Your baby is the most precious and fragile person in the household. Because they sleep a lot in the first year of life, it’s critical to have a crib that strictly meets current safety guidelines.
Safety rules seem to change every year so it’s up to you to truly evaluate a crib for your baby’s safety. From proper construction to stability, consider all the small and large crib parts before purchasing a model.
Crib Selection 101
Avoid Buying Used Drop-Side Rail Models
One of the best cribs in the past was the drop-side rail types. With the push of a foot and a quick lift of the hands, you had instant access to your baby.
However, these cribs were soon red-labeled because of their tendency to strangle or suffocate a baby. If you come across a drop-side rail crib, move on to the newer model. Retailers shouldn’t carry these cribs anymore, but a garage sale might offer one periodically.
Give it a Shake
Even if you purchased the best crib mattress, its safety is a moot point if the crib itself is too unstable. Before purchasing a crib, give the display model a generous shake. Properly designed and constructed cribs hold firm with the strongest shaking.
The best baby cribs have strong hardware, from the nuts to the brackets. Take a look at the mattress support as well. Wood slats should have a strong attachment to the crib’s frame.
Keep the Recall List Handy
Several times a year, the government releases information about recalled cribs. Go online to see current recalls before heading out to the stores. Even the simplest defects, such as peeling paint, make a huge difference for your baby.
Paint chipping off crib wood could be ingested by the baby, for example. Print out the list when you go shopping to find alternative selections. Although you’d receive your money back if a recalled item was purchased, you don’t want to take any chances with your baby’s health.
Crib and Mattress are Matched Pairs
Although the best crib mattress is advertised to work universally with any crib, it’s critical that your combination is perfectly matched. Purchase the mattress and crib as a one-piece set. The display model is a perfect test area for a proper fit.
Simply slide two fingers into the crack between the mattress and crib. If it feels snug, you have a good match. Larger crevices are dangerous for your baby.
Ample Height Adjustments
You may want a simple crib model, but make it a point to select one with many adjustable heights. At the very minimum, there should be three heights. These flexible adjustments keep your baby safe as they grow larger.
For example, use the tall height when the baby is a newborn. Move the mattress lower when the baby can pull themselves up and climb.
Improper heights give the child a chance to climb out of the crib where they easily hurt themselves. Such highly-rated mattresses as DaVinci Kalani 4-in-1 convertible crib and Delta Children Canton convertible crib are good starting point for anyone doing their crib reviews for the first time.
Slat Spacing Consideration
The slats on the crib walls need particular spacing to avoid trapping heads, arms and legs. In general, spacing cannot be more than 2-3/8-inches wide. Take a ruler with you to shop for the right crib. The slates should be strong and smooth as well.
You may have found the best baby cribs, but always inspect the product before placing your baby in it. Even the best crib mattress can be a hazard in an improperly sized crib.
Don’t settle for the crib with a deep discount until it passes all your safety considerations. The crib can offer a life and death situation for your baby if even one design detail is off.