearance of the new furniture.
Adjustable mattress heightthe majority of cribs let you alter the height of the crib mattress by simply raising or lowering the mattress support. The time to lower 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 fall from the crib.
Most new cribs available on the market comply with the voluntary and mandatory safety standards. For starters, be sure yours is correctly constructed and structurally sound; the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission reports many instances in which Automobiles have come apart. If this occurs, a kid's head can get trapped in the areas 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 no distance between the surfaces of the mattress and the crib walls. This poses a considerable danger, as babies can get trapped in that space.
Many moms like to have the crib set up a few months 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 the first few months or perhaps months of their lives.
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 phase. Height/weight limits are generally much lower on mobile or mini-cribs.
Full-sized cribs, such as convertibles, range from $110 to $800. Mobile and mini-cribs price between $100 and $400. Fancier cribs can run $800 to $1,000 or a lot more.