Perhaps the most important piece of furniture in your baby’s nursery is the crib. It is the place where your baby feels safe and comfortable. It is where baby will begin his or her day and where he/she will end the day and begin a good night’s rest. As your baby grows he/she will spend quality time there exploring their world. So, how do you choose a crib that is right for your baby? Certainly, you must consider your baby’s safety first. Then you must determine which type of crib is best for your baby. Cribs today must meet all safety standards set forth by the CPSC. So, you can buy a crib expecting it to meet these safety standards. However, if are inheriting an older crib you should check to make sure that this crib meets the safety requirements.
Bars should be spaced no more than 2 3/8 inches apart.
The crib mattress should be very firm should fit snugly, with no space between it and the crib walls.
The top of the crib rail should be at least 26 inches from the top of the mattress. You should be able to lower the mattress as the baby grows.
The headboards and footboards should be solid without corner posts that can cause injury to your baby.
Make sure that your crib does not have drop rails as these have been outlawed since 2011.
Your choice of crib depends on your nursery space, lifestyle and how long you will use the crib. And, of course you must consider the cost of the crib which could cost anywhere from $100.00 to $5,000.00.
There are basically three types of cribs:
Standard Cribs: are traditional cribs that are sturdy and can be a good option if you’re considering having more children within a few years.
Convertible Cribs: can take your tiny newborn all the way to teenage years. This type of crib converts from a crib to toddler bed and daybed or even full-sized bed (you will need to buy conversion kits along the way).
Mini Cribs: a mini crib is a space-saving alternative but must be upgraded as your baby grows.
Crib mattresses are sold separately from the crib and can cast anywhere between $50.0 and $400.00 depending on whether it is a foam mattress or an innerspring mattress. Innerspring mattresses are heavier and sturdier than foam mattresses and cost more than foam. Regardless of which type of mattress you purchase, ensure that the mattress fit snugly in your crib. If you can fit more than 2 fingers between your crib and the mattress, it’s too small.
If the crib is shaky when you’re done or there are any leftover pieces you’re not quite sure what to do with, you missed or botched a step somewhere. Keep trying until you have a steady crib, and use the customer service line.
Make sure your crib is low enough to the ground so that you can reach in and get baby out without trouble.
The lowering feature lets you lower the mattress as baby grows, so that she continues to be safe in the crib while keeping you from needing to reach down farther than necessary to pick her up.
Many crib brands these days are focused on making sure baby can rest easy – by creating safe, eco-friendly products. Look for sustainable wood, non-toxic paints or finishes, and organic fabrics or covers for your mattress. All fabrics used in your baby’s room (for example, sleepwear, sheets, curtains) should be flame retardant.
The only bedding baby needs is a waterproof pad and a soft, tightly fitted bottom sheet. Knit cotton, flannel and high-count woven cotton are good options for fabric. Make sure whatever you get is machine-washable, and buy a few extra of each so that you aren’t doing laundry every time baby spits up. Wash the bedding before you first use it to remove any potential skin-irritating chemicals left over from the manufacturing process. After that, wash weekly or whenever baby spits up, pees or otherwise soils the bedding. Use a mild, unscented detergent. Unless baby is especially sensitive, you don’t need specialty baby soap.
You may also consider installing a teething guard on the top rails of the crib since some babies can chew on the top rails.
Crib bumpers (or bumper pads) may seem as though they can help protect babies from drafts and bumps, but they should not be used in cribs. There is no evidence that bumper pads can prevent serious injuries, and they pose a risk of suffocation, strangulation, or entrapment.
Keep large toys and stuffed animals out of the crib, as your baby may use them to get a leg up and over the rail. Pillows, bulky comforters, and heavy blankets do not belong in a crib; a baby can smother under them.
Place the crib away from windows, where direct sunlight and drafts can make your baby uncomfortable. Also make sure that there are no strings from blinds or curtains close by that can wrap around the baby’s neck.
Once your child is about 3 feet tall, he should start sleeping in a bed. If you are worried about him falling out of bed, you may want to start with the mattress on the floor.
Babies do not need extra support, such as from rolled blankets or commercial devices, to keep them on their backs. Cumbersome materials like these clutter up the crib and may be hazardous for a baby.
Make sure baby’s room is well-ventilated, adding a fan to the space if necessary. Evidence shows this helps prevent SIDS.
Babies should always be put to bed on their backs—this is the safest position for SIDS prevention.
Keep the nursery cool, this promotes better respiratory stimulation in baby. The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests keeping the room between 65 and 70 degrees.
Congratulations on your new ‘bundle of joy’!
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