What to Look for When Buying a Safe Crib

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If you’ve just had a baby or are expecting, you’re probably looking for information on the latest in crib safety standards. Because babies spend so much of their time sleeping, it’s imperative that the place they rest be safe. A crib will most likely be a child’s only bed until the age of 2 or 3, so it should also be sturdy. Most new cribs on the market comply with mandatory safety standards, but when purchasing a crib, there are some key aspects you’ll want to examine to ensure baby crib safety.

What to look for:

  • Slat width – The slats on a crib should not be more than 2 3/8 inches apart. They must be close enough together to prevent your baby’s head from slipping through.
  • Corner posts – Clothing can catch on corner posts higher than 1/16 of an inch, possibly injuring an infant.
  • Mattress density – Look for foam mattresses with a density of about 1.5 pounds per cubic foot. Soft mattresses may be a factor in SIDS.
  • Frame size – A standard crib mattress should fit inside the crib quite snugly. If you can fit more than two fingers between the mattress and the edge of the crib, look for a tighter fit.
  • Adjustable mattress height – Crib safety should include toddlers, too. Look for a crib that adjusts to accommodate growth.
  • Stability – Don’t buy a crib that wobbles or rattles or is on wheels. A good crib will be solid, sturdy and stationary.

Beware of:

  • Used cribs – Older models are likely to have crib safety issues and may also have splinters, lead paint, or damaged hardware.
  • Drop sides – Though not common on new models, some used cribs may have drop sides. Don’t purchase them. The movable railings can detach, trapping infants. They’re also notorious for smashing fingers.
  • Bumpers – Use of this interior crib padding, still sold with many crib bedding sets, is now discouraged by the American Academy of Pediatrics as a SIDS risk.
  • Decorations – Cutout designs on the rails look nice, but they can trap your baby’s head, arm or foot.
  • Recalls – Always check that any crib you’re considering, whether new or used, does not have a recall notice.

    Knowing you’ve provided the latest in crib safety standards means you and your infant can both sleep soundly.

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