Babies often spend more time in the crib than anywhere else, so while relaxation is important, security is essential. As most children sleep in a crib till it's time to move to a true bed -- normally between the ages of 2 and 3 -- you will need a hardy one.
Bumpers: Crib bumpers -- cushioned padding that attaches to the interior railings of the crib -- are sometimes still contained in crib bedding collections, but a number of associations, including the AAP, now dissuade them as a SIDS hazard for babies.
Safe sleep recommendations: Get advice about infant bedding and sleep posture to reduce your baby's risk of SIDS.
Stability: Give the crib a good shake at the store or after you put it together at home. If it wobbles or rattles, it might have been placed together improperly.
Adjustable mattress height: Most cribs let you change the height of the crib mattress by simply raising or lowering the mattress support. The time to reduce 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 fall out of the crib.
Full-sized cribs, such as convertibles, vary from $110 to $800. Fancier cribs can run $800 to $1,000 or much more.
Many moms like to have the crib set up a few months before their due date. But do not worry if the baby arrives prior to your crib does; tots do fine in a bassinet, cradle, or sleeper for the first several weeks or perhaps months of their lives.
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 might pose a serious hazard to infants. If the drop side detaches or comes loose, then a baby can become entrapped and strangle or suffocate from the distance between the drop side along with the crib mattress. Their sale has been banned since 2011.
Old Automobiles: Cribs made before 1974, when national crib-safety standards went into effect, are more likely than newer models to have security issues. Secondhand cribs may also have splinters, lead paint, stopped (and possibly dangerous) features, or slats that are too far apart. Slats should be no more than 2 3/8 inches apart (about the size of a soda can) to prevent a baby's head from becoming suck. Articles on a crib shouldn't higher than 1/16 of an inch (unless they're over 16 inches high to encourage a canopy); otherwise, clothing can catch on them and injure or choke a baby. Even models manufactured as recently as 1991 can be dangerous, so if you're borrowing a crib or buying a used one, look out for these dangers as well as for sharp edges, protruding metal, anything which may be broken off and choked on, peeling paint, along with cutouts across the rail which can trap your child's arm or neck. Examine the item recalls by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission to ensure it has not been recalled.
Safety limits: Crib manufacturers advocate 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 portable or mini-cribs.
Frame size: The crib inside ought to snugly adapt a standard crib mattress -- at least 51 3/4 inches by 27 3/8 inches wide. Make sure that 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 area.
Space savers: Parents short on distance could possibly be considering mobile or mini-crib possibilities, each of which occupy less space than full-size Automobiles. Some fold or collapse for storage; some have wheels so they can be rolled around the home.
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, be sure that yours is properly constructed and structurally sound; the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission reports many cases where Automobiles have come apart. If it happens, a baby's head can get trapped in the spaces between the mattress and side rail.
Be sure that the crib makeover is comparatively easy to perform (check online reviews from parents) which you like the look of the brand new furniture.
When setting up a crib, choose a place away from windows, window blinds, and draperies. Babies can strangle on the cords, and mature infants could possibly pull themselves up and drop through the window. If there's a cord on your infant monitor, keep it at least three feet from the crib.
For a foam mattress, more significant than depth, though, is high density; weight can be a fantastic indication -- a heavier mattress is denser than one that's the same size but lighter. (See our purchasing guide to learn more on buying crib mattresses.)