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 may also have splinters, lead paint, stopped (and potentially dangerous) features, or slats that are too far apart. Articles on a crib should no greater than 1/16 of an inch (unless they are over 16 inches high to support a canopy); differently, clothes can catch them on and injure or choke a baby. Even versions manufactured as recently as 1991 could be unsafe, so if you are borrowing a crib or purchasing a used one, look out for these risks as well as for sharp edges, protruding metal, anything which can be broken off and choked on, peeling paint, along with cutouts across the rail which can trap your child's neck or arm. Examine the product recalls by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission to ensure it has not been remembered.
Many moms like to have the crib set up a few weeks before their due date. But don't worry if the baby arrives before your infant does; tots do fine in a bassinet, cradle, or sleeper for your first few 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 discourage them as a SIDS hazard for babies.
Security limits: Crib manufacturers recommend 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 generally much lower on mobile or mini-cribs.
Space savers: Children short on space may be interested in mobile or mini-crib possibilities, both of which take up less space than full-size cribs. Some fold or collapse for storage; a few have wheels so they may be rolled around the house.
Babies often spend more time at the crib than anywhere else, so while comfort is important, security is essential. Since most kids sleep in a crib until it's time to move into a real bed -- typically between the ages of 3 and 2 -- you'll need a sturdy one.
Most new cribs 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 assembled and structurally sound; the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission reports many instances in which cribs have come apart. If this happens, a baby's head can get trapped in the areas between the mattress and side rail.
Safe sleep recommendations: Get tips about crib bedding and sleep posture to lower your baby's risk of SIDS.
Mattresses: The two most frequent types sold are innerspring and foam and the two are available in thicknesses between 3 and 6 inches. To get a foam mattress, even more important than depth, however, is high density; weight may be a good indicator -- a heavier mattress is denser than one that is the exact same size but lighter. (See our purchasing guide for more information on purchasing crib mattresses.)
Full-sized Automobiles, such as convertibles, range from $110 to $800. Portable and mini-cribs cost between $100 and $400. Fancier cribs can run $800 to $1,000 or much more.
Versatility: a lot of Automobiles are designed to convert to a toddler bed, day bed, or even the headboard and footboard for a full size bed. Make certain that the crib makeover is comparatively easy to perform (check online reviews from parents) and that you like the appearance of the brand new furniture.
Adjustable mattress heightthe majority of cribs allow you to alter the height of the crib mattress simply by raising or lowering the mattress support. The opportunity to lower the mattress is if 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.
When establishing a crib, select a place away from windows, window blinds, and draperies. Babies 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 baby monitor, keep it at least 3 feet from the crib.
Frame size: The crib interior should snugly accommodate a standard crib mattress -- at least 51 3/4 inches by 27 3/8 inches wide. Ensure that there is no space between the sides of the mattress and the crib walls. This poses a considerable danger, as infants can get trapped inside that area.
Stability: Give the crib a good shake at the shop or after you put it together in your home. If it wobbles or rattles, it might have been placed together improperly.
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 to infants. If the drop side comes or dries loose, a baby can become entrapped and strangle or suffocate from the distance between the drop side along with the crib mattress. Their sale was banned since 2011.