Stability: Give the crib a good shake in the shop or after you put it together at home. If it wobbles or rattles, it may have been put together improperly.
Safety limits: Crib manufacturers advocate discontinuing use (or converting to 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 mobile or mini-cribs. Read your product manual carefully and follow instructions.
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, make sure that yours is correctly constructed and structurally sound; the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission reports many cases where cribs have come . If this happens, a kid's head can get trapped in the areas between the mattress and side rail.
Cribs with drop sides: The principle is simple -- don't use them. The movable railings called drop sides were more common on toddlers for decades, but might pose a severe hazard for babies. If the drop side detaches or comes 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 because 2011.
Old cribs: Cribs made before 1974, when national crib-safety standards went into effect, are somewhat more likely than newer versions to have security issues. Secondhand cribs might also have splinters, lead paint, stopped (and possibly dangerous) features, or slats which are too far apart. Slats should be no longer than 2 3/8 inches apart (about the size of a soda can) to protect against a baby's head from becoming suck. Articles on a crib should no higher than 1/16 of an inch (unless they are over 16 inches high to support a canopy); otherwise, clothing can catch them on and injure or choke a baby. Even versions manufactured as recently as 1991 could be unsafe, 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 which may be broken off and choked onpeeling paint, and cutouts across the rail which can trap your baby's arm or neck. Examine the product recalls from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission to ensure it has not been remembered.
When establishing a crib, choose a place away from windows, window blinds, and draperies. Infants can strangle on the cords, and older babies could possibly pull up themselves and drop through the window. If there's a cable in your infant screen, keep it at least 3 feet from the crib.
Make sure that the crib makeover is relatively easy to perform (check online reviews from parents) which you like the look of the new furniture.
Safe sleep recommendations: Get tips about crib bedding and sleep position to reduce your child's risk of SIDS.
Frame size: The crib interior should 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 space between the surfaces of the mattress and the crib walls. This poses a considerable danger, as infants can get trapped in that area.
Mattresses: The two most common types sold are innerspring and foam and the two are available in thicknesses between 3 and 6 inches. To get a foam mattress, even more important than thickness, however, is high density; weight can be a good indicator -- a heftier mattress is denser than one that's the same size but lighter. (See our purchasing guide for more information on purchasing crib mattresses.)
Bumpers: Crib bumpers -- cushioned padding that attaches to the inside railings of the crib -- are sometimes still included in crib bedding collections, but a number of associations, including the AAP, now dissuade them as a SIDS threat for infants.
Babies often spend more time in the crib than anywhere else, so while comfort is important, safety is vital. Since most kids sleep in a crib until it is time to move into a true bed -- typically between the ages of 2 and 3 -- you'll want a hardy one.
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 crib does; tots do good in a bassinet, cradle, or sleeper for your first few weeks or perhaps months of their lives.
Adjustable mattress heightthe majority of cribs let you change the height 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 children get more active and proceed to pulling up and standing, they could climb and fall from the crib.
Space savers: Parents short on space may be interested in mobile or mini-crib options, both of which take up less space compared to full-size Automobiles. Some fold or collapse for storage; a few have wheels so they may be rolled around the house.
Full-sized cribs, such as convertibles, range from $110 to $800.