Frame size: The crib interior ought to snugly adapt a standard crib mattress -- at least 51 3/4 inches long by 27 3/8 inches wide. Make sure that there is not any distance between the sides of the mattress and the crib walls. This poses a considerable danger, as infants can get trapped in that area.
Be certain the crib makeover is relatively simple to perform (check online reviews from parents) and that you enjoy the look of the new furniture.
Infants often spend more time at the crib than anywhere else, so while comfort is important, safety is essential. As most kids sleep in a crib until it is time to move into a true bed -- typically between the ages of 3 and 2 -- you'll need a sturdy one.
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. When there's a cable in your baby monitor, keep it at least three feet from the crib.
Stability: Give the crib a good shake at the store or after you put it together at home. If it wobbles or rattles, it might have been placed together improperly. (Although wobbling or rattling could also be a sign that you need to start looking for a sturdier crib.)
Security limits: Crib manufacturers advocate discontinuing use (or converting to 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 mobile or mini-cribs.
Full-sized cribs, including convertibles, range from $110 to $800.
Old cribs: Cribs made before 1974, when national crib-safety standards went into effect, are more likely than newer versions to have security issues. Secondhand cribs might also have splinters, lead paint, stopped (and potentially dangerous) attributes, 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 getting suck. Articles on a crib should no greater than 1/16 of an inch (unless they're over 16 inches high 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're borrowing a crib or buying 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 railing which can trap your baby's arm or neck. Check the product recalls from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission to ensure it has not been recalled.
Most new cribs available on the market comply with both voluntary and mandatory safety standards. For starters, be sure that yours is correctly assembled and structurally sound; the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission reports many instances where cribs have come apart. If it happens, a kid's head can get trapped in the spaces between the mattress and side rail.
Adjustable mattress height: Most cribs let you alter the height of the crib mattress by simply raising or lowering the mattress support. The opportunity to reduce the mattress is if your child begins sitting up. As children get more active and move to pulling up and standing, they could climb and drop from the crib.
Safe sleep hints: Get tips about infant bedding and sleep position to lower your child's risk of SIDS.
Bumpers: Crib bumpers -- cushioned padding that attaches to the interior railings of the crib -- are sometimes still included in crib bedding sets, but quite a few associations, including the AAP, now discourage them as a SIDS threat for infants.
To get a foam mattress, more important than thickness, though, is high density; weight may be a fantastic indicator -- a heftier mattress is thicker than one that's the exact same size but lighter. (See our purchasing guide for more information on buying crib mattresses.)
Space savers: Parents short on distance may be considering portable or mini-crib options, each of which take up less space compared to full-size cribs. Some fold or collapse for storage; some have wheels so that they may be rolled around the home.
Cribs with drop sides: The principle is simple -- do not use them. The movable railings called fall sides were more common on cribs for decades, but might pose a severe hazard to babies. If the drop side comes or dries loose, then a baby can become entrapped and strangle or suffocate in the distance between the fall side and the crib mattress. Their sale was banned because 2011.
Many mothers like to have the crib set up a few months before their due date. But do not worry if the baby arrives before your infant does; tots do fine in a bassinet, cradle, or sleeper for the first several weeks or perhaps months of their lives.