Choosing Your New Baby’s Crib

March 20, 2009 by  
Filed under Baby Gear

Our parents had it quite easy when it came to choosing stock baby gear. Cribs, hampers and changing tables were unoriginal and very much the same when comparing several styles and brands. Fortunately, today we have many stylish themes and designs to choose from when shopping for a new baby crib.

Prior generations made it general practice to hand down cribs from family to family, but did not consider changing safety concerns or reduced viability. However, even if grandma gives you your father’s crib to use, you must remember that any crib made prior to 1974 was not regulated by national safety standards.

Old cribs make a great accent piece in the nursery, but should only be used for toys or play dolls. After 1974, safety code enforcers determined that slats between bars in baby cribs should be no wider than 2 3/8 inches to prevent a baby’s head from getting caught in them.

The bars on the crib should be strong enough to withstand babies pulling down on them or trying to climb over them, as well as be covered by a soft material. This will prevent a small bump from becoming a trip to the emergency room, or baby from chewing on and ingesting dangerous pieces of the crib’s material.

Don’t forget that the crib mattress should be equally supportive, too. Check that it is sturdy and does not fold up if a baby jumps on it. Rails under the mattress for support should include two through the center of it and cross-rails should allow for a foot or less of space between them.

Crib mattress choices include either inner spring or foam designs. Spring mattresses will provide support, yes, but also tend to bend toward the inside of the crib when baby is on it. This creates dangerous spaces between the mattress and crib rails that could trap a hand or foot.

Several choices are available in foam crib mattresses, much like modern adult mattresses today. Memory foam will be more expensive, but also creates a more secure area for your baby to sleep on.

If you simply must go with a cheaper foam mattress, remember to buy the crib with the highest rails possible. Foam mattresses allow baby to bounce higher, risking bumps on the head or chin if the rails are low enough to reach during this fun a.m. activity.

Many different styles and themes are available in baby cribs, so choose wisely; remember to keep your nursery décor in mind. There’s no reason to sacrifice style for functionality, and there are plenty of choices for you to peruse. Different sizes, finishes and colors will coordinate with virtually any type of mattress pad and bedding for your baby’s room.

Lastly, consider the ease in access for the crib railing. Does it use latches or foot pedals to release the railing? Some models may include both to increase safety and reduce the chances of accidental opening. However, you also don’t want it too difficult to access in the case of an emergency!