The baby’s crib is the centerpiece of the nursery. However, with the many choices available, choosing a crib can be challenging and overwhelming. Many parents match the crib and its bedding to the room’s theme or colors. Aside from appearance, comfort, sturdiness and safety are essential when choosing a crib. Following are some factors to take into consideration:
Safety: To make sure the crib of your choice is safe, check for certification from the Juvenile Products Manufacturing Association, which indicates that it passed the test for safety and quality. Additionally, you can check online for juvenile product recall lists to make sure your crib is not being recalled. Some safety features to look for include crib slats that are no more than 2 3/8 inches apart and corner posts that are no higher than 1/16 of an inch.
Mattress: The comfort of a crib greatly depends on the mattress. An innerspring mattress is durable, but expensive. A cheaper alternative is a foam mattress. The mattress must be firm and quickly regain its shape when indented. The mattress must fit the crib to a tee – if you can insert two fingers between the mattress and the side of the crib, you need a larger mattress. Avoid soft mattresses or used mattresses, because these increase the risk of SIDS.
Size: If you have a large nursery, your options are endless. You can place an oval or round crib in the room or choose an opulent standard or convertible crib. If you have minimal space, a mini crib can be ideal. Mini cribs provide as much comfort as standard-size cribs, but they take up less space. The mini crib can even be used when your baby becomes a toddler. Some mini cribs convert to a twin-size bed.
Budget: Having a baby is not cheap and some people may not want to invest a large amount of money in a crib. Many stores, such as Baby’s R Us and Walmart offer cheap alternatives starting at as little as $99. A convertible crib that can be turned into a full-size bed, or a 3-in-1 crib that doubles as a play-pen and changing station, can be economical solutions. Buying a used crib at garage sales is not recommended by the Consumer Product Safety Commission — over time the hardware may start failing and current safety standards may not be met.
Features: Cribs can come with numerous features. You may want a portable crib with lockable wheels, so you can easily transport the crib from one room to another. Most cribs also have an adjustable mattress board that allows you to change the height of the mattress. Another feature is a storage drawer at the bottom of the crib. The drawer makes it easy to get to your baby essentials when needed.