Safe sleep hints: Get advice about infant bedding and sleep position to reduce your child's risk of SIDS.
Mattresses: The two most frequent types sold are innerspring and foam and the two can be found in thicknesses between 3 and 6 inches. For a foam mattress, even more important than depth, however, is high density; weight can be a good indicator -- a heavier mattress is thicker than one that's the same size but lighter. (See our buying guide to learn more on purchasing crib mattress.)
Bumpers: Crib bumpers -- cushioned cushioning that attaches to the interior railings of the crib -- are occasionally still contained in crib bedding collections, but quite a few organizations, including the AAP, now dissuade them as a SIDS threat for infants.
Cribs with drop sides: The rule is simple -- don't use them. The movable railings known as fall sides were more common on cribs for a long time, but can pose a serious hazard to babies. If the drop side comes or dries loose, then a baby can become entrapped and strangle or suffocate from the space between the fall side and the crib mattress. Their sale has been banned because 2011.
Full-sized cribs, including convertibles, vary from $110 to $800. Mobile and mini-cribs price between $100 and $400. Fancier Automobiles can run $800 to $1,000 or much more.
Adjustable mattress height: Most Automobiles let you change 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 proceed to pulling up and standing, they could climb and drop from the crib.
Old Automobiles: Cribs made before 1974, when national crib-safety criteria went into effect, are somewhat more likely than newer models to have security problems. Secondhand cribs might also have splinters, lead paint, discontinued (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 protect against a baby's mind from getting suck. Posts on a crib shouldn't greater than 1/16 of an inch (unless they're over 16 inches high to encourage a canopy); differently, clothes can catch them on and injure or choke an infant. Even versions manufactured as recently as 1991 can be dangerous, so if you're borrowing a crib or purchasing a used one, look out for these risks as well as for sharp edges, protruding metal, anything that may be broken off and choked onpeeling paint, and cutouts across the rail that can trap your child's arm or neck. Examine the item recalls from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission to make sure it has not been remembered.
Stability: Give the crib a good shake in the store or once 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 indication that you need to start looking for a sturdier crib.)
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 crib does; tots do fine in a bassinet, cradle, or sleeper for the first few weeks or perhaps months of their lives.
When establishing a crib, select a place 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. If there's a cord on your infant monitor, keep it at least 3 feet in the crib.
Frame size: The crib interior should snugly accommodate a standard crib mattress -- at least 51 3/4 inches long by 27 3/8 inches wide. Ensure there is not any distance between the surfaces of the mattress and the crib walls. This poses a considerable danger, as babies can get trapped in that space.
Space savers: Parents short on space may be interested in portable or mini-crib options, each of which take up less space than full-size Automobiles. Some fold or collapse for storage; a few have wheels so they can be rolled around the home.
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 phase. Height/weight limits are usually much lower on portable or mini-cribs.
Most new cribs available 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 assembled and structurally sound; the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission reports many instances where Automobiles have come apart. If this happens, a kid's head can get trapped in the areas between the mattress and side rail.
Babies often spend more time at the crib than anywhere else, so while relaxation is important, safety is essential. As most children sleep in a crib until it is time to move into a real bed -- typically between the ages of 2 and 3 -- you'll need a sturdy one.
Versatility: Many cribs are intended to convert into a toddler bed, day bed, or even the headboard and footboard for a full size bed. Make certain that the crib makeover is relatively easy to do (check online reviews from parents) and that you like the appearance of the brand new furniture.