Buying a Crib – Making an Informed Choice

A good baby crib and mattress is one of our newborn baby essentials. When Purchasing a baby crib, there are so many options out there available to you. In order to find and buy a crib that is safe and reliable for your baby, you need to set your budget on how much you can spend, and decide what features you would like your crib to have within that price range. To help you on your journey of finding a crib, here is some information to take into consideration before you buy. Buying a Crib - Making an Informed Choice

Safety Standards For Baby Cribs

Most cribs that you can purchase have to meet the government safety requirements but on occasion, some faulty ones slip through. These generally result in a recall so keep your eyes peeled for any flaws that you may notice with your crib. If possible, it also makes sense to register your crib. This will let the manufacturer know about your purchase so that they can alert you of any problems or recalls. To keep your crib safe for your baby, be sure to follow the assembly instructions exactly. Furthermore, if your crib doesn’t already come with a mattress, make sure the one you purchase fits firmly and snugly within the crib. Ideally, you don’t want any gaps between the mattress and any of the sides of the crib. Also, make sure the crib has no cut outs in the head and foot boards. As for the slats (prison bars) on your crib, make sure there are no missing or broken pieces on it, and check to make sure that the slats are no more than 2 3/8″ (6 cm) apart, which is about the size of a can of coke. Finally, check the finish of the crib by running your hand over the surface to check for any sharp areas that may need sanding down.

Side Options

When purchasing a crib, you have an option of getting one that has single or double drop sides that slide down. There are also others that have stationary sides or even a few with a dropping gate instead of collapsing sides. Drop down sides are very convenient and tend to make it easiest to get your baby in and out of the crib. While this does make it convenient, it also adds a moving part which is something you’ll have to be diligent with to make sure you always keep the sides firmly in place. It is recommended that you use a stationary crib if you anticipate any problems with ensuring the sides of your crib are always secure..

Drop Down Side Crib – Options

Due to the convenience of being able to lift and set down your baby easier, some families choose to use drop side cribs. If you choose a crib that has drop down sides, there are many different types that are available to you. For example, some offer a knee push mechanism for dropping the side, which allows you to open the crib simply by Pushing your knee against the side. These conveniences are usually super quiet (as not to wake baby up) and very simple to use. Another type that is less common, is the Foot Bar. With the foot bar, as the name implies, you put your foot on the lever and the crib side will drop. This is often less convenient, as it’s easier to drop items onto the floor and have them accidentally trigger the side drop. Another alternative is the double trigger mechanism which tends to be more complicated, and requires both hands to drop down the side. This is obviously hard to do when trying to hold the baby or trying to put them in their crib without waking them. The benefit of the double trigger is it requires both triggers to be pressed simultaneously to drop the side, which makes it almost impossible for an accidental drop.

Wheels – Yay or Nay?

Some cribs have wheels and some don’t. It’s really up to you whether or not moving the crib around will be necessary. If you purchase a crib with no wheels, you can usually purchase wheels separately at any hardware store and self-install if required. Buying a Crib - Making an Informed Choice

Mattress Height and Support

Adjustable height and support of the mattress usually comes with most cribs, but there are a few that do not have this feature. Be sure to check before you buy. What this feature does is it allows you to have the mattress up higher for when your baby is newborn, and lower later as your child grows so they cannot climb out. Some cribs also have methods for supporting your baby such as vinyl straps, but if you use these be sure to check them frequently as an active child can cause they to break. Some cribs also have metal bars along the bottom while others have a metal spring support system, similar to the box spring on your bed. If you have the option, the box spring is much more comfortable.

Convertible Cribs

Convertible cribs are also something to take into consideration before you buy. They tend to cost more than regular cribs, but they can be turned into toddler beds or into an adult sized bed once your child is too old for the crib. This can save you a ton of money in the long run as you wont have to worry about purchasing a bed when your child outgrows their crib. The Graco Sarah 4-in-1 is an example of a convertible crib which has both adjustable mattress height as well as it converts into a bed when your child is old enough.
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May 22, 2011

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