Versatility: Many cribs are intended to convert into a toddler bed, day bed, or even the headboard and footboard for a full-size bed. Be certain the crib makeover is relatively easy to perform (check online reviews from parents) and that you enjoy the appearance of the new furniture.
Safe sleep hints: Get advice about crib bedding and sleep position to reduce your baby's risk of SIDS.
Safety limits: Crib manufacturers recommend discontinuing use (or converting to the product's next stage( for convertible cribs) when your child reaches a particular height, weight, or developmental stage. Height/weight limits are usually much lower on portable or mini-cribs.
Babies often spend more time at the crib than anyplace else, so while relaxation is important, security is essential. As most kids sleep in a crib till it's time to move to a real bed -- typically between the ages of 2 and 3 -- you'll need a sturdy one.
Stability: Give the crib a fantastic shake in the store or once you put it together at home. If it wobbles or rattles, it might have been placed together improperly.
Space savers: Parents short on distance may be interested in mobile or mini-crib possibilities, both of which take up less space than full-size Automobiles. Some fold or collapse for storage; some have wheels so they may be wrapped around the house.
Cribs with drop sides: The rule is simple -- don't use them. The movable railings called drop sides were common on cribs for a long time, but might pose a serious hazard to infants. If the drop side comes or dries loose, a baby can become entrapped and strangle or suffocate from the space between the fall side along with the crib mattress. Their sale has been banned because 2011.
Bumpers: Crib bumpers -- cushioned cushioning that attaches to the interior railings of the crib -- are occasionally still contained in crib bedding collections, but quite a few organizations, including the AAP, today dissuade them as a SIDS hazard for babies.
Frame size: The crib interior should snugly accommodate 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 significant danger, as infants can get trapped in that area.
Adjustable mattress heightthe majority of Automobiles let you change the height of the crib mattress simply by 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 proceed to pulling up and standing, they can climb and drop from the crib.
Mattresses: The two most frequent types sold are innerspring and foam and both are available in thicknesses between 3 and 6 inches. To get a foam mattress, even more important than thickness, though, is high density; weight may be a good indication -- a heavier mattress is denser than one that's the exact same size but lighter. (See our buying guide for more information on buying crib mattress.)
Full-sized cribs, such as convertibles, range from $110 to $800. Fancier Automobiles can run $800 to $1,000 or a lot more.
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, make sure yours is properly constructed and structurally sound; the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission reports many instances where Automobiles have come apart. If it occurs, a baby's head can get trapped in the spaces between the mattress and side rail.
When establishing a crib, choose a spot away from windows, window blinds, and draperies. Babies can strangle on the cords, and mature babies could possibly pull themselves up and fall through the window. If there's a cable in your infant monitor, keep it at least 3 feet in the crib.
Old cribs: Cribs made before 1974, when federal crib-safety criteria went into effect, are somewhat more likely than newer models to have security issues. Secondhand cribs might also have splinters, lead paint, discontinued (and possibly dangerous) features, or slats that are too far apart. Posts on a crib shouldn't higher than 1/16 of an inch (unless they are over 16 inches high 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're borrowing a crib or buying 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 spilled onpeeling paint, and cutouts along the rail that can trap your baby's neck or arm. Check the item recalls from 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 months before their due date. But don't worry if the baby arrives before your crib does; tots do good in a bassinet, cradle, or sleeper for your first few weeks or perhaps months of their lives.