Most new cribs available on the market comply with both voluntary and mandatory safety standards. For starters, make sure yours is properly constructed and structurally sound; the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission reports many cases where Automobiles have come apart. If this happens, a baby's head can get trapped in the spaces between the mattress and side rail.
Frame size: The crib interior ought to snugly accommodate a standard crib mattress -- at least 51 3/4 inches long by 27 3/8 inches wide. Ensure that there is no space between the surfaces of the mattress and the crib walls. This poses a significant danger, as babies can get trapped inside that space.
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 can pose a serious hazard for infants. If the drop side comes or dries loose, a baby can become entrapped and strangle or suffocate in the distance between the drop side and the crib mattress. Their sale was banned since 2011.
Adjustable mattress height: Most cribs 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 starts sitting up. As children get more active and move to pulling up and standing, they could climb and drop out of the crib.
Infants often spend more time at the crib than anyplace else, so while relaxation is important, safety is vital. Since most children sleep in a crib until it's time to move to a real bed -- normally between the ages of 3 and 2 -- you will want a sturdy one.
To get a foam mattress, more important than depth, though, is high density; weight can be a fantastic indication -- a heavier mattress is thicker than one that is the same size but lighter. (See our purchasing guide for more information on buying crib mattresses.)
Old cribs: Cribs made before 1974, when federal crib-safety standards went into effect, are more likely than newer versions to have security problems. Secondhand cribs may also have splinters, lead paint, stopped (and potentially dangerous) attributes, or slats that are too far apart. Articles on a crib shouldn't greater than 1/16 of an inch (unless they are over 16 inches high to encourage a canopy); differently, clothes can catch them on and injure or choke a baby. Even versions fabricated as recently as 1991 could be unsafe, so if you're borrowing a crib or buying a used one, look out for these risks as well as for sharp edges, protruding metal, anything that can be broken off and choked onpeeling paint, and cutouts along the railing which can trap your baby's neck or arm. Check the item recalls by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission to ensure it has not been recalled.
Full-sized Automobiles, such as convertibles, range from $110 to $800. Fancier cribs 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 mature infants could possibly pull up themselves and fall through the window. If there's a cord on your infant monitor, keep it at least 3 feet in 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 prior to your infant does; tots do fine in a bassinet, cradle, or sleeper for the first few weeks or perhaps months of their lives.
Stability: Give the crib a good shake at the shop or once you put it together in your home. If it wobbles or rattles, it may have been placed together improperly. (Although wobbling or rattling could also be a indication that you need to look for a sturdier crib.)
Space savers: Children short on space could possibly be interested in portable or mini-crib possibilities, both of which take up less space than full-size Automobiles. Some fold or collapse for storage; some have wheels so that they can be wrapped around the home.
Safe sleep hints: Get advice about crib bedding and sleep posture to reduce your child's risk of SIDS.
Bumpers: Crib bumpers -- cushioned cushioning that attaches to the inside railings of the crib -- are occasionally still contained in crib bedding sets, but a number of associations, including the AAP, today discourage them as a SIDS threat for infants.
Versatility: a lot of Automobiles are designed to convert into a toddler bed, day bed, or even the headboard and footboard for a full size bed. Be certain that the crib makeover is comparatively easy to perform (check online reviews from parents) and that you enjoy the look of the brand new furniture.
Security limits: Crib manufacturers advocate discontinuing use (or converting to the product's next phase ( for convertible cribs) when your child reaches a specific height, weight, or developmental stage. Height/weight limits are usually much lower on portable or mini-cribs. Read your product manual carefully and follow recommendations.