Everything You Need To Know Before Buying a Crib

cribBabies and young children need their own place to sleep.  It is very unsafe for a baby to be in the same bed with a sleeping adult.  Accidents have occurred where an adult fell asleep, rolled onto the baby and the baby suffocated.  When you have a very young baby he or she will probably fit comfortably in a bassinet.  As the baby grows you will most likely want to provide a crib for the baby.

There are many different styles of crib on the market with many different finishes.  Choose one that fits your décor.  In addition to the basic crib some style cribs can convert later to a toddler bed, a daybed, and finally a full size bed.  Other cribs may come with a drawer in the bottom or a changing table on the side.

Over recent years safety standards for cribs have been upgraded.  If  you plan to use an older crib it is not recommended that you use a crib more than 10 years old.  Cribs with drop sides may no longer be manufactured or sold and probably should not be used.  If you do plan to reuse an older crib with the drop side be very sure the release mechanisms are safe.  Slats have also been strengthened in recent years.  The slats on a crib must be no more than 2 3/8 inches apart to prevent the baby getting his head, arms or legs caught between them.  Be sure the crib has no splinters and the hardware has no rough edges .

Crib mattresses now are a standard size of  27 ¼ by 51 5/8 inches so they will fit snugly into the crib.    Previously some smaller mattresses allowed space for the baby to get caught between the mattress and the crib and strangle or suffocate.  You do not want a gap between the crib and mattress of more than the space of two fingers.  Crib mattresses may be either innerspring or form mattresses.  Most cribs allow you to adjust the height of the mattress.  As the child grows and starts sitting up and pulling up you will want to lower the mattress so he or she cannot climb out of their crib.

Check the crib to see if there are stabilizing bars under the spring.  There should be one, two is even better.

Corner posts over 1/16 inches high pose a danger for the child who may get his clothing caught if he is trying to experiment walking around his crib.

Crib bumpers pose a danger to the child and are not recommended for use.  A pillow in the crib is also not recommended.  Do not place your crib close to  anything with cords such as a baby monitor, window blinds or cords on curtains as the baby could strangle on the cords.

Baby cribs are available in department stores, baby stores, super centers and on line.  Check out the various types available in many price ranges.