Safe sleep hints: Get advice about crib bedding and sleep position to lower your baby's risk of SIDS.
Safety limits: Crib manufacturers recommend 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 usually much lower on mobile or mini-cribs.
When establishing a crib, choose a spot away from windows, window blinds, and draperies. Infants can strangle on the cords, and older babies could possibly pull up themselves and drop through the window. If there's a cable in your infant monitor, keep it at least 3 feet in the crib.
Stability: Give the crib a fantastic shake at the store or after 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 sign that you should look for a sturdier crib.)
Adjustable mattress height: Most cribs allow you to alter the height of the crib mattress by simply raising or lowering the mattress support. The time to reduce the mattress is when your child begins sitting up. As kids get more active and proceed to pulling up and standing, they could climb and fall from the crib.
Space savers: Parents short on distance may be interested in portable or mini-crib options, both of which occupy less space than full-size Automobiles. Some fold or collapse for storage; some have wheels so that they may be rolled around the home.
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, though, is high density; weight can be a fantastic indicator -- a heftier mattress is denser than one that is the same size but lighter. (See our buying guide for more information on buying crib mattresses.)
Old cribs: Cribs made before 1974, when federal crib-safety criteria went into effect, are somewhat more likely than newer versions to have security problems. Secondhand cribs may also have splinters, lead paint, discontinued (and potentially dangerous) features, or slats which are too far apart. Posts on a crib should no higher than 1/16 of an inch (unless they are over 16 inches to encourage a canopy); differently, clothes can catch on them and injure or choke a baby. Even versions fabricated as recently as 1991 could be unsafe, so if you are 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 spilled onpeeling paint, and cutouts along the railing which can trap your baby's arm or neck. Check the product recalls from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission to make sure it hasn't been remembered.
Many mothers like to have the crib set up a few weeks before their due date. But do not worry if the baby arrives before your crib does; tots do good in a bassinet, cradle, or sleeper for your first few weeks or even months of their lives.
Bumpers: Crib bumpers -- cushioned cushioning that attaches to the inside railings of the crib -- are sometimes still contained in crib bedding collections, but quite a few associations, including the AAP, today dissuade them as a SIDS hazard for babies.
Make sure that the crib makeover is relatively simple to perform (check online reviews from parents) and that you enjoy the appearance of the brand new furniture.
Infants often spend more time in the crib than anyplace else, so while comfort is important, security is essential. As most kids sleep in a crib until it is time to move to a true bed -- typically between the ages of 3 and 2 -- you will need a sturdy one.
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, be sure yours is correctly constructed and structurally sound; the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission reports many cases in which Automobiles have come apart. If this happens, a kid's head can get trapped in the areas between the mattress and side rail.
Full-sized Automobiles, such as convertibles, vary from $110 to $800. Fancier cribs can run $800 to $1,000 or a lot more.
Cribs with drop sides: The rule is simple -- do not use them. The movable railings known as drop sides were common on toddlers for decades, but might pose a serious hazard for babies. If the drop side comes or dries loose, a baby can become entrapped and strangle or suffocate from the distance between the fall side and the crib mattress. Their sale has been banned because 2011.
Frame size: The crib interior should snugly adapt a standard crib mattress -- at least 51 3/4 inches by 27 3/8 inches wide. Ensure 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.