For a foam mattress, even more important than depth, though, is high density; weight may be a fantastic indication -- a heavier mattress is denser than one that is the same size but lighter. (See our buying guide to learn more on purchasing crib mattress.)
Frame size: The crib inside should snugly adapt a standard crib mattress -- at least 51 3/4 inches by 27 3/8 inches wide. Make sure there is no space between the sides of the mattress and the crib walls. This poses a significant danger, as infants can get trapped inside that space.
Many mothers like to have the crib set up several weeks before their due date. But don't worry if the baby arrives prior to your infant does; tots do good in a bassinet, cradle, or sleeper for the first several weeks or perhaps months of their lives.
Cribs with drop sides: The rule is simple -- don't use them. The movable railings known as drop sides were more common on cribs for a long time, but might pose a serious hazard to babies. If the fall side detaches or comes loose, then a baby can become entrapped and strangle or suffocate from the distance between the drop side and the crib mattress. Their sale was banned because 2011.
Safe sleep recommendations: Get tips about infant bedding and sleep position to lower your baby's risk of SIDS.
Adjustable mattress height: Most Automobiles let you alter the height of the crib mattress by simply raising or lowering the mattress support. The time to lower the mattress is if your child begins sitting up. As children get more active and proceed to pulling up and standing, they can climb and drop out of 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 may have been put together improperly.
Security limits: Crib manufacturers recommend discontinuing use (or converting to the product's next stage, 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.
Infants often spend more time in the crib than anywhere else, so while comfort is important, safety is essential. Since most children sleep in a crib till it's time to move into a real bed -- normally between the ages of 2 and 3 -- you'll want a hardy one.
Space savers: Parents short on space could possibly be considering mobile or mini-crib options, each of which occupy less space compared to full-size Automobiles. Some fold or collapse for storage; some have wheels so they may be wrapped around the house.
Be sure the crib makeover is relatively simple to do (check online reviews from parents) which you like the appearance of the new furniture.
Old cribs: Cribs made before 1974, when national crib-safety standards went into effect, are somewhat more likely than newer versions to have safety issues. Secondhand cribs may also have splinters, lead paint, stopped (and potentially dangerous) attributes, or slats which are too far apart. Posts on a crib shouldn't higher than 1/16 of an inch (unless they are over 16 inches high to support a canopy); otherwise, clothes can catch on them and injure or choke an infant. Even models fabricated as recently as 1991 can be dangerous, so if you are borrowing a crib or buying a used one, keep an eye out for these risks as well as for sharp edges, protruding metal, anything that can be broken off and choked on, peeling paint, along with cutouts across the railing that can trap your child's neck or arm. Check the item recalls from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission to make sure it has not been remembered.
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 properly assembled and structurally sound; the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission reports many cases where cribs have come apart. If this happens, a baby's head can get trapped in the areas between the mattress and side rail.
Full-sized Automobiles, such as convertibles, range from $110 to $800. Mobile and mini-cribs cost between $100 and $400. Fancier Automobiles can run $800 to $1,000 or a lot more.
When setting up a crib, select a place away from windows, window blinds, and draperies. Infants can strangle on the cords, and older babies could possibly pull up themselves and fall through the window. If there's a cord on your baby screen, keep it at least three feet in the crib.
Bumpers: Crib bumpers -- cushioned padding that attaches to the interior railings of the crib -- are occasionally still included in crib bedding collections, but a number of organizations, including the AAP, today dissuade them as a SIDS threat for infants.