Cribs with drop sides: The rule is simple -- don't use them. The movable railings called drop sides were common on toddlers for a long time, but might pose a severe hazard for babies. If the drop side comes or dries loose, then a baby can become entrapped and strangle or suffocate from the space between the fall side along with the crib mattress. Their sale was banned since 2011.
Old Automobiles: Cribs made before 1974, when federal crib-safety criteria went into effect, are more likely than newer versions to have safety issues. Secondhand cribs might also have splinters, lead paint, discontinued (and possibly dangerous) features, or slats which are too far apart. Posts on a crib should no greater than 1/16 of an inch (unless they are over 16 inches high to support a canopy); otherwise, clothing can catch them on and injure or choke an infant. Even models fabricated as recently as 1991 could be dangerous, so if you're borrowing a crib or purchasing a used one, keep an eye out for these risks as well as for sharp edges, protruding metal, anything which may be broken off and choked onpeeling paint, and cutouts across the rail that can trap your baby's arm or neck. Check the item recalls by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission to make sure it hasn't been recalled.
Full-sized Automobiles, including convertibles, range from $110 to $800. Portable and mini-cribs cost between $100 and $400.
Space savers: Children short on space could possibly be interested in mobile or mini-crib options, both of which take up less space compared to full-size Automobiles. Some fold or collapse for storage; some have wheels so that they may be wrapped around the home.
Many moms like to have the crib set up a few weeks before their due date. But do not worry if the baby arrives before your infant does; tots do fine in a bassinet, cradle, or sleeper for the first several weeks or even months of their lives.
Stability: Give the crib a good shake in the store or after you put it together at home. If it wobbles or rattles, it may have been put together improperly. (Although wobbling or rattling could also be a sign that you need to start looking for a sturdier crib.)
When setting up a crib, select a place away from windows, window blinds, and draperies. Infants can strangle on the cords, and mature babies could possibly pull up themselves and drop through the window. When there's a cable in your infant monitor, keep it at least three feet in the crib.
Frame size: The crib inside ought to snugly accommodate a standard crib mattress -- at least 51 3/4 inches by 27 3/8 inches wide. Ensure that there is not any space between the surfaces of the mattress and the crib walls. This poses a considerable danger, as babies can get trapped in that area.
Make certain the crib makeover is relatively easy to do (check online reviews from parents) and that you enjoy the look of the new furniture.
Bumpers: Crib bumpers -- cushioned cushioning that attaches to the inside railings of the crib -- are occasionally still included in crib bedding collections, but a number of associations, including the AAP, today dissuade them as a SIDS hazard for babies.
Safe sleep recommendations: Get tips about infant bedding and sleep position to lower your baby's risk of SIDS.
Adjustable mattress height: Most cribs allow you to alter the elevation of the crib mattress by simply raising or lowering the mattress support. The opportunity to lower the mattress is when your child begins sitting up. As children get more active and move to pulling up and standing, they could climb and fall out of the crib.
Security limits: Crib manufacturers recommend discontinuing use (or turning into the product's next phase ( 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.
Most new cribs available on the market comply with the mandatory and voluntary safety standards. Read crib safety tips from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). For starters, be sure that yours is correctly assembled and structurally sound; the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission reports many cases where cribs have come apart. If it occurs, a baby's head can get trapped in the spaces between the mattress and side rail.
Babies often spend more time in the crib than anywhere else, so while relaxation is important, security is essential. Since most kids sleep in a crib till it's time to move into a real bed -- normally between the ages of 3 and 2 -- you'll need a hardy one.
For a foam mattress, even more significant than depth, though, is high density; weight may be a good indicator -- a heftier mattress is thicker than one that is the same size but lighter. (See our purchasing guide to learn more on buying crib mattress.)