Adjustable mattress height: Most Automobiles allow you to change the height of the crib mattress by simply raising or lowering the mattress support. The opportunity 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 from the crib.
Frame size: The crib inside should snugly adapt a standard crib mattress -- at least 51 3/4 inches long by 27 3/8 inches wide. Make sure that there is not any space between the surfaces of the mattress and the crib walls. This poses a considerable danger, as infants can get trapped in that space.
Mattresses: The two most common forms sold are innerspring and foam and both can be found in thicknesses between 3 and 6 inches. For a foam mattress, even more significant than thickness, though, is high density; weight can be a good indicator -- a heavier mattress is denser than one that's the same size but lighter. (See our buying guide for more information on buying crib mattress.)
When establishing a crib, select a place away from windows, window blinds, and draperies. Infants can strangle on the cords, and older babies could possibly pull themselves up and fall through the window. If there's a cable in your baby screen, keep it at least 3 feet from the crib.
Versatility: Many cribs are designed to convert into a toddler bed, day bed, or even the headboard and footboard for a full size bed. Be sure the crib makeover is relatively easy to do (check online reviews from parents) and that you like the look of the brand new furniture.
Cribs with drop sides: The rule is simple -- don't use them. The movable railings known as drop sides were more common on cribs for a long time, but might pose a serious hazard for 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 and the crib mattress. Their sale was banned since 2011.
Safe sleep recommendations: Get tips about infant bedding and sleep posture to lower your baby's risk of SIDS.
Stability: Give the crib a good shake in the store or once you put it together in your home. If it wobbles or rattles, it may have been put together improperly.
Many mothers like to have the crib set up a few weeks before their due date. But don't worry if the baby arrives prior to your crib does; tots do good in a bassinet, cradle, or sleeper for your first few weeks or even months of their lives.
Most new cribs available on the market comply with both mandatory and voluntary safety standards. Read crib safety tips from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). For starters, be sure that yours is properly assembled and structurally sound; the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission reports many instances where cribs have come . If this occurs, a baby's head can get trapped in the areas between the mattress and side rail.
Safety limits: Crib manufacturers advocate discontinuing use (or converting to the product's next stage( 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 instructions.
Babies often spend more time at the crib than anywhere else, so while comfort is important, safety is essential. Since most kids sleep in a crib until it is time to move into a real bed -- typically between the ages of 2 and 3 -- you will need a sturdy one.
Bumpers: Crib bumpers -- cushioned cushioning that attaches to the interior railings of the crib -- are sometimes still included in crib bedding sets, but quite a few organizations, including the AAP, today dissuade them as a SIDS threat for infants.
Old Automobiles: Cribs made before 1974, when federal crib-safety standards went into effect, are somewhat more likely than newer versions to have security problems. Secondhand cribs might also have splinters, lead paint, discontinued (and potentially dangerous) features, or slats which are too far apart. Posts on a crib shouldn't greater than 1/16 of an inch (unless they are over 16 inches to support a canopy); otherwise, clothes can catch on them and injure or choke a baby. Even models manufactured as recently as 1991 could be unsafe, so if you are borrowing a crib or purchasing a used one, keep an eye out for these risks in addition to for sharp edges, protruding metal, anything which may be broken off and spilled on, peeling paint, along with cutouts across the railing that can trap your child's neck or arm. Check the item recalls from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission to make sure it hasn't been remembered.
Space savers: Parents short on distance may be considering portable or mini-crib options, each of which occupy less space than full-size cribs. Some fold or collapse for storage; a few have wheels so that they can be rolled around the home.
Full-sized cribs, including convertibles, range from $110 to $800. Fancier cribs can run $800 to $1,000 or much more.