Old Automobiles: Cribs made before 1974, when national crib-safety standards went into effect, are somewhat more likely than newer models to have safety issues. Secondhand cribs might also have splinters, lead paint, discontinued (and potentially dangerous) features, 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 prevent a baby's head from becoming suck. Articles on a crib should no greater than 1/16 of an inch (unless they're over 16 inches to encourage a canopy); otherwise, clothing can catch them on and injure or choke an infant. Even models 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 dangers as well as for sharp edges, protruding metal, anything which can be broken off and spilled onpeeling paint, along with cutouts across the rail that can trap your baby's arm or neck. Check the product recalls by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission to make sure it hasn't been recalled.
When setting up a crib, choose a place away from windows, window blinds, and draperies. Infants can strangle on the cords, and older babies could possibly pull themselves up and fall through the window. If there's a cord on your infant screen, keep it at least 3 feet from the crib.
Many mothers like to have the crib set up a few months 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 the first several weeks or perhaps months of their lives.
Safe sleep hints: Get tips about crib bedding and sleep position to lower your child's risk of SIDS.
Infants often spend more time in the crib than anyplace else, so while relaxation is important, security is essential. Since most kids sleep in a crib until it's time to move into a true bed -- normally between the ages of 2 and 3 -- you'll need a hardy one.
Frame size: The crib inside should snugly adapt a standard crib mattress -- at least 51 3/4 inches long by 27 3/8 inches wide. Ensure that there is no distance between the sides of the mattress and the crib walls. This poses a significant danger, as infants can get trapped inside that space.
Security limits: Crib manufacturers recommend discontinuing use (or turning into 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 portable or mini-cribs. Read your product manual carefully and follow instructions.
Cribs with drop sides: The principle is simple -- don't use them. The movable railings known as fall sides were common on cribs for decades, but might pose a severe hazard to babies. If the drop side detaches or comes loose, a baby can become entrapped and strangle or suffocate in the space between the drop side and the crib mattress. Their sale was banned since 2011.
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 reduce the mattress is if your child starts sitting up. As kids get more active and move to pulling up and standing, they could climb and drop out of the crib.
Versatility: Many cribs are designed to convert to 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 like the look of the new furniture.
Space savers: Children short on distance may be interested in portable 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.
To get a foam mattress, more important than thickness, though, is high density; weight can be a good indication -- a heftier mattress is thicker than one that's the exact same size but lighter. (See our purchasing guide to learn more on buying crib mattresses.)
Bumpers: Crib bumpers -- cushioned cushioning that attaches to the interior railings of the crib -- are sometimes still contained in crib bedding sets, but a number of associations, including the AAP, now discourage them as a SIDS hazard for babies.
Full-sized Automobiles, including convertibles, vary from $110 to $800. Portable and mini-cribs price between $100 and $400.
Stability: Give the crib a good shake at the store or once you put it together in your home. If it wobbles or rattles, it may have been put together improperly.
Most new cribs available on the market comply with the mandatory and voluntary safety standards. Read crib safety tips from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). For starters, be sure yours is properly assembled and structurally sound; the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission reports many cases in which Automobiles have come . If it happens, a baby's head can get trapped in the spaces between the mattress and side rail.