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Home > Parenting Information > Buying Guides > Baby Cribs

 

Choosing a Baby Crib

 

The crib you choose for your baby is one of the more important furniture buying choices you will have to make.  With your baby sleeping in a crib until it’s time to move on to a full sized bed around the age of 2 or 3, you should take your time in choosing a crib.  Be sure that you are satisfied with the safety features, style, finish and quality.

Types of Baby Cribs:

  • Standard: There are two types of standard cribs.
    1)  Cribs with a single drop side (One side drops).
    2)  Cribs with double drop sides (Both sides drop). <Usually more expensive.

  • Convertible: Convertible cribs convert from a standard crib to a toddler bed and then to a day or full sized bed.  Although convertible cribs can be more expensive, it will save you from having to buy a full sized bed when your child outgrows the crib.

  • Canopy: Canopy cribs have four posts on the corners of the bed, which hold up a metal frame on which you can place fabric canopies.  This type of crib can give your nursery room a more elegant and classic look.

  • Round: Round cribs are becoming a popular option for new parents. These cribs usually have a single drop side.

Features to look for when buying:

  • Safety:
    1)  Distances between crib slats are no more that 2 3/8 inches.
    2)  Dropsides when lowered are at least 9 inches above the mattress support.
    3)  When dropsides are raised, they are at least 26 inches above the mattress support.
    4)  Crib mattress fits snugly with no more than two fingers width between crib side and mattress.
    5)  Secure dropside locking mechanism.
    6)  No loose or peeling paint, rough corners, edges or splinters.

  • Mattress support: Sturdy mattress supports that connect to the crib sides securely.  Keep in mind metal mattress supports will support a jumping toddler more than wood mattress supports.

  • Adjustable mattress height: You will be able to lower the mattress as your child grows.

  • Rolling Casters with some kind of wheel lock.  Convenient feature when changing sheets.

  • Teething rail that covers the tops of the railings, which prevents your toddler from chewing on wood.

Optional products for cribs:

  • Attachable toys that tie to the railings and musical mobiles that attach to the crib rail both provide entertainment, stimulation and help develop coordination.

  • Sleep positioners position your baby on his or her back or side.

  • Teething rails made of plastic can be attached to the rails, which prevent your child from chewing on the wood.

What to avoid:

It is best to avoid second hand and old cribs, especially cribs made before 1973.  Cribs made before this time may contain lead paint, have splinters, have slats that are to far apart and many other dangers.  Cribs that were manufactured even as recently as 1990 can have safety problems.  If you are thinking of using or buying a second hand crib, make sure it has not been recalled.

Has my crib been recalled?

Check these sources to look for crib recalls:

Consumer Reports - http://www.consumerreports.org/main/home.jsp

Consumer Product Safety Commission - http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prerel.html

As a final Note

Always send in your product registration card.  This is how you will be notified in case of a recall.

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