When setting up a crib, choose a place away from windows, window blinds, and draperies. Babies can strangle on the cords, and mature infants could possibly pull up themselves and drop through the window. If there's a cord on your baby screen, keep it at least 3 feet in the crib.
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 your first few weeks or even months of their lives.
Most new cribs on the market comply with both mandatory and voluntary safety standards. For starters, be sure yours is properly assembled and structurally sound; the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission reports many instances where Automobiles have come . If this occurs, a kid's head can get trapped in the areas between the mattress and side rail.
Frame size: The crib inside ought to snugly adapt a standard crib mattress -- at least 51 3/4 inches long by 27 3/8 inches wide. Make sure there is not any distance between the surfaces of the mattress and the crib walls. This poses a significant danger, as babies can get trapped inside that space.
Old cribs: Cribs made before 1974, when federal crib-safety criteria went into effect, are somewhat more likely than newer versions to have security problems. Secondhand cribs might also have splinters, lead paint, stopped (and possibly dangerous) features, or slats that are too far apart. Posts on a crib should no higher than 1/16 of an inch (unless they are over 16 inches high to support a canopy); otherwise, clothes can catch on them and injure or choke an infant. Even versions fabricated as recently as 1991 can be dangerous, so if you're 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 spilled on, peeling paint, along with cutouts along the rail which can trap your baby's arm or neck. Examine the product recalls from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission to make sure it has not been recalled.
Cribs with drop sides: The rule is simple -- do not use them. The movable railings known as fall sides were more common on toddlers for a long time, but might pose a serious hazard for infants. If the drop side comes or dries loose, a baby can become entrapped and strangle or suffocate from the distance between the drop side along with the crib mattress. Their sale has been banned since 2011.
Adjustable mattress height: Most Automobiles allow you to change the height 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 proceed to pulling up and standing, they could climb and fall out of the crib.
Security 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 phase. Height/weight limits are usually much lower on portable or mini-cribs. Read your product manual carefully and follow recommendations.
Bumpers: Crib bumpers -- cushioned padding that attaches to the interior railings of the crib -- are sometimes still included in crib bedding collections, but quite a few associations, including the AAP, now dissuade them as a SIDS threat for infants.
Infants often spend more time in the crib than anywhere else, so while comfort is important, security is vital. As most children sleep in a crib until it's time to move into a true bed -- normally between the ages of 3 and 2 -- you'll need a sturdy one.
Space savers: Parents short on distance could possibly be interested in portable or mini-crib options, both of which occupy less space than full-size cribs. Some fold or collapse for storage; a few have wheels so they may be wrapped around the home.
Full-sized cribs, such as convertibles, vary from $110 to $800. Portable and mini-cribs price between $100 and $400. Fancier cribs can run $800 to $1,000 or a lot more.
Safe sleep hints: Get advice about crib bedding and sleep position to lower your child's risk of SIDS.
Stability: Give the crib a good shake at the shop or once you put it together in your home. If it wobbles or rattles, it might have been put together improperly. (Although wobbling or rattling could also be a sign that you need to look for a sturdier crib.)
To get a foam mattress, even more important than thickness, however, is high density; weight may be a good indicator -- a heftier mattress is denser than one that is the same size but lighter. (See our buying guide to learn more on buying crib mattress.)
Versatility: Many Automobiles 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 enjoy the look of the new furniture.