Adjustable mattress height: Most Automobiles let you alter the elevation of the crib mattress simply by raising or lowering the mattress support. The opportunity to lower the mattress is if your child starts sitting up. As children get more active and move to pulling up and standing, they can climb and drop out of the crib.
Safe sleep recommendations: Get advice about crib bedding and sleep position to reduce your child's risk of SIDS.
Stability: Give the crib a fantastic shake in the shop or once you put it together in your home. If it wobbles or rattles, it might have been put together improperly. (Although wobbling or rattling could also be a indication that you need to start looking for a sturdier crib.)
When setting up a crib, choose a place away from windows, window blinds, and draperies. Infants can strangle on the cords, and mature babies could possibly pull up themselves and fall through the window. If there's a cable in your infant monitor, keep it at least three feet in the crib.
Space savers: Parents short on space may be considering portable or mini-crib possibilities, both of which occupy less space than full-size cribs. Some fold or collapse for storage; a few have wheels so that they can be wrapped around the home.
Cribs with drop sides: The principle is simple -- do not use them. The movable railings known as fall sides were more common on cribs for decades, but can pose a severe hazard for infants. If the fall side comes or dries loose, a baby can become entrapped and strangle or suffocate from the space between the drop side along with the crib mattress. Their sale has been banned because 2011.
To get a foam mattress, even more important than thickness, however, is high density; weight can be a good indication -- a heavier mattress is denser than one that is the same size but lighter. (See our buying guide for more information on purchasing crib mattress.)
Babies often spend more time in the crib than anyplace else, so while relaxation is important, security is essential. As most kids sleep in a crib until it is time to move into a true bed -- normally between the ages of 3 and 2 -- you'll need a sturdy one.
Old Automobiles: Cribs made before 1974, when national crib-safety standards went into effect, are more likely than newer versions to have security problems. Secondhand cribs might also have splinters, lead paint, stopped (and potentially dangerous) attributes, or slats which are too far apart. Articles on a crib shouldn't higher than 1/16 of an inch (unless they're over 16 inches high to encourage a canopy); otherwise, clothing can catch them on and injure or choke a baby. Even models fabricated as recently as 1991 could be unsafe, so if you're borrowing a crib or purchasing a used one, look out for these risks in addition to for sharp edges, protruding metal, anything that may be broken off and spilled on, peeling paint, and cutouts across the rail which can trap your child's arm or neck. Examine the item recalls from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission to make sure it hasn't been recalled.
Versatility: Many cribs are designed to convert into a toddler bed, day bed, or even the headboard and footboard for a full size bed. Make sure the crib makeover is comparatively simple to perform (check online reviews from parents) which you like the look of the new furniture.
Frame size: The crib inside should snugly accommodate a standard crib mattress -- at least 51 3/4 inches by 27 3/8 inches wide. Ensure that there is not any space between the surfaces of the mattress and the crib walls. This poses a significant danger, as babies can get trapped inside that space.
Full-sized cribs, such as convertibles, range from $110 to $800. Fancier cribs can run $800 to $1,000 or much more.
Most new cribs available on the market comply with both mandatory and voluntary safety standards. Read crib safety tips from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). For starters, be sure that yours is correctly constructed and structurally sound; the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission reports many instances in which cribs have come . If it occurs, a baby's head can get trapped in the spaces between the mattress and side rail.
Bumpers: Crib bumpers -- cushioned padding that attaches to the inside railings of the crib -- are occasionally still included in crib bedding collections, but a number of organizations, including the AAP, now discourage them as a SIDS threat for infants.
Security limits: Crib manufacturers recommend discontinuing use (or turning into the product's next stage, for convertible cribs) when your child reaches a specific height, weight, or developmental stage. Height/weight limits are generally much lower on mobile or mini-cribs.
Many mothers like to have the crib set up several weeks before their due date. But don't worry if the baby arrives before your crib does; tots do fine in a bassinet, cradle, or sleeper for your first few weeks or perhaps months of their lives.