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Our Guide On The Best Baby Cribs That Fits Your Baby’s Needs
With many options and styles available today, selecting the ideal baby crib for your infant can be difficult. However, you may start looking for the perfect crib once you’ve determined your price range and chosen essential crib features.
To assist you, we have created the ultimate crib buying guide, which includes information on crib safety features, styles, and designs.
Any new crib you buy is obliged to fulfill basic regulatory standards. As a result, it’s always a good idea to become acquainted with the most current crib safety requirements before you go shopping.
However, if you follow the manufacturer’s recommendations and use your crib appropriately, even the most inexpensive crib should be safe for your infant. However, an unsafe crib may slip through the cracks from time to time, so keep a watch on current baby product recalls just in case.
Safety Features of Cribs
The following are the requirements for a safe crib:
- A mattress that is firm and fits snugly
- There is no missing or broken hardware or slats.
- There are no cutouts in the head- or footboards.
- Slats spaced no more than 2 3/8 inches apart
- Corner posts should be no more than 1/16 inch high.
- Stationary sides
Baby cribs have traditionally had stationary sides, single-drop or double-drop sides that slide down, or drop-gate sides that fold down. While many parents find drop sides convenient, they pose severe safety concerns and have been banned in the United States.
According to crib safety requirements, manufacturers are not permitted to produce new drop-side cribs, and they are unlawful to sell or donate. Therefore, replace any drop-side cribs you own with stationary side cribs, and never buy or accept a drop-side crib as a gift.
When it comes to your baby’s crib’s safety, you should use a firm mattress that fits tightly in your baby’s crib. Fortunately, full-size crib and mattress measurements have been standardized. As a result, if you buy a full-size crib and mattress separately, the mattress should fit snuggly in the crib.
Regrettably, this restriction does not apply to non-full-size cribs, portable cribs, or mattresses. So, if you buy a non-full-size crib, it should come with a mattress and not have to be purchased separately.
Regardless of the size of the crib, you should only use a crib mattress, either the one that came with the crib or purchased separately. You should not utilize another type of mattress in your crib, even if it fits. You should also avoid using a foam topper or an out-of-the-ordinary mattress topper or sheet.
Be cautious with used cribs. According to new research on drop-side cribs, re-assembly is frequently done incorrectly, which can jeopardize the baby. Missing or worn-out hardware is another potential issue.
Several crib manufacturers have gone out of business recently, leaving you with an old, recalled crib and no one to accept it back. So, when looking for used cribs, proceed with caution.
Safe Sleep Environment
Every year, around 3,500 babies die unexpectedly while sleeping, with the majority of these deaths caused by SIDS, suffocation, or strangling.
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, creating a comfortable and, most importantly, safe sleeping environment for your baby is crucial in preventing these tragedies.
To create a safe sleep environment, ensure your baby’s crib mattress is firm, make them sleep on their back, and avoid having any crib clutter, such as blankets, toys, and books. Crib bumpers are also discouraged since they might cause suffocation or strangulation.
You should also consider room-sharing or putting your baby’s crib in your room, ideally for the first year but at the very least for the first six months.
The AAP advises parents against sharing a bed with their baby and allowing babies to sleep on soft surfaces such as couches or waterbeds.
Baby Crib Designs
Because your baby’s crib is the focal point of the nursery, picking the perfect style and color might be difficult at first, especially with so many alternatives to choose from. Fortunately, various safe and appealing crib alternatives are available at practically every price point.
You can refine your search once you’ve determined your budget. Here’s a deeper look at the possible possibilities.
You should search for a regular crib for a basic full-size crib without many bells and whistles. Standard cribs are the most basic and typically least expensive crib choice available. Some conventional cribs may be purchased for as cheap as $100.
There are more expensive models available, but if your budget is limited, you may choose to consider ordinary cribs.
Some parents prefer normal cribs over convertible cribs or specially built cribs because they appreciate having furniture tailored to the baby’s needs.
In addition, in some cases, they intend to have numerous children and expect to reuse the crib for the subsequent child. As a result, a regular crib is the most cost-effective option.
The convertible crib is one of the most popular cribs on the market. Many purchasers like convertible cribs because they may be converted into toddler or full-size adult beds. Cribs designated 2-in-1 provide two functions, while that labeled 3-in-1 serve three.
