Eight Things to Consider When Buying a Crib

From the wheels to the mattress, here's what you should be looking for in your baby's first crib. 

If you are a first-time parent, you should know that it is considered very unsafe to make your baby sleep on an adult bed. There are a number of reasons why this could be dangerous. For instance, your baby can easily fall off the bed, get entangled in the pillows or sheets, or you can unintentionally roll over your baby during sleep.

The safest place for your baby to sleep in is a crib! While there are many other options like bassinets, cradle baskets, or bedside sleepers, cribs are considered the safest because they are mostly regulated by infant safety standards.

Since your little one is going to spend a lot of her time in a crib for at least 2-3 years, you should consider it an investment and purchase only the best one. But how would know which crib is the best for your infant? Don’t worry, because we know exactly what makes a crib strong and safe. Here are 8 things to look for in a safe, reliable, and sturdy crib!

1. Safety

The number one factor to consider before buying a crib from any manufacturer is checking safety standards. You should check the safety standards regarding crib manufacturing in your country, so you know what to look for when you go crib shopping.

In the United States, baby cribs manufactured after the year 2011 are required to meet the basic criteria of Consumer Product Safety Commission standard. The requirements state that all baby cribs must have a label that shows the manufacturing date, so the customers can check.

Parents should not buy baby cribs without checking the manufacturing date. It's proof that the crib is manufactured in accordance with all new safety standards.

2. Fitted Mattress

If your retailer is also selling a mattress with the crib, make sure it's a perfect size—meaning it should be firmly fitted inside the crib. Before buying the crib, see if you are able to slip your two fingers inside the space between the mattress and the crib wall. If yes, you need to buy a new mattress. If not, you are good to go. The mattress should also be dense, so it doesn't easily sag due to water damage or the baby's weight.

Additionally, don't use throw pillows, additional mattresses, or pads inside the crib. Only use the mattress that is the right size and comes with the crib.

4. Crib Slats or Bars

The mesh-like grills you see around the crib shouldn’t be too apart. Standards suggest that the maximum gap between the bars should be 2 3/8 inches wide.

As your baby grows, she will try to roll over or stand up with the help of crib bars. If the bars are too wide apart, babies can easily slip through the gap, and you don’t want that.

Therefore before buying a crib, carefully check the gap between surrounding slates or bars. Experts suggest you try fitting a soda can through the gap. If it’s easily going in and out, the slates are too wide apart and the crib is unsafe.

5. Adjustable Mattress

There are many manufacturers who sell cribs with adjustable mattresses. These mattresses are designed to adjust the crib as per your baby’s growth.

It is not uncommon for babies to outgrow the crib as soon as they become 2 years old. An adjustable mattress will allow you to lower the base, so the crib height could be adjusted. Also, check the length of the crib's rail. It should not be more than twenty-six inches above the mattress level. You can keep lowering the mattress periodically as your child grows in height.

6. Headboard and Corners

Knock the headboard with your knuckles to check its solidity and firmness. The headboard should be solid and firm to easily support your child, and should not have any decorative objects or cuttings that your child could choke on.

Moreover, check if the crib has any pointy corners, embellishments, or edges that could cause an injury. Most newly manufactured cribs can come with pointy edges, and it’s a big no-no, especially if you have a toddler who loves to stand up taking the rail’s support.

7. Paint and Screws

Carefully check if your chosen crib has any nails or screws sticking out, and get it fixed before making a purchase.

 Another big consideration is the paint. If it's a newly painted crib, the smell from the toxins can be harmful to your little one. Also, make sure the paint isn't peeling off from any corner. Your child can easily swallow the paint, and it will be a problem.  It will be best if you purchase a crib with organic paint that is toxin and odor-free.

8. Sturdiness

The crib you are purchasing should be sturdy—meaning it shouldn't wobble, slip, or slide. You can check its sturdiness by giving it a little shake. If the crib is wobbling, there is definitely something wrong with its installation, and it's highly unsafe.

Additionally, you should see if the wheels on the crib properly lock. Wheels usually slip on the tile and wood flooring. If the wheels on your baby’s crib do not properly lock, it can easily slip or slide, which you definitely do not want.

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