Versatility: a lot of cribs are designed to convert into a toddler bed, day bed, or even the headboard and footboard for a full size bed. Make certain the crib makeover is relatively easy to do (check online reviews from parents) which you like the appearance of the new furniture.
Infants often spend more time in the crib than anywhere else, so while relaxation is important, safety is vital. Since most children sleep in a crib till it is time to move to a real bed -- typically between the ages of 2 and 3 -- you'll need a hardy one.
When establishing a crib, choose a place away from windows, window blinds, and draperies. Infants can strangle on the cords, and mature babies could possibly pull themselves up and fall through the window. If there's a cord on your infant screen, keep it at least three feet in the crib.
Safe sleep recommendations: Get tips about crib bedding and sleep posture to reduce your baby's risk of SIDS.
Cribs with drop sides: The principle is simple -- don't use them. The movable railings known as drop sides were more common on cribs for a long time, but can pose a severe hazard for infants. If the drop side comes or dries loose, then a baby can become entrapped and strangle or suffocate in the distance between the drop side along with the crib mattress. Their sale has been banned since 2011.
Old cribs: Cribs made before 1974, when national crib-safety standards went into effect, are more likely than newer versions to have safety problems. Secondhand cribs might also have splinters, lead paint, stopped (and possibly dangerous) attributes, or slats which are too far apart. Articles on a crib should no greater than 1/16 of an inch (unless they are over 16 inches to encourage a canopy); differently, clothing 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 purchasing a used one, keep an eye out for these risks in addition to for sharp edges, protruding metal, anything that may be broken off and spilled onpeeling paint, along with cutouts across the rail which can trap your child's arm or neck. Check the product recalls from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission to ensure it hasn't been recalled.
Many mothers like to have the crib set up a few weeks before their due date. But don't be concerned if the baby arrives prior to your crib does; tots do fine in a bassinet, cradle, or sleeper for your first few months or even months of their lives.
To get a foam mattress, even more important than depth, though, is high density; weight may be a good indicator -- a heavier mattress is denser than one that's the same size but lighter. (See our buying guide for more information on purchasing crib mattresses.)
Security limits: Crib manufacturers advocate discontinuing use (or converting to the product's next stage( for convertible cribs) when your child reaches a particular height, weight, or developmental stage. Height/weight limits are usually much lower on mobile or mini-cribs. Read your product manual carefully and follow instructions.
Bumpers: Crib bumpers -- cushioned padding that attaches to the interior railings of the crib -- are occasionally still contained in crib bedding collections, but quite a few associations, including the AAP, today dissuade them as a SIDS hazard for babies.
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, make sure that yours is properly constructed and structurally sound; the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission reports many cases in which Automobiles have come apart. If this happens, a kid's head can get trapped in the spaces between the mattress and side rail.
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.
Full-sized cribs, including convertibles, range from $110 to $800. Mobile and mini-cribs price between $100 and $400.
Space savers: Parents short on distance may be interested in mobile or mini-crib options, each of which take up less space compared to full-size Automobiles. Some fold or collapse for storage; a few have wheels so they can be rolled around the house.
Frame size: The crib inside should 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 considerable danger, as babies can get trapped in that area.
Adjustable mattress height: Most Automobiles allow you to change the elevation of the crib mattress by simply raising or lowering the mattress support. The time to reduce the mattress is if your child starts sitting up. As kids get more active and move to pulling up and standing, they can climb and fall out of the crib.