Most new cribs on the market comply with both voluntary and mandatory safety standards. For starters, be sure that yours is properly constructed and structurally sound; the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission reports many instances in which Automobiles have come . If this occurs, a kid's head can get trapped in the spaces between the mattress and side rail.
Stability: Give the crib a fantastic shake at the store or once you put it together at home. If it wobbles or rattles, it may have been placed together improperly.
Safe sleep recommendations: Get tips about crib bedding and sleep posture to reduce your baby's risk of SIDS.
Cribs with drop sides: The rule is simple -- do not use them. The movable railings called fall sides were more common on toddlers for decades, but can pose a serious 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 has been banned because 2011.
Full-sized Automobiles, such as convertibles, vary from $110 to $800. Fancier Automobiles can run $800 to $1,000 or much more.
Babies often spend more time in the crib than anyplace else, so while comfort is important, safety is essential. As most kids sleep in a crib till it is time to move to a true bed -- typically between the ages of 2 and 3 -- you will need a hardy one.
Many mothers like to have the crib set up a few weeks before their due date. But do not be concerned if the baby arrives prior to your crib does; tots do fine in a bassinet, cradle, or sleeper for the first several weeks or perhaps months of their lives.
Versatility: a lot of Automobiles are intended to convert into a toddler bed, day bed, or even the headboard and footboard for a full-size bed. Be certain the crib makeover is relatively simple to perform (check online reviews from parents) and that you enjoy the appearance of the brand new furniture.
Space savers: Parents short on space may be interested in mobile 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.
Old Automobiles: Cribs made before 1974, when federal crib-safety criteria went into effect, are more likely than newer versions to have security issues. Secondhand cribs might also have splinters, lead paint, stopped (and possibly dangerous) features, or slats that are too far apart. Slats should be no more 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're over 16 inches high to support a canopy); otherwise, clothing can catch on them and injure or choke an infant. Even models fabricated as recently as 1991 could be dangerous, so if you're borrowing a crib or buying a used one, look out for these risks in addition to for sharp edges, protruding metal, anything which can be broken off and spilled on, peeling paint, along with cutouts across the railing that can trap your baby's neck or arm. Check the item recalls by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission to make sure it hasn't been recalled.
Adjustable mattress height: Most cribs let you alter the height of the crib mattress simply by raising or lowering the mattress support. The time to reduce the mattress is when your child starts sitting up. As kids get more active and proceed to pulling up and standing, they can climb and drop out of the crib.
Bumpers: Crib bumpers -- cushioned padding that attaches to the inside railings of the crib -- are sometimes still contained in crib bedding sets, but quite a few associations, including the AAP, today dissuade them as a SIDS hazard for babies.
When setting up a crib, select a spot away from windows, window blinds, and draperies. Babies can strangle on the cords, and older infants could possibly pull themselves up and drop through the window. If there's a cord on your baby screen, keep it at least 3 feet from the crib.
For a foam mattress, even more important than depth, though, is high density; weight can be a good indication -- a heftier mattress is denser than one that's the exact same size but lighter. (See our buying guide to learn more on purchasing crib mattress.)
Frame size: The crib interior ought to snugly accommodate a standard crib mattress -- at least 51 3/4 inches long by 27 3/8 inches wide. Make sure there is not any space between the sides of the mattress and the crib walls. This poses a significant danger, as infants can get trapped in that area.
Security limits: Crib manufacturers advocate discontinuing use (or turning into the product's next phase ( for convertible cribs) when your child reaches a particular height, weight, or developmental stage. Height/weight limits are generally much lower on portable or mini-cribs.