For example, a 3-in-1 crib may begin as a crib with the option of converting to a toddler bed and then to an adult bed later on. While some parents like the option of converting their child’s crib into a bed as they grow, the extra cost may not be worth it for others.
Furthermore, they will need to acquire a second crib for their next child if they plan on having additional children.
Most convertible cribs require an additional kit to be fully convertible, so inquire about the cost before making your final choice.
Also, consider if you will convert the crib or reuse the crib for siblings and purchase a separate toddler bed. Many toddlers may transition directly to a twin bed, so you might skip that step to save money.
Mini or Portable
Some parents prefer a tiny crib or portable crib during their baby’s first few months, especially if it has a bassinet option.
Other parents keep tiny or portable cribs just for traveling or allowing their infant to slumber in the same room as them. Even twin parents have discovered that tiny or portable cribs are a wonderful alternative because they take up less space and are less expensive.
Because micro cribs or portable cribs are smaller than usual, they must be purchased with a mattress made explicitly for that crib. In truth, the mattress is frequently provided. You should also ensure that you are utilizing sheets adequately made for the model of the crib you purchase.
Some parents dislike portable cribs because the baby’s mattress is so close to the floor, which might be drafty or cooler in the winter. Furthermore, moving a sleeping newborn into a portable cot can be more challenging without awakening them.
Because of their sleek and appealing form, sleigh-style cribs are becoming increasingly popular. They are, however, more pricey. Because headboards and footboards are frequently built of solid wood rather than slats, the price can rise.
Furthermore, some sleigh cribs are also convertible cribs, which might raise prices slightly. But on the other hand, Sleigh cribs are an appealing alternative that may provide a charming touch to a nursery.
If you’re considering a round crib, it’s most likely because you enjoy the aesthetic of this form of the crib. However, remember that this sort of cot might take up a lot of room in your nursery and can be difficult to outfit with appropriate-fitting crib bedding.
Because these sheets are not standard sizes and are custom-made, they can be more expensive or harder to find. You should also make sure that you are purchasing crib linens that are intended for your crib. Using anything else may result in a loose fit, posing a suffocation or strangulation risk for your infant.
Some parents may have their hearts set on an antique crib, but the AAP warns that these antiques may not be a safe choice for their infant. In fact, the AAP advises against using a crib constructed before 2011. 5
These older cribs may include decorative cutouts that place your baby at risk of injury and slats that are likely too far apart. There is also the possibility that an antique cot has lead paint or is of such a distinctive size that it will be challenging to fit with a snug-fitting baby mattress and crib covers.
When it comes to choosing a crib for your child, there are several factors to consider before making your final decision. These qualities will assist you in narrowing down your options and eventually deciding which crib is best for your growing family.
Finishing and Materials
Historically, hardwoods were used to make cribs because they are robust and easy to paint or stain. However, cribs can now be built from almost any type of wood. The most commonly used timbers for cribs are ash, beech, birch, cherry, mahogany, maple, and oak.
There is even a trend toward creating cribs out of pine, but keep in mind that this wood is quite fragile and readily knicks. Cribs are also available in a selection of paint and stain colors. Just remember that just because something has a cherry finish does not mean it is made of cherry wood.
Except for the most basic cribs, all include adjustable mattress height. It lets you raise the mattress in the crib to gently lay down a sleeping newborn, then lower it for babies who can pull up.
A minimum of two mattress heights is desirable, and three is even better. Next, take a look at how the mattress is held up. Crib mattress supports come in a wide range of styles. Some cribs utilize wood slats or metal bars for mattress support, while others employ a metal frame with crisscrossed wires.
Wire springs are the most durable option. Stronger criteria for mattress supports to avoid collapse are part of the revised crib safety regulations that went into effect in 2011. 4
You should read the assembly instructions before purchasing a crib. If the construction process is complicated to grasp, you may want to look for another crib or see if the merchant provides assembly assistance. Depending on the cost of these services, it may be worthwhile to invest in them.
Another thing to consider is whether the crib needs to be disassembled to be transferred. This is especially vital if you intend to keep the crib in your room for the first year of your baby’s life before moving it to another room. However, this may be a deterrent if the crib is challenging to assemble.
Wheels are an extremely useful element. Because you’ll be moving the crib to be able to vacuum under the crib, change bedding, or grab toys, make sure the casters aren’t weak. If you’re not sure if you’ll need them, keep them nearby but not in the crib.
By the time your kid is 3 or 4 months old, you’ll probably want them in the crib. However, if you happen to fall in love with a crib that lacks wheels, you may purchase furniture caster wheels from a hardware store and install them yourself.
If you’re going to use wheels, make sure they’re always locked. Only unlock them if you need to move the crib and then return them to their locked state.
Teething rails are often made of plastic and are securely affixed to the rail of your baby’s crib. However, once your infant can pull herself up, they will most likely gum or bite the rail while standing. As a result, you must verify the crib’s teething rail to ensure it is safe and firmly fastened.
Where Can I Buy a Baby Crib?
When it comes to buying a crib for your child, you can be confident that there are plenty of safe cribs available at every price point. The most difficult aspect will be ensuring that you give yourself enough time to find a crib and have it delivered and assembled.
You should have no trouble locating the appropriate cot for your infant if you plan for delays or assembly difficulties. Here are some places to look for a baby bed.
Baby Mega Stores
These stores feature the most variety of baby cribs in terms of price and style. They have a few models on hand, but others must be ordered, which can take up to 12 weeks. To avoid delays, you should place your order as soon as possible.
Local baby stores typically stock premium crib brands at mid-range to premium costs. Because they rarely carry cribs in stock, your crib will almost certainly be in a particular order. Keep that in mind when placing your order. However, your local baby store will most likely provide the most personalized service and spend more time with you to get the cot you genuinely desire.
Stores like Walmart and Target typically carry a limited number of crib types, but those cribs are frequently in stock. Therefore, these stores can be a fantastic option if you want an inexpensive crib without the trouble of ordering.
Cheap cribs look better than ever, proving that a limited budget does not have to imply sacrificing style.
These retailers may also sell cribs, which are typically priced in the low to mid-range. Most department stores, however, do not carry cribs in stock, so you will most likely have to order one. Again, make sure you leave yourself adequate time and plan for delays in case they occur.
Several internet vendors provide various crib brands and models, but shipping might be costly. Furthermore, returning the crib may be difficult if there is an issue.
Before you buy, make sure you understand the return policy and be aware of the damaged shipping might have on a crib. Some families have noticed visible shipping damage to the crib. Buying from an online merchant can be a good option if you know what to anticipate.
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A baby crib is a significant investment and commitment — it’s where your child will hopefully spend years of calm enjoyment. And, given that your kid will spend roughly half of their day in the crib, if not more, we understand how critical it is to select the right option.
Frequently Asked Questions
When should a newborn start using a crib?
Transitioning a baby to a crib is a personal preference and lifestyle question. Some newborns sleep in their cribs right away, while others may first sleep in a bassinet or play yard. Most babies will transition to a crib between the ages of 3 and 6 months.
How long should a newborn sleep in their crib?
Babies are all unique. Some children can peacefully stay in their cribs past three, while others may throw a tantrum or even climb out of their cribs by 18 months.
To remain in a big-kid bed all night, a certain level of maturity and decent sleep patterns are essential, so keep your child in a crib as long as safely possible.
How much should I spend on a crib?
Cribs range in price depending on materials, amenities, brand names, and other factors. For example, a safe crib can readily be purchased for less than $300, although cribs can cost well over a thousand dollars.
Remember, you’re not just buying a crib: you’ll also need to consider a crib mattress, which can cost another $100-500 or so, a crib conversion crib if you choose a convertible crib, and the cost of assembly if you don’t plan on doing it yourself (it’s worth the splurge if you’re not the handiest or don’t have someone else readily available to help with the assembly).
What are the most essential crib features?
Mattresses with adjustable heights (at least three) are preferable. When your child is a baby, it’s easiest for parents to keep the mattress at the highest level so you don’t have to reach too far.
As the baby grows (both physically and mentally! ), you’ll need to lower it so they can’t easily climb out. When a youngster can pull himself up to a standing posture, the mattress should be at its lowest setting.
Convertible cribs are ideal for optimizing value while minimizing additional purchases and assembly as your child develops.
The addition of built-in storage is a wonderful touch. It’s incredible how much material a baby can gather in such a short period, and having extra places to keep extra diapers or crib linens may be a huge help!
Consider mobility if you intend to move your baby’s crib frequently. Instead of a travel crib, tiny crib, or bassinet, you can choose a crib with casters, which allows for greater mobility. If you purchase a crib with wheels, ensure they can be locked into place for safety.