Stability: Give the crib a fantastic shake at the shop or after you put it together at home. If it wobbles or rattles, it may have been placed together improperly. (Although wobbling or rattling could also be a indication that you should look for a sturdier crib.)
Babies often spend more time at the crib than anyplace else, so while relaxation is important, security is vital. As most kids sleep in a crib until it's time to move into a real bed -- normally between the ages of 3 and 2 -- you'll need a hardy one.
Many moms like to have the crib set up several weeks before their due date. But do not be concerned if the baby arrives before your infant does; tots do good in a bassinet, cradle, or sleeper for your first several weeks or perhaps months of their lives.
Mattresses: The two most common forms sold are innerspring and foam and the two can be found in thicknesses between 3 and 6 inches. To get a foam mattress, even more important than depth, however, is high density; weight may be a good indicator -- a heftier mattress is denser than one that is the exact same size but lighter. (See our purchasing guide for more information on purchasing crib mattress.)
Adjustable mattress height: Most cribs allow you to alter the elevation of the crib mattress simply by raising or lowering the mattress support. The opportunity 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 drop out of the crib.
Security limits: Crib manufacturers recommend discontinuing use (or converting to the product's next phase ( for convertible cribs) when your child reaches a particular height, weight, or developmental phase. Height/weight limits are generally much lower on mobile or mini-cribs. Read your product manual carefully and follow instructions.
Safe sleep hints: Get tips about crib bedding and sleep position to reduce 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 mature 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.
Full-sized cribs, including convertibles, vary from $110 to $800. Mobile and mini-cribs price between $100 and $400.
Cribs with drop sides: The principle is simple -- don't use them. The movable railings known as fall sides were common on cribs for a long time, but might pose a serious hazard to infants. If the fall side detaches or comes loose, a baby can become entrapped and strangle or suffocate in the distance between the fall side along with the crib mattress. Their sale was banned because 2011.
Bumpers: Crib bumpers -- cushioned padding that attaches to the interior railings of the crib -- are occasionally still included in crib bedding collections, but a number of associations, including the AAP, today dissuade them as a SIDS hazard for babies.
Space savers: Parents short on distance could possibly be interested in portable or mini-crib possibilities, each of which occupy less space than full-size cribs. Some fold or collapse for storage; a few have wheels so that they can be rolled around the home.
Frame size: The crib interior should snugly adapt a standard crib mattress -- at least 51 3/4 inches by 27 3/8 inches wide. Make sure that there is no space between the sides of the mattress and the crib walls. This poses a considerable danger, as infants can get trapped in that space.
Old Automobiles: Cribs made before 1974, when federal crib-safety criteria went into effect, are more likely than newer versions to have safety problems. Secondhand cribs might also have splinters, lead paint, stopped (and potentially dangerous) features, or slats that are too far apart. Posts on a crib should no higher than 1/16 of an inch (unless they're over 16 inches high to support a canopy); differently, clothes can catch on them and injure or choke an infant. Even versions fabricated as recently as 1991 could be dangerous, so if you are borrowing a crib or buying a used one, look out for these dangers in addition to for sharp edges, protruding metal, anything that may be broken off and choked on, peeling paint, and 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 make sure it hasn't been remembered.
Be sure the crib makeover is comparatively easy to perform (check online reviews from parents) which you enjoy the look of the new furniture.
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, be sure yours is correctly constructed and structurally sound; the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission reports many cases where Automobiles have come . If it happens, a baby's head can get trapped in the spaces between the mattress and side rail.