Stability: Give the crib a good shake at the shop or after you put it together at home. If it wobbles or rattles, it might have been put together improperly. (Although wobbling or rattling could also be a sign that you need to start looking for a sturdier crib.)
Cribs with drop sides: The principle is simple -- don't use them. The movable railings called fall sides were more common on cribs for a long time, but can pose a severe hazard for babies. If the fall side comes or dries loose, then a baby can become entrapped and strangle or suffocate in the distance between the fall side along with the crib mattress. Their sale was banned because 2011.
Be certain that the crib makeover is relatively simple to perform (check online reviews from parents) and that you enjoy the look of the brand new furniture.
Space savers: Parents short on distance could possibly be considering portable or mini-crib possibilities, each of which occupy less space than full-size cribs. Some fold or collapse for storage; some have wheels so they may be rolled around the house.
Adjustable mattress height: Most cribs allow you to change the height of the crib mattress by simply raising or lowering the mattress support. The opportunity to lower the mattress is when your child starts sitting up. As children get more active and move to pulling up and standing, they can climb and drop out of the crib.
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 instances where cribs have come apart. If this occurs, a baby's head can get trapped in the areas between the mattress and side rail.
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 fall through the window. When there's a cable in your baby monitor, keep it at least 3 feet from the crib.
Frame size: The crib interior ought to snugly adapt a standard crib mattress -- at least 51 3/4 inches long by 27 3/8 inches wide. Ensure 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 area.
Full-sized cribs, such as convertibles, vary from $110 to $800. Portable and mini-cribs cost between $100 and $400. Fancier cribs can run $800 to $1,000 or a lot more.
Security 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 phase. Height/weight limits are generally much lower on mobile or mini-cribs. Read your product manual carefully and follow recommendations.
Many moms 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 the first several weeks or perhaps months of their lives.
Bumpers: Crib bumpers -- cushioned padding that attaches to the interior railings of the crib -- are sometimes still included in crib bedding collections, but quite a few associations, including the AAP, now dissuade them as a SIDS threat for infants.
Safe sleep hints: Get advice about infant bedding and sleep position to reduce your child's risk of SIDS.
Old Automobiles: Cribs made before 1974, when national crib-safety criteria went into effect, are more likely than newer models to have security issues. Secondhand cribs might also have splinters, lead paint, stopped (and possibly dangerous) attributes, 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); otherwise, clothing can catch on them and injure or choke a baby. Even versions fabricated as recently as 1991 can be unsafe, so if you are borrowing a crib or buying a used one, keep an eye out for these dangers in addition to for sharp edges, protruding metal, anything that may be broken off and spilled onpeeling paint, and cutouts along the rail that can trap your baby's arm or neck. Examine the item recalls from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission to ensure it has not been recalled.
Mattresses: The two most frequent types sold are innerspring and foam and the two can be found in thicknesses between 3 and 6 inches. To get a foam mattress, even more important than depth, though, is high density; weight may be a good indication -- a heftier mattress is denser than one that's the same size but lighter. (See our buying guide for more information on buying crib mattress.)
Babies often spend more time in the crib than anyplace else, so while comfort is important, safety is essential. As most kids sleep in a crib until it's time to move to a real bed -- normally between the ages of 3 and 2 -- you will need a hardy one.