Cribs with drop sides: The principle is simple -- do not use them. The movable railings known as drop sides were more common on cribs for decades, but can pose a serious hazard to babies. If the fall side comes or dries loose, a baby can become entrapped and strangle or suffocate in the space between the drop side along with the crib mattress. Their sale has been banned because 2011.
Safety 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. Read your product manual carefully and follow instructions.
When establishing a crib, choose a place away from windows, window blinds, and draperies. Babies can strangle on the cords, and older infants could possibly pull up themselves and drop through the window. When there's a cable in your baby screen, keep it at least three feet from the crib.
Full-sized Automobiles, such as convertibles, range from $110 to $800. Fancier cribs can run $800 to $1,000 or a lot more.
Old cribs: Cribs made before 1974, when national crib-safety standards went into effect, are more likely than newer versions to have security issues. Secondhand cribs might also have splinters, lead paint, discontinued (and potentially dangerous) attributes, or slats which are too far apart. Articles on a crib should no higher 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 a baby. Even models fabricated as recently as 1991 can be unsafe, so if you're borrowing a crib or purchasing a used one, look out for these dangers in addition to for sharp edges, protruding metal, anything that can be broken off and spilled onpeeling paint, and cutouts across the railing which can trap your child's neck or arm. Check the product recalls from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission to make sure it hasn't been recalled.
Infants often spend more time at the crib than anywhere else, so while relaxation is important, safety is vital. Since most kids sleep in a crib till it is time to move into a real bed -- normally between the ages of 3 and 2 -- you'll want a hardy one.
Mattresses: The two most common forms sold are innerspring and foam and the two are available in thicknesses between 3 and 6 inches. To get a foam mattress, more important than depth, however, is high density; weight may be a good indicator -- a heavier mattress is denser than one that's the exact same size but lighter. (See our buying guide for more information on purchasing crib mattresses.)
Space savers: Children short on space may be interested in mobile or mini-crib options, both of which occupy less space compared to full-size Automobiles. Some fold or collapse for storage; some have wheels so that they can be wrapped around the house.
Adjustable mattress height: Most Automobiles allow you to change the height of the crib mattress simply by raising or lowering the mattress support. The opportunity to lower the mattress is when your child starts sitting up. As kids get more active and move to pulling up and standing, they could climb and drop out of the crib.
Safe sleep recommendations: Get advice about crib bedding and sleep posture to lower your child's risk of SIDS.
Versatility: Many cribs are intended 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 relatively easy to perform (check online reviews from parents) which you enjoy the appearance of the brand new furniture.
Most new cribs available on the market comply with the voluntary and mandatory safety standards. Read crib safety tips from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). For starters, make sure that yours is correctly constructed and structurally sound; the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission reports many instances in which cribs have come apart. If this occurs, a baby's head can get trapped in the areas between the mattress and side rail.
Stability: Give the crib a good shake at the store or once you put it together in your home. If it wobbles or rattles, it might have been placed together improperly.
Frame size: The crib inside should snugly accommodate a standard crib mattress -- at least 51 3/4 inches by 27 3/8 inches wide. Make sure that there is no space between the surfaces of the mattress and the crib walls. This poses a considerable danger, as infants can get trapped inside that space.
Bumpers: Crib bumpers -- cushioned padding that attaches to the inside railings of the crib -- are sometimes still included in crib bedding sets, but a number of associations, including the AAP, now discourage them as a SIDS hazard for babies.
Many moms like to have the crib set up several months before their due date. But don't be concerned if the baby arrives before your crib does; tots do fine in a bassinet, cradle, or sleeper for your first several months or perhaps months of their lives